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AIBU for being upset/cross that she won’t chase this up?

24 replies

PoeticJustice · 17/01/2024 17:29

Apologies this is long! I’ve tried to be a bit vague so as not to be too outing.

A close relative had some investigations & a biopsy done 8 weeks ago, originally on a 2 week wait as potentially cancer. This week they received an appointment for a pre-op assessment. No info on what the operation is for, and no results as yet from the biopsy.

GP has no idea, and the number on the appointment letter takes you to appointments, they don’t know anything either. Relative is convinced it’s some kind of mistake, tried to cancel the appointment but was advised against it and has now said they’ll just wait until the pre-op to find out what going on. This was originally supposed to be next week but they’ve now pushed it back to mid February.

I want them to push for the information, call the consultant’s secretary at the very least. I’m deeply concerned for what I feel are very obvious reasons, but my relative is apparently not worried in the slightest.

On top of the chance that they may be seriously ill, I also have more practical concerns - they live with a disabled adult who will need care if they are incapacitated by an operation, as well as someone to look after them depending on the seriousness of the op, someone to do their shopping if the can’t drive for a period of time, etc etc, all of which will fall to me, and of course I will provide this but I’d like some advance warning to allow me to plan around it, in addition to this they currently provide childcare for me on a regular basis which I would also need to rearrange.

We’ve had a bit of a row today regarding them finding out, basically they don’t want to because they are afraid it will be bad news and also because “knowing any earlier won’t change the outcome”. I think they’re being selfish for the reasons stated above, but that could be my anxiety talking - maybe I’M the selfish one for pushing it. So, AIBU?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

124 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Singleandproud · 17/01/2024 17:33

I would sort childcare out now, whether they have something serious or not something is going on and it would be better for the children to be looked after elsewhere, even temporarily.

Online shopping and Deliveroo exist now so chores don't necessarily have to fall to you. Whilst looking into childcare perhaps look into a home help that can act as a house keeper/ carer if necessary.

Beepbeepl · 17/01/2024 17:37

Sort out your childcare situation. I’d feel upset too but it’s not up to you, it’s up to them, and for whatever reason they’re dealing with it in this way.

Timeforabiscuit · 17/01/2024 17:45

Please don't borrow tomorrows grief, as tempting as it is, you don't know what is going on yet - so guessing really won't help.

Having gone through this with DH, the way they break cancer news is ... Variable. Some people do just not engage at all, so if at all possible, break it down into little steps, they need to go to the appointment to find out more, it might be a low grade growth that's straight forward to treat, it might be more complicated - but they need to be able to go to the appointment to find out

Does your relative have anyone to attend the pre-op appointment with to act as a support or note taker? From experience, you can blank out as soon as "cancer" is stated as a fact, so someone who is a bit more removed or has previous knowledge is a real help

Sorry your going through it, the unknowing is truly horrible.

Moier · 17/01/2024 17:48

Yes please contact the secretary.
I had a letter and no idea what it was for.
Gp didn't know.
Appointments didn't know.
I eventually found out it was a " 12 week" follow up from my orthopaedic specialist.. but this Appointment was for 2 years later not 12 weeks.

axolotlfloof · 17/01/2024 17:52

If your relative wants to wait for the appointment then this seems reasonable. Knowing now won't change the outcome and it is their health and decision.

museumum · 17/01/2024 17:56

Is there any likely op that would follow the biopsy? Eg if it was a mole the most likely op would be mole removal.
I would like you be desperate to know before the pre op what exact op were talking about and think it’s shocking communication not to have explained but it’s your relatives prerogative to wait and see. It could be 2-4 weeks between this appointment and the surgery and you can’t plan until you have a surgery date and the info from the assessment about recovery etc.

storminacupoftea · 17/01/2024 18:03

People can react very irrationally in stressful situations. I imagine nagging and pressurising them is not helping.

Tinkerbyebye · 17/01/2024 18:33

I would be encouraging them to call and ask for more information, as you say they may have their head in the sand but will be expecting you to assist.

I would simply say if they are not going to find out that is absolutely their choice but they need to be prepared to sort other care out in case you can’t sort childcare etc. as it stand at the moment I dont see how you can sort it out in advance, as you have no idea what the operation is, when it will take place, how long they will be in hospital or how long recovery is likely to be.

Nearlythere80 · 18/01/2024 01:08

Well you are not being unreasonable but it is also not your illness/body so they should be allowed to deal with it however they want to. I would stick with telling them that if it's a pre-op assessment that is not the same as a clinic appointment and it may well be with a nurse about operations fitness only, not an appointment in which info about what is actually happening and why. Which is what they need to know first isn't it

angsanana · 18/01/2024 01:12

They need to figure this out in their own timescale. You sound quite selfish.

MrsTerryPratchett · 18/01/2024 01:18

Ring theory - google it. Your relative is in the middle, you are outside, your friends are outside you, etc. You support inwards and dump outwards. Which means you don't put your worries and concerns on your relative, you worry outwards.

And honestly, a disabled person to care for and your kids? That's a lot. Even if they are fine, maybe prioritise them and their health if you're worried.

ElevenSeven · 18/01/2024 03:50

You’re making this about you. This poor person has quite a lot to deal with; disabled relative, regular childcare and potential cancer. And you’re calling them selfish because you are anxious about it?

It’s their issue; let them deal with it how they wish. And sort some other childcare to prepare and take the load off them.

WandaWonder · 18/01/2024 04:09

Maybe lessen the bullying even if you try and dress it up as 'concern'

Delphiniumandlupins · 18/01/2024 04:29

It's not your body. Sort out alternatives if you fear you will be impacted. Be more supportive of someone facing a major health concern while providing care for your DC and a disabled adult.

