Life Advice



Ask Amy: This mom has one bestie – her daughter

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Amy, I have many serious health issues, and recently found out that I have cancer.

I feel like I should try to contact my family to let them know. I know it's important to share family medical history, and both of my siblings have young children.

To be perfectly clear: I do NOT want a relationship with them.

They have hurt me too many times throughout the years.

Should I try to contact them? What should I tell them?

– New Cancer Fighter in PA

Dear Cancer Fighter: You should ask your medical team for guidance about this, but I don’t believe that you are ethically required to contact your family members. If you do, you might want to set up a separate email account from which to email them. That way, you can read – or not read – any responses that might come in.

Keep your statement short and factual. Say, “I’m fighting this illness, and hope to do well.”


Dear Amy: “Second Guessing my Silence” wondered whether to tell the teenager sitting in front of her in church that the girl had lice nits in her hair.

You should have told her to speak with the priest about it. He could meet with the family privately.

– Upset

Dear Upset: “Second Guessing” was too shy to tap this girl on the shoulder. I can’t imagine her having the moxie to tell the priest.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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