Dear Son of TC Mom
So sorry you are both going thru this. It is scary. I went thru Stage 4 surgery and radiation treatment last year. They took basically half my tongue and all my lymph nodes on the associated side of my neck. The doctors, of course, have to warn you of all the potential negative results. Which makes it even scarier.
Recovery from surgery was intense but quicker than that from radiation. I could see improvement nearly every day after surgery but radiation was more like every week or longer. Radiation also wasn't as intense a process. But, I am happy to share with you that I am a year out and most people would never know unless I told them. My speech is pretty good and I can eat most foods again. My scars healed fairly well.
Some of the tools that helped my mood. Weekly calls or zoom meetings with different friends and family. Journalling/writing both my thoughts and my medical notes. Practicing faith and prayer (different for most, so whatever that means to you). Yoga, walks, jogging, surfing, biking, whatever your favorite way is to get outside and experience the joy of nature. Dancing. I would play my favorite music in the hospital and do a super simple dance next to the bed while hooked up to all those sensors and drain tubes, etc. Who cares what i look like at this point. Reading stories of others and how they made it thru similar.
Please also know there are counselors and specialists who can help with the stress and fear of all this. Everyone's path is different. Try a lot of different things and hopefully you will find a few that help.
Keep us up to date on how everything is going.