I'm Hiding Cancer From My Family. Help!

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Dear Willie D:

I found out that I have Stage 4 cancer, and have been given less than six months to live. I refused any treatment because I don’t believe in letting them cut me up only to die. I would also rather fade away quietly than to tell my family so they can make a big deal of my prognosis. I don’t want pity; I want privacy in my last days.

Since my divorce 15 years ago, I have been living alone. My daughter and her kids are staying with me for the holidays, and my heart aches each time I look at them because I know this will be my last Christmas with them.

My motor skills have slowed inordinately, but my daughter thinks it’s just early signs of dementia. Do you think it’s selfish of me to not disclose to my family that I only have months to live?

No Pity:

No, I don’t think it’s selfish of you to not disclose to your family that you only have months to live. Cancer and death spook people out. It all depends on context. If you tell your family about your diagnosis, and you’re in good spirits about your condition, your family will likely follow your lead and be calm.

The biggest problem I see with not telling is a family member's finding out by accident, or taking away a loved one’s ability to say something that needs to be said before death. If I had thought my mother was going to die, I would have encouraged her to speak instead of telling her to relax when she tried to talk to me while lying on her hospital bed.

Ultimately, each family must decide what’s best for them, and support the decision of the person with the illness. Be encouraged.


Dear Willie D:

My man has an unbreakable appetite to hang out in strip clubs. He goes after work, after the club and whenever he needs to “clear his head.” He doesn’t try to hide the fact that he loves going to the strip club. In the beginning of our relationship, I didn’t think it was a big deal.

I chalked it up to youth and the childhood trauma of his dad having a child outside of marriage. But we have been together for ten years now, and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In fact, he’s asked me to go with him on several occasions to prove he isn’t messing around or spending money with strippers. He says he just likes the environment.

I’m not trying to knock anyone’s hustle, but I don’t want to be somewhere with a woman putting her nasty ass in my face. Each time my man comes home, I tell him to take a shower before touching me or lying in our bed. Should I take one for the team and accept his request to join him at the strip club, put my foot down and demand he stop going, or continue to go with the flow?

Strip Tease:

You don’t seem to be too bothered by your man going to the strip club, but based on your "ass in the face" comment, it’s not for you. So, accompanying him is out. Continue to go with the flow. You’ll be fine.


Dear Willie D:

I like being around guys but I don’t feel anything romantic when I’m with them. Everything I hear from other females tells me that I should feel more, but I don’t. I have female friends that I feel emotional about, but not in a sexual manner, so I’m not a lesbian. I just don’t feel anything. Is that normal?

No Feelings:

That’s not normal, but what is normal is having no feelings because there’s just not enough excitement in the relationship. Then again, maybe the guys you’ve been with weren’t big enough for you to feel. It’s possible.


Dear Willie D:

My mom is a mean and abusive woman. She wants me to allow my kids to spend the night at her house, but I don’t trust her guardian skills. She just got a Facebook account, and she is always online bragging on my younger sister and her family. It’s so damn annoying. I’m a 32-year-old woman, and she still treats me like I’m 12.

She makes me feel as though I’m in a competition with my sister because I find myself posting family pictures and updates about the most trivial accomplishments by me and my kids. Considering that she doesn’t seem to care one way or another, why do I try so hard to make my mom proud of me, and how do I graciously bow out of this stupid competition thing with my sister?

Proud Mama:

The reason you try so hard to make your mom proud of you is because it’s a natural instinct for a child to seek affirmation from its mother. After all, mama brought you into the world. What better way to thank her than to do well in life, thus showing her that her sacrifice was not in vain?

You bow out of the competition with your sister by ignoring trigger points like your mom’s Facebook timeline that conjures up the need to compete with your sister. Furthermore, stop living for your mom, and start living for yourself and your kids. You’re going to lose your mind thinking everything is a competition and waiting on approval that may never come.

Ask Willie D anything at willied.com/ask-willie-d, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.

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