Awaiting an urgent referral while dealing with cancer-related grief

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Hi all,

Thanks for having me in this community. I hope I’m ok to post as I haven’t been diagnosed with anything, but I’m currently waiting for an urgent referral appointment for suspected thyroid cancer. At the same time, I’m dealing with grief of losing a cousin of mine (more of a sister than a cousin) to a short but brutal battle against cancer less than a year ago, so I’m really struggling to cope with day to day life as I’m managing my symptoms, waiting for an appointment (which I was told this morning will exceed the ‘two week wait’ target) and the loss of my cousin.

does anyone have any experience on managing grief alongside NHS urgent referral waiting times? Thank you so much if you’ve read this far!

  • Hi ,

    Welcome to the Online Community. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin, and how you're having to deal with an extended wait for your own referral appointment. Anxiety and grief are both really significant emotional challenges even on their own, so I hope you'll be kind to yourself and ask for help whenever you need it.

    In order to make sure you're getting responses from Community members who can offer the most relevant support, I have moved this discussion over to our Emotional support forum. It's the best place to speak with others about all the emotions that come with waiting for referrals, tests, results etc. It's also full of compassionate and friendly people who will understand what it is like to lose someone dear to them.

    I'll hand over to our lovely Community members now, but don't forget that if you ever feel like you need some one-to-one support, the Information and Support Team on our Macmillan Support Line are always ready to listen. They can be reached on freephone 0808 808 00 00, and they're open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

    All the best,
    Macmillan Online Community Team

  • Hi  

    You are more than welcome to our community given the loss of your cousin so absolutely no worries on that front.

    One of the things people often get concerned about is the "urgent cancer referral" - all suspected cancer cases are flagged as urgent so it is difficult to read much in to that. My wife's long cancer journey has taught us is try not to read too much into things moving quickly - though when they rang her up to say they wanted her in triage that day that was interesting - my birthday too!

    I am sure it is difficult to not think of what your cousin went through with her cancer - what type did she have? One of the issues with cancer is there are so many types . my wife has Leiomyosarcoma and she has had that for over 10 years now.

    On greif, there are no right or wrong answers apart from perhaps being kind to yourself and if at some time you feel it might be helpful you could talk to either Cruse or the loss foundation  One fairly inspirational thing I have done on occasion is attend the good grief festival 

    I hope you get your referral soon and then whatever you need to get to a explanation of your symptoms - hope you let us know either way because if you don't have cancer that is great but it you do we are here for you as long as it takes.



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