Waiting for tests

I've been sent for tests within 2 weeks and looking at the NHS webpages, I fear that I'm going to be told that I have cancer of the oesophagus. I'm really scared. Not just about what it means for me, but what it means for my family. I don't know what to do, how to tell my partner. I'm breaking up just typing this 

  • Hi and welcome to the online community

    Feeling really scared when you've been referred for tests is perfectly normal and it's something we've all been through. 

    You need to come up with a strategy to cope as once you've had the tests there's likely to be more waiting around until the results are ready.

    Everyone copes differently, some people throw themselves into their work or hobbies, others clean the house from top to bottom (you can do mine once you've done yours!) while others use relaxation techniques like mindfulness. If you think the latter might help here's a link to the NHS page where you can download mindfulness aps, some for free.

    You say that you've looked at the NHS website and fear that you have oesophagus cancer. Is this what your GP has suggested as well? Remember that just because you've been sent for tests within 2 weeks it doesn't mean that you have cancer. There are likely to be many other benign conditions that you could have.

    You say you don't know how to tell your partner how worried you are but I'm sure they'd like to help if you talk to them. Have a look at this information from Macmillan on practical tips for talking. Although it is aimed at people who have been diagnosed with cancer it gives tips on how to have a difficult conversation which you could use to tell your partner about the tests you'll be having shortly and how worried you are.

    Do come back and let us know when you have a date for your tests.

    Sending a supportive ((hug))

    What is a Community Champion?

     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"
  • Thanks for the reply. It's good to have someone I can 'talk' to.

    My GP hasn't said anything but I seem to have most of the symptoms of oesophagus cancer. I appreciate that there are other benign conditions but I'm just so frightened of what it could be and what that would mean. I'm sitting at work typing this, trying to hide the fact that I've got tears streaming down my face.

    Thanks for the link about talking - I'll have a look.

  • Try and stay away from googling your symptoms . We all do it but it rarely, as you've found, gives any comfort as most sites will end up saying you have cancer even if you don't Disappointed

    Do you think it would it help you to go back to your GP and talk to him/her about your worries? They should be able to tell you why they're sending you for tests.


    What is a Community Champion?

     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"
  • Thanks, I'll try that

  • I'm on the train home and will see my partner tonight and my kids tomorrow morning. I don't know if I can hold it together and not break down. I know I might well be worrying unnecessarily but I just can't get past being so, so frightened. I don't know what to do.

  • Hi Tony61

    I have recently been through a health scare and the shock & uncertainty of waiting for results is what I have found hardest; when you have facts and support and a treatment plan it feels a bit better. I am a very private person & I find it hard to reach out for support but this has pushed me out of my comfort zone & made me realise that it's ok to need help & support. I decided to only share my worries with a trusted few at first & also referred myself for counselling. I wanted to feel a certain amount if control over the situation & choosing who to tell & how was part of that. At first (and even now at times) it all felt surreal & like it must be happening to someone else but the NHS staff have been great and so supportive. I found journaling has also helped me. Let out/vent out all the worries and try to stick to facts. Apparently it is human nature to catastrophise in these circumstances. Could you talk to your gp about possible treatment you may be offered and any tests you may have to diagnose your condition. I found knowing what to expect helped me to feel calmer. I went to hospital with the support of an old and trusted friend which helped. You don't have to go through this alone.

    Hugs & hang on in there. Don't put any extra pressure on yourself & take things one step at a time.

    Hope this helps!

  • At the moment I just want to get through seeing my partner and my kids without bursting into tears but I'm not sure I can do that.

    I understand about thinking the worst and I know that I need support but I don't want to worry my partner unnecessarily. 

  • Don't be too hard on yourself. You don't have to tell anyone if you don't want to; I didn't tell close family until I had more facts but did confide in 2 close friends & my line manager at work (as I needed her to know that I needed to avoid heavy lifting after treatment & also might need a day or 2 off to fully recover). I did phone MacMillan's helpline to talk to a nurse about my worries & to check my understanding of medical facts and found it reassuring & in some ways easier to talk to a stranger. I also phoned another specialist charity helpline which helped to keep me relatively sane. I live alone & so no one was home for me to hide it from - your partner will probably sense you are worried & will want to support you. If it was the other way round you would probably feel the same. Obviously we all deal with things differently and I don't know you or your partner. Hugs and remember to breathe & get some fresh air when it all gets too much.

  • PS it's ok to cry if you want to!!!