Life Advice



Ask Amy: Tough diagnosis brings disclosure dilemma

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I am extremely torn as to whether I am making the right decision.

Am I?

– Torn

Dear Torn: I believe you are making the right decision, because – right now, this is how you are coping with a very challenging diagnosis. You have the right to control your own health information — for whatever reason you choose.

You seem to be protecting yourself from the stress of your sister’s anticipated reaction, but I want to remind you that people do not always react in expected ways.

Now that your relationship with her is on a better footing, you might be closer to breaking this news to her, telling her explicitly in advance that she can help you the most by staying calm and by letting you call the shots.


The timing of your diagnosis and the reconnection with your sister does seem more than coincidental, and, in my opinion, awareness of your own mortality is the best reason in the world to reconnect.

Dear Amy: I recently got a Facebook message from a man, “Thomas,” who said that he thinks he may be my brother (we did a DNA test proving that he is our brother). He had messaged other family members, including my half-brother, “Eric.”

When I spoke to Thomas, he told me that Eric (a newfound Christian) told him he wanted nothing to do with him because he could possibly be a product of our father cheating on his mother while Eric was an infant.

Yes, I know it's Eric’s choice, Thomas had nothing to do with it.


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