My mother is looking for a book she read long ago about the end of the world where the survivors are all trying to get to "some place" and they have something growing out of their head that will supposedly go away once they achieve something or other. The main female character's name is Swan. Not much to go on, but if anyone know what book that is, it would be nice. She thinks maybe Hubbard wrote it.
Certainly sounds like Swan Song by Robert McCammon. Nuclear post-apoctalytpic novel from 1987. Does feature a significant character named Swan. Some people are afflicted with tumor like growths that only appear on the head. These growths are referred to as "Job's Mask". The Wiki article provides a decent synopsis including some details on how Swan's (and others) "Job's Mask"s fall off.