Book Summary

Book Summary ** Our lives, after the diagnosis and subsequent treatment, of my husband for a brain tumor, clearly have taken a path less traveled. Yet our journey has and continues to be, a journey of hope, joy and of unyeilding commitment. We invite you into our lives, a view of our childhood, marriage, a marriage seperate from convention, yet strongly bound. Join us as we recall the last twenty-five years, twenty of which have been spent LIVING with a brain tumor. Come, witness our challenges and discover our triumphs as we reinvent our relationship, struggle to redefine marriage roles, communication styles, and reclaim intimacy after illness.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The 20 things I wish someone had told me 20 years ago when we started on this brain tumor/cancer journey.

  1. **Understand statistics for prognosis and know that courage, hope, love, age and health skew them.
  2. **Research the treatment options provided by your doctors.
  3. **Join a support group and if there isn’t one in your area start one. Join Brain Cancer family.
  4. **Have a living will done. Making one doesn’t mean you’re going to die soon and discuss its contents before each surgery.
  5. **Make funeral plans and discuss what each of you want.
  6. **Learn about the rehabilitation, home health, hospice and palliative care agencies and facilities in your area.
  7. **Volunteer at any of these places to really to get to know the care they provide. Hospice volunteer training changed my perspective on death and dying.
  8. **Make a list of all your online usernames and passwords. Especially banking accounts.
  9. **Get a medic alert bracelet. If you are the primary caregiver you also should have one.
  10. **Keep an ongoing list of medication, procedures, treatments, and surgeries.
  11. **Keep any of the list and the above documents on a flash drive in a safe place if possible in your pocketbook. Share the password with at least 2 people.
  12. **Schedule exercise into your daily activities, if you have trouble with overweight/overeating, follow a healthy food plan like weight watchers.
  13. **Keep a journal.
  14. **Plan and keep vacations.
  15. **Maintain a budget and don’t impulse buy with the excuse, “I should get this now because I’m not sure how long he/she will be here.”
  16. **Don’t delay education plans, getting advanced degrees if desired, help both financially and emotionally.
  17. **Discuss your goals, mission, plans for the future and work each day to achieve those.
  18. **Understand the requirements for disability, Medicare and gather information for application.
  19. **Know your health plan from work and understand co-pay, deductibles and flexible spending options.
  20. **Talk about the elephant in the room, be open about the fear of death and disability from having a brain tumor. Keep the elephant in perspective.

By: Patti Meserve Gauvin, Author of Hope through the Eyes of Love – Life and Marriage in the Face of Brain Tumor. Contact: