It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from Scary Diagnosis who was diagnosed with lung cancer and wondered if she had to tell her family, who had suffered a lot of bad news and hardship in recent years. “My family has already been through so much pain and I don’t want to cause them anymore,” she wrote. “It’s feasible to keep it a secret; I just don’t know if it’s right. I want to protect them, but I’m also scared for myself.” After the jump, find out whether she decided to tell her family or keep it a secret to protect them.
I ended up telling my family a few days after I wrote you. Thank you, and the commenters, so much for the level-headed advice I really needed. After hearing the diagnosis I went a little bit crazy denial and managed to convince myself that it was something I could do alone. Everybody was right though; there was no way I could get through this without my family’s support. Reasonably, I could have pulled it off but in the end I didn’t want to. Besides, I would have had to miss out on so much family time hiding that I was sick, it wouldn’t have been worth it.
I love my family and I want to protect them from all the hurt in the world but I need them to protect me too. I need them to be there for me and take care of me when I need it. My brother did try to pull the blame card for his smoking around me but he hasn’t let that get in the way of helping me. My cancer has nothing to do with smoking, it’s just the way it is. Although some days it’s a fight just to get out of bed, I’m so grateful to be here. I’m lucky to have my family supporting me and my friends to remind me that I’m still me, not just a cancer victim. I’m also lucky to have found a community online with some of the best people in the world. When I have a bad day, I just go back to the column and reread all the comments and words of support. I love that there are so many people who would take them time to help a complete stranger. I’m doing good and I know I’m going to win. Thank you.
I’m so happy you decided to let your family know about your cancer and that they’ve been such a huge source of support for you (along with your friends). I’ll continue to keep you in my thoughts — as I know other DW readers will as well — and I hope you’ll keep up posted on your progress.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.