When you have a brain tumour, the excitement of the Christmas period can often be overbearing with the pressure to feel joyful, merry and bright. Below, Paula shares her experience of living with a brain tumour throughout the festive season, whilst we explore the support available through our 24/7 helpline, personalised coaching, regional Meetups and array of resources.
How support can help you when things get tough
As Paula told us, the hardest thing for her last Christmas – the first since her diagnosis – was “the feeling of sadness instead of excitement (which I have always felt – I love Christmas)”. A brain tumour diagnosis changes everything, and at times like Christmas when things are more intense, the differences can be highlighted. brainstrust’s support gives people somewhere to turn. Often we want to protect our families from the truth, so a brainstrust support specialist is someone you can be completely honest with. And through our tried and tested coaching methods, we’ll help you through it. We’ll be here round the clock this festive season, helping everybody affected by a brain tumour when things get tough.
Strength through community
Through talking to the brain tumour community, you can better articulate your needs to the people around you at home. Someone at the Meetup might be going through exactly the same thing and be able to tell you how they overcame it. At Christmas especially, there are simple your community can help you face the obstacles your brain tumour has created.
Having a community that understands life with a brain tumour is crucial in helping you live the life you want to after diagnosis. We’re running Christmas Meetups across the country, so if you’d like to take some time away and speak to people who know what you’re going through, check them out here.
Paula recalls how she was not able to deliver her Christmas presents as usual because after her diagnosis she had her driving license taken away. This led to extra pressure to be the person always hosting – always needing to have a tidy house and cupboards stocked with tea! Why not ask your loved ones to act as a Christmas helper, driving you to friend’s houses to do Christmas deliveries, or acting as Santa on your behalf and doing the deliveries for you!
The power of knowledge
Understanding how your brain tumour impacts your day to day life is the first step to living better with a brain tumour.
Fatigue can be hugely debilitating, and it goes beyond any ‘tiredness’ you’ve experienced before. At Christmas time, this can impact your ability to be around lots of people for a prolonged period, to get out and do your Christmas shopping or to cook dinner – let alone a Christmas meal for the whole family. Using our fatigue resource, you can understand how fatigue affects you personally, and build your toolkit to help you manage it. This won’t mean you suddenly have huge amounts of energy, but you can prioritise what is most important to you, and work around the biggest barriers.
Our Know Hows are here to help you tackle topics like finances, losing your driving license and dealing with conflict, so you are equipped with knowledge to make the right choices for you. Our brain box is a one stop shop for resources to help you following diagnosis and is fully customised to suit the situation and diagnosis of the person it’s being sent to.