Oblomov23 · 18/01/2024 04:33

I disagree with most. I think a phonecall to secretary is best. How any of the above posters can be ok with the above puzzles me, waltzing in to a pre-op appointment with no idea what they are going to do to you seems daft.

Dustpantsandbush · 18/01/2024 04:36

make alternative childcare arrangements. They are clearly going through a stressful time and don’t need the added burden of caring for someone else’s children.

MrsTerryPratchett · 18/01/2024 04:39

Oblomov23 · 18/01/2024 04:33

I disagree with most. I think a phonecall to secretary is best. How any of the above posters can be ok with the above puzzles me, waltzing in to a pre-op appointment with no idea what they are going to do to you seems daft.

People are allowed to decide things that seem daft about their own bodies and health. Most of us do it every day. Even if the OP's relative decided that she wanted to eat half a blackberry every day standing on one leg for her peace of mind, she could. OP can make her own decisions about her own body.

quisensoucie · 18/01/2024 06:52

You do not seem worried about this person, rather the effect a potential operation may have on you.
Some people are passive recipients of care; they don't need detail, assume the professional knows best, and lets stuff happen. This is OK and their choice
Some don't want to anticipate/second guess what is happening, which is also ok, also their choice
So line up alternative childcare and care for this person who cares for your child

PoeticJustice · 18/01/2024 07:24

Thanks for the replies. I can see that the consensus is that I’m being unreasonable and I accept that.

To address a few points - I have already suggested making alternative childcare arrangements and they got upset and said I was overreacting. I care for the disabled adult as well as on the days my relative works, it’s a mutual agreement, I’m not just dumping on them.

There is no one else I can talk to about this as no one in my real life knows. They don’t want to tell my sibling as they don’t want them to be upset or worried. I’ve been told because I’m the one who will provide all of the care they/the disabled adult might need, hence my concerns of the impact when I can’t plan without details.

Also just to clarify to posters who have said I don’t seem to care about my relative or what they are going through, I love this person very much and am worried sick about them which is exactly why I want to know what exactly we are dealing with!

OP posts:
Spirallingdownwards · 18/01/2024 07:40

I am sure you do care for and love this person and personally I would also be encouraging them to find out. Unfortunately when you then mention you need to know for childcare (which is true and obviously has practical implications for you) this is why it sounds like you want it sorted rather than caring what the actual medical issue is.

I see both. Exasperation that they won't ascertain what is going on and because you could end up running around to sort out other things childcare/additional care for the disabled person which could all be sorted more easily and in a more relaxed way if you knew what you were dealing with (eg. outpatients one day only op or a 3 week stay op). Hope its the former and work on the basis it may be worse and start formulating your back up plans for child care etc now.

PrimroseSilk · 18/01/2024 07:47

If they download the NHS app, they will see all test results and appointment details. Try that?

OrigamiOwls · 18/01/2024 08:17

I'm in a similar position, but I'm the relative in the scenario.
I've had a potential cancer scare. I've had one lot of scans and tests and have now been invited back for further scans (the potential tumor is in a really inconvenient place so they can't just do a biopsy on it). My appointment is next month, on a Saturday, in London (I'm 2 hours away). I mentioned it to my mum (as she specifically asked me if I'd got a date for my next appointment).
She then goes off on one about how that's not good enough, I have to phone them up and rearrange for a weekday (she thinks I've got less chance of seeing a doctor on a weekend - which is what happened last time admittedly, as the doctor had gone sick, but Saturday is the day they do this clinic). I appreciate she's worried about it, but it's the way she went about me - literally barking orders at me.
My mum can be quite inflexible - it's her way or the highway. But she's got my back straight up by issuing orders like we're in the army and she's the Sergeant Major. I'm 38, married, have my own home and a responsible job - I'm not a child.
We haven't spoke since then. She'll be angry with me that I haven't listened to her orders and I'm avoiding the lecture I know is coming.

Anyway - I appreciate my tale of woe is a long one, but there is a point! OP, how have you been talking to your relative about this? If you keep badgering her and pushing her you are in danger of pushing her away. If you issues orders then that is likely to just put her back up and achieve only upset. You may not agree with how she handles it, but it is her body, you can't "make" her do anything. All you might achieve is either her pulling back from you or hiding medical things from you.

It sounds like she's overwhelmed and has a number of caring responsibilities. I'd suggest finding alternative childcare at least in the short term to take some of the pressure off.
She clearly does a lot of other people and may be feeling that this illness is becoming a stick to beat her with as she's not doing the illness "right" in your book.

Mysanthea · 18/01/2024 08:37

It's very frustrating, and I imagine scary, for your relative to get a pre-op letter without further information.

But they may well not give out extra medical information on the phone, especially if it's bad news. And you won't know when the op is until they get an actual letter. Ringing the secretary is not likely to be a huge help in planning the details of care cover - until the pre op your relative simply won't have the detailed info you need to plan, whether you phone or not.

I can completely understand you wanting to know but your relative is within their rights to have a few more weeks without knowing, without googling and planning and stewing over details. Sorry, but I think you should give them the grace to handle this one in their own way.

Petrine · 18/01/2024 08:51

A pre-op appointment is just a preliminary appointment to check height, weight, blood pressure and to take a blood test. It takes a very short time. The patient then goes home to await an appointment for surgery. It used to mean that surgery had to be carried out within 3 months or the pre-op would need to be repeated.

it sounds as if your relative has lost the Surgical appointment letter. The GP should have a copy though.

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