Disease prognosis doesn’t dampen employment of life

Published 8:42 am Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

DEAR ABBY: I was recently diagnosed with a progressive disease for which there is no cure. It will affect me physically and mentally as I age. For now, I’m treating the symptoms and trying to minimize their effect on my day-to-day life. But this is certainly not how I expected to live out my “golden years.”
I have shared my diagnosis with close family and friends, but until my symptoms become more pronounced, I’m choosing to move forward in as positive a way as possible, without dwelling on the inevitable health issues that lie ahead.
My problem is, some of these friends and family members continually quiz me on the status of my condition