Hi, susieq8, I cannot speak to side effects because it sounds like your tumor is not in the same place that mine was. I did not have any annoying side effects after about six weeks. I did not have any chemo; I had proton beam radiation. Fortunately I did not get ill or even have headaches as a result of the radiation. I was more tired than before the surgery, but I considered that to be expected.
As far as prep for surgery I decided which aspects of daily life would likely cause me the most irritation if things did not go smoothly. For me that meant having enough comfortable clothing ready to use. I tend to live in t-shirts and I was concerned that a healing incision in my scalp might not be happy about having a t-shirt neckline being pulled over it. I made sure that I had enough button front shirts to use. It turned out that putting on a t-shirt was not an issue.
Also, since I am not a kitchen person when I feel just fine I knew that getting balanced meals meant having them ready ahead of time. I prepared and froze several days' worth of meals. When I felt that spending time in the kitchen just was not going to happen on that given day I knew I could go to the freezer, pull out a meal of foods that I knew I liked and simply warm it in the microwave.
Since I like reading and crocheting I had stocked up on reading material and yarn. I found that i did not have the energy or ability to focus well enough to read very much. I ended up watching a lot of TV and doing online games.
Ultimately how you choose to approach the weeks of healing that you will face will determine how well you do. There are plenty of good admonitions that are quoted too often to have much initial impact. But it is true that you need to ask for help when you need it and then graciously accept it. Take one day at a time. Believe that you are able and you will be.
Enjoy the holidays during December and approach your surgery date with confidence.