Some of us will find something wrong, others will be in pain or tired and the doctor will see something is wrong, and others will go to the hospital emergency department and find out there.

The moment you start to suspect that something is wrong and the moment you start the tests, the scans, the appointments, and the waiting, you’re taking your first step on this journey even if you go no further.

Discovering that something might be wrong and waiting for the results can be one of the most excruciating experiences of cancer. The issues and emotions that come up during this period can be confusing, painful, and nerve wracking. The best way to deal with confusion is to first sort out all of the pieces and all of the emotions so that you can make educated decisions as calmly as possible.

Thinking tools to try:

Good Day Bad Day

If you want help figuring out how to cope while waiting for test results or to see the doctor.

What’s Working – Not Working

If you are concerned about something in particular, such as the approach your doctor is using, the tests you are undergoing, the frustration you are feeling.


The phone call or email comes from your friend or relative – they are worried they have cancer. You want to help, say and do the right things.

Waiting to receive test results, see doctors, or even get an appointment can be really stressful – this can take days or even weeks. You can help your friend or relative by helping them to get through each day.

Here are two thinking tools that you can use with your friend or relative to help them: