Once a happy family now torn apart

We were such a happy ordinary sort of family: Mum Dad and two boys. Both got married and have children.

My husband has quite advanced MS, Parkinsons and Barretts oesophagus needing much of my time as primary carer. (He does have outside carers 2x per day)

Younger son aged just 32 has Stage 4 Oesophagal Cancer with projected time left of less than a year. He's only option is chemotherapy which has just more or less started - 2nd session next week.

I thought I was coping but I'm not sleeping well, feeling overwhelmed exhausted have vertigo and nausea. I will see a doctor but just how can anyone cope with all this grief, guilt (at not being able to be with my son as often as I'd like) and sheer unhappiness!?

  • Hello . I see you've had a reply to your other post. I'm so sorry to read about your son's diagnosis of Oesophageal cancer. I'm going to suggest you join our Oesophageal cancer forum to be able to talk to other with the same type of cancer and get support as well as our Supporting someone with incurable cancer where you'll be able to gain practical support as well as a place to discuss your feelings.

    I have a different type of cancer (Womb) but when my cancer metastasized last year my Oncologist's letter to my GP detailed quite a negative prognosis of perhaps less than a year of life expectancy. 6 sessions of chemo later and a CT scan have revealed my metastatic deposits to be hardly visible so take comfort from the benefits of chemotherapy.

    To find more information covering diagnosis and treatments there are pages covering most types of cancers which can be found on our Online Information and Support Section

    Macmillan Support Services also offer lots of information, support, financial guidance or just someone to listen. It’s free to call 0808 808 0000. Most services are available 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Have a look by Clicking here to see what is available and we also have our Ask an Expert section, but do allow two to three working days for replies from our expert team.

    Sending you welcoming hugs B xx

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    "Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever” - Roy T Bennett

  • That is so awful. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband and son. I know what it's like to have multiple members of your family have cancer at the same time. My Dad has been cured but my Mum won't be as she has metastatic breast cancer. And we don't know how long she has as they can't tell. It's been 9 months since the diagnosis. 

    I don't know what to say other than keep reaching out to people for help. You shouldn't do this on your own. You need to take care of yourself as well.

    Keep going, you are doing an amazing job. Wishing you all the best. 

  • Hi

    At one point I knew I was not coping - but you know "big strong guy" I can do this right - well no. I broke and the tears came flooding out.

    Perhaps a key turning point for me was a living with less stress course - of course the first thing I had to do was make some time for me to do the course. One of the key elements for me was leaning to live in the here and now and appreciate what we have - I was already planning for what a horrid black future would look like and I could imagine it much worse that it actually turned out. Another really useful skill was conscious breathing - I can often put myself to sleep with this but even better is coping when something hits us out of the blue (my black imagination cannot come up with all the curveballs). Transcendental meditation though was just not for me.

    People look at us now and will sometimes say "how to you cope" - perhaps the only real answer is "when were we given a choice", They then say you are inspirational, that can be hard to hear, we just manage the best we can given the right support in the right way. 

    Lack of sleep is a very real problem - it is not difficult to see people that little bit more tetchy at work because of the hot weather at the moment. My GP suggested exercise - just going for a walk and really stopping to notice the nature around us I find really quite helpful.



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