Ask a nurse

Do you have a question about cancer? Our Digital Nurse Ellen or one of our specialist nurses will aim to respond within 2 working days.

My mom

Posted by

My mom has glasmoma brain tumour. She has had the op and they were unable to remove all of the tumour. Followed by radiotherapy and chemo tablets for a few weeks. Now she has started her 12 month chemo tablet treatment and she is on her 2nd month.  She is very down and very weak. She is having physiotherapy and they are arranging macmillian to come to the house to help instead which will be better. The consultant stated that there is still alot of swelling in the brain and this is due to the radiotherapy and also due to the chemo this could be making her weak. Her next scan is in March so hopefully they will be able to see a difference. Has anyone else experienced this and is it normal for now? 

Linda - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Bluelex,

Thanks for your post and welcome to the online community.

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer it can feel like learning a new language and it can take a bit of time to come to terms with the terminology. From what you write I wonder if your Mom has been having treatment for a glioblastoma.

Brain tumours can involve having a number of different treatments. Individually these take a bit of time to reach their full potential and as result recovery can take time too. So having a combination of treatments might have an accumulative effect and this can have a greater impact in terms of feeling weak (fatigue) and other side effects.

For a lot of people, it’s not unusual to find that symptoms become worse before they begin to improve. And because your Mom is still having chemotherapy she might find she is affected for the duration of this, and for a period of time afterwards.

If your mom’s able to complete a diary she can keep a record of how symptoms are affecting her on a daily basis. This can help to pin point what helps and what makes things worse. Some people find that on days when they feel more energised they overdo things leading to having more down days. We recommend conserving energy for important things and putting off tasks that don’t have a great priority.

Having a good diet and keeping hydrated can help with recovery, and our information maintaining a healthy lifestyle is worth reading.

Supporting someone going through treatment is rewarding but it can also be physically and emotionally exhausting for loved ones. Looking after you is important too. Our online community can be a fabulous resource for hints and tips and also for a place for you to recharge your batteries. It might help to look at our family and friends’ group and carers only group. Being in touch with other in a similar situation can be invaluable.

And if you’d like to call the support line our team would be happy to hear from you. Having a chat often helps us understand more about your situation to see if we can offer further support or resources.

Best wishes, Linda (Cancer Information Nurse Specialist)