Advice needed - visiting a relative post-surgery

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Hi all, I'm new here (interloping over from the breast cancer forum). I'm looking for some advice.

A close relative has just been diagnosed with a brain tumour - we're not sure yet whether cancer or not. Either way she's having surgery any day now, and myself and other close relatives are keen to visit her in hospital (several hundred miles away) as soon as is practically possible.

Given things are moving pretty fast and we don't want to pepper her with questions - I don't know how much information she has yet about what recovery from surgery will look like - I'm wondering when would be a good moment after surgery for very close relatives to visit.

E.g, I'm assuming not within the first 12 hours, probably not the first 24, maybe after that... what do you think?

I know the answer to this will vary hugely from person to person but I'm trying to get a feel for it, to avoid putting our foot in it if we can. I'm not meaning lots of visitors, just her parents who will want to see that she has come through ok, and when having a quick chat will mean the world to them.

I don't know any more details about my relative's diagnosis and I know very little about brain tumours and brain cancer in general.

I'd appreciate any thoughts at all that you might have Pray

  • HI Radge

    a warm welcome to the group. Sorry to hear about all that's going on with your relative.

    My husband was diagnosed with a stage 4 brain tumour in Sept 2020 and there was no hospital visiting at all due to covid restrictions. He was home in a couple of days though so perhaps your relative won't be kept in for as long as you think.

    I can only gauge on how my other half was for the first day or so, but I'd suggest leaving about 24 hrs at least before attempting a visit. The hospital will be able to advise so maybe a call to the ward beforehand might be a good idea when the time comes.

    Everyone's situation is different, and everyone reacts differently to anaesthetic too so don't be too distressed if she's not quite herself for the first few days. My husband was very confused, and his speech was a bit jumbled at first - a mix of the effects of his surgery, the drugs and the swelling. It was a scary few days.

    In our situation, the surgical registrar gave me a call once my husband was out of surgery so I'm sure in your situation the hospital will phone her parents or next of kin. That'll give you a clearer picture of how things are. We waited another week or so for the pathology results that confirmed the nature of the tumour. The surgical team will advise on that at the time.

    My husband was able to phone us from the hospital, but I'll be honest, those calls were both reassuring and distressing. If she has a mobile phone, she'll be able to take it with her and use it.

    The links below gives some more advice on how to support her

    Emotional support for family and friends | Macmillan Cancer Support

    Going home from hospital | Macmillan Cancer Support

    You can also call the helpline too. The number's below.

    I hope everything goes smoothly. Stay positive and be led by what she needs from you.

    love n hugs

    Wee Me xx

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Hi Wee Me,

    Thank you so much - this is really helpful. Much appreciate you taking the time to reply, and sharing your experience.