When Becky Schenck was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer, her and her husband Steve were shocked and did not know what symptoms would arise.
“A person has no idea what to expect, either as a caregiver or a patient. In Becky’s case, seizures and fatigue were her biggest challenges,” Steve said.
The range in a brain tumor patient’s severity and type of symptoms makes it difficult for caregivers to know what they will face when taking care of someone with a brain tumor.
Brain Tumor Symptoms
Due to the many, important functions of the brain, brain tumor symptoms can include:
Because of the potential severity of these symptoms and other brain tumor complications, a caregiver plays an important role in the well-being of a brain tumor patient.
Becky in particular faced seizures, fatigue, and a loss of balance and speech. While she battled the disease and its symptoms, Steve became her full-time caregiver and battled with her.
“Over the course of the years Becky fought glioblastoma multiforme, she lost everything that the rest of us take for granted,” Steve said. To care for her and ease her symptoms, Steve helped manage her public seizures, searched for the best medical treatments, and acted as Becky’s medical advocate.
For those of you who are acting as a brain tumor patient’s caregiver, consider reading UCSF’s “Transitions in Care for Patients with Brain Tumors: Palliative and Hospice Care“. This book shaped Steve’s time as a caregiver for Becky.
Also, a variety of resources about life as a caregiver for a brain tumor patient can be found in Beyond Words, the story of Becky and her family’s fight against glioblastoma multiforme. You can read the first three chapters of the book for free by going to Amazon and clicking look inside.
The Beyond Words Community
We also hope that Beyond Words' website and social media pages become an active community of people who are currently or have previously faced brain tumors. Feel free to share in the comments below your own experience with brain tumors and how they have affected your life.