Life Advice



Woman in treatment refuses to be 'the sick girl'

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My wife is quite something, if I do say so, myself.

Unfortunately, she has cancer, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. She has a professional practice with a large number of clients, and desperately does not want it to get out that she is sick. She has told only a select number of very close friends, her business partner, and her family.

She doesn't want to become "the sick girl," with everyone asking her about her health. She doesn't want that becoming the sole focus of her relationships, (private and professional).

She's also concerned that clients, afraid that she might not survive, will leave her practice in droves.

I'm doing everything I can to support her and to reduce her stress. It would be easier if I could tell my own boss what's going on, but I'm honoring her wishes.

Treatment is ongoing, and although she gets tired, she's hanging in there, with the help of her business partner.


Every unexpected issue destroys her. She is a very ordered person who has a problem with monkey wrenches in her life. Cancer is that and much more.

I believe that people will support her.

Is it better for her to let people know, or to keep it a secret -- hoping for a good outcome? Her odds for survival are not great.

She has all my love, support and respect for her personal choices, but how can I do better?


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