Finding Joy During Treatment
- Beverley Turner, 47, was diagnosed with a brain tumor after suffering from a seizure while driving.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, general signs and symptoms of brain tumors can include: headaches or the feeling of pressure in the head; nausea; vomiting; eye issues like blurry vision, and more.
- She’s about halfway through chemotherapy treatments, but focusing her efforts on fundraising for the children’s ward of her hospital has helped her through.
- Emotional well-being is an important factor your overall health. One way to have gratitude in life during a health battle can be to make time for things that bring you joy.
- One of our experts says to write down ten things that make you happy and intentionally make for those activities throughout the day.
Turner, a mother of one and grandmother of five, was driving to work in October 2021 when her whole life changed.Read More
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But despite a harrowing health journey that’s still playing out, Turner has turned her attention outward.
Feeling “too ill to do anything else,” she set up a JustGiving fundraiser page as soon as she started recovering from surgery. Her goal is to raise as much money as possible for the children’s ward of her hospital.
“This journey has been so hard for me, going through the treatment is so exhausting, that it made me think what is it like for children with cancer?” she wrote on her JustGiving page.
“So, I decided I wanted to do something for these children.”
Focusing on helping children faced with cancer has been a blessing for Turner. It’s helped her push through grueling chemotherapy treatments and find joy in dark times.
“Every night I was on my phone seeing who I could get involved. It kept my mind occupied and loving watching the totals going up,” she said.
“I’ve struggled to go out, but I’ve made myself go out to see friends and do the fundraising.”
What Is A Brain Tumor?
A brain tumor is a growth of cells in or near the brain.
There are many different types of brain tumors, and some can be malignant (cancerous) and some can be benign (noncancerous). Benign brain tumors are usually slow-growing and malignant ones are usually fast-growing.
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It’s unclear if Beverley Turner’s brain tumor is malignant, but it’s important to know that even benign brain tumors can cause serious issues.
According to the Mayo Clinic, general signs and symptoms of brain tumors include:
- Headaches or the feeling of pressure in the head. Headaches are the most common symptom of brain tumors.
- Eye issues like blurry vision, double vision or loss of sight on the sides of your vision.
- Loss of feeling or movement in a leg or arm.
- Balance issues.
- Speech issues.
- Memory issues.
- Issues following simple instructions.
- Shifts in personality or behavior.
- Hearing issues.
- Dizziness or vertigo.
- An increase in appetite and weight gain.
If you ever experience any concerning or unusual changes to your health, it’s important to talk to your doctor. You never know when speaking up can lead to a crucial diagnosis.
Treatment for brain tumors can vary greatly depending on the specifics of each case. Some benign brain tumors might not even require immediate treatment.
Treatment choices are made based upon the type, size, grade and location of the brain tumor as well as whether the tumor is malignant or benign. Options can include surgery, radiation therapy, radiosurgery, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.
Staying Busy During Treatment
Having a positive attitude when faced with cancer or a serious health battle is no easy task. But experts say it can impact survival outcomes.
“I’m pretty good at telling what kind of patients are going to still have this attitude and probably going to live the longest, even with bad, bad disease,” Dr. Zuri Murrell, a colorectal surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, told SurvivorNet.
“And those are patients who, they have gratitude in life.”
One way to have gratitude in life and prioritize your mental health can be to make time for things that bring you joy. If you’re like Beverley Turner, giving back to others in need might be the answer.
Others might look to reading, painting, singing, yoga, puzzles, working on cars or a number of various things.
“We know from good studies that emotional health is associated with survival, meaning better quality of life is associated with better outcomes,” Dr. Dana Chase, a gynecologic oncologist at Arizona Oncology, said.
“So, working on your emotional health, your physical well-being, your social environment [and] your emotional well-being are important and can impact your survival.
“If that’s related to what activities you do that bring you joy, then you should try to do more of those activities.”
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Dr. Chase’s advice is simple: Jot down ten things that bring you happiness and intentionally make the time for those things every day.
“Sometimes I will talk to a patient about making [a] list of the top ten things that bring them joy,” Chase says.
“And trying to do those ten things…to make at least 50 percent of their experiences positive throughout the day.”
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