How to help my son?

My son managed to fight oesophageal cancer back in 2017, and we thought we were safe!

Sadly the Cancer has returned with a vengeance. He has been having cycle after cycle of chemo radiotherapy and it doesn't seem that the cancer has reduced in size although it doesn't seem to have grown.

At the moment my son appears decided to refuse surgery or future therapies, and given how ill he's been, I do  understand, though I want him to try everything.

Meanwhile he has comorbidities, which include a second primary cancer (prostate), his heart, and all sorts of other problems.

My son (37), is very difficult to support, he is understandably angry and frightened , and can be incredibly unkind, he's also unbelievably independent.

I really don't know how to support him. I love him, and I wish I could make things easier. Any ideas?

  • I feel for you. I know how difficult it is to help a grown son. My wife and I are trying our best to help and support our son through his troubles. Advice and ‘help’ just seems to cause anger. The thing to try to remember is that although they are your child, they are independent adults going through the hardest time of their lives.

     The only thing that we find works is to ‘be there’. Food and shelter are the only things we can provide and hopefully give them the knowledge that they can ask if they need anything.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer anything else.

    Counting the days, making every day count.


  • Thank you for responding, it's so hard isn't it. I'm his kick ball, if something upsets him he phones me and is frankly revolting, he swears at me, tells me I'm to blame (there's an element of truth as he inherited a faulty gene that affects connective tissue so he had several surgeries as a child to his oesophagus.

    Hes so very angry with reason, is horrible to his wife. As you say, all I can do is stay here waiting for him to want to talk.

  • This won't help you at all I'm afraid. I'm sorry that your son is dealing with his anger and frustration by lashing out at those who love him and are there to support him. He's not angry with you not does he blame you, it just seems so unfair. It's no one's fault. Lots of people get cancer as well as a thousand other illnesses. 

    I too have cancer and while I am peed off at having it. I am determined to beat it with the help of the expert medical help that we have available now. If it turns out that I don't, I have had 68 wonderful years with children and grandchildren that have bought joy to my life. I don't want to loose the battle but I'm pretty accepting that if my time is over I'll do all that I can to make things right for those I leave behind.

    Just be there for your son. Do what you can and don't knock yourself about mentally. Good luck to you all.