Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Scary Diagnosis” Responds

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.

Since I wrote to you, I’ve had a successful surgery and am now in chemotherapy. My cancer was a little worse than my doctors could see on the imaging reports, but we are still hopeful. Chemo is not fun, to say the least. It is exhausting, terrifying, and extremely painful. On the bright side, I finally got over my fear of needles and I lost those 20 pounds I’ve been working on. Not so bright side: I’m bald and I am no Bruce Willis. Bright side: I have the best family and friends in the world.  

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 [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

12 comments… add one
  • MaterialsGirl

    Elizabeth June 10, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Best wishes to you, LW! Hope to hear more good news from you soon

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    HmC June 10, 2011, 12:15 pm

    LW- you seem like a beautiful person and I am so sorry this is happening to you. But congratulations on working things through with your family, and finding a way to be hopeful and positive in the face of such pain and fear. I can’t imagine how I would react if this happened to me or a loved one, and I think you are incredibly brave. Sending you lots of anonymous stranger love and support.

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    TMSC June 10, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I am so, so happy to get an update from you. I will be sending happy healthy thoughts to you in your recovery, and wishing you well every day. I am so glad you told your family and are getting the support you really need. You sound like you have a great attitude (love your Bruce Willis comment, btw) and I know it will help you get through such a difficult time.

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    Elle June 10, 2011, 12:44 pm

    I’m so glad you sent us an update, and that you’re doing well, with the support of your family and friends. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. *e-hugs*

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    _jsw_ June 10, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Thank you so much for the update, LW. I’ve known a number of people who have suffered through the treatment you’re enduring and who are now happy and healthy – it’s a long journey but so worth it in the end. My thoughts are with you, and please keep in touch.

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    LTC039 June 10, 2011, 12:15 pm

    I wish I knew your first name so I can pray for you on a first-name basis. Anyway, I will pray for you regardless & I wish you the best. I’m glad you decided to tell your family, there is nothing in this world that is greater than family support. You seem like a really strong individual. Best of luck to you!

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    melikeycheesecake June 10, 2011, 1:37 pm

    Praying for you!!!!!!!!!!!! Please keep in touch with all of us!

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    SGMcG June 10, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I know you are currently through so much and I’m sorry for that, but I can’t help but cheer when reading your update LW. You are not only strong enough to fight this, but you are strong enough to ask for help when you need it. Way to kick ass LW! Please keep us updated and we’ll keep thinking good thoughts for you.

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    lk June 10, 2011, 2:55 pm

    I’m glad you are strong enough to face this with such openness and love!

    How lucky you are to have such friends and family and how lucky they are to have you!

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    SpyGlassez June 10, 2011, 6:09 pm

    Good for you, LW! I am glad that you did tell your family and that they are there to support you. Best wishes!

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    MissD June 10, 2011, 7:34 pm

    LW, you are in my thoughts. Keep thinking positively-it is one of the best things you can do to help yourself recover. My brother had cancer a few years ago, and we ALL (everyone in the family) kept thinking and talking positively about the outcome, which was ultimately good. He is now cancer free for over three years. One day, that will be you. God bless!

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  • becboo84

    BecBoo84 June 13, 2011, 1:24 pm

    Definitely keep us posted on your progress! Glad to hear things are going okay, and that you’re letting your family support you!

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