I have a twofold question: 1) does anyone have some good suggestions of ways that we can show support and offer comfort? And 2) how can I help my son deal with his own fears, grief and concerns as, like many boys his age, he didn't want to think about, let alone talk about what is, and might, happen.
My foster mother Rachel has cancer and to help myself deal with this, I started a journal. I recommend you encourage your son to do likewise because writing is a great safety valve by allowing one's feelings to run. Once written down, one's inner feelings are alleviated somewhat. Keeping a journal really does help. Another suggestion is helping your son get to know what his friend will be having to fight the disease. If he's suitably armed with information on the side effects of chemo and radiation, it will lessen the impact, the horror of it all.
It would be useful if your son could join a cancer support group that helps friends to cope, given there will be very tough times ahead. I am associated with the UK's Macmillan nurses, a nurse of who regularly visits poor mum.
Your son is going to be emotionally drained, so try and keep his visits to his friend, short. Tell him it's alright to cry. There is nothing sissy about crying. He might need to be alone at times. This is normal reaction when someone close to one's heart is suffering.
Mum Rachel is on remission now, though we take one day at a time. I've been doing this for the last three years, my teen sisters all taking turns with our mum.
If you need to write, I'm only a whisper away.
Would it be possible to send a care package? Your son might have a good time putting one together, and his friend would probably enjoy being thought of and getting some fun distractions.
cancer-beating wife to DH since 7/4/09, mother to DS 5/1/11 + DD 8/21/2013
|Teens , Pre Teens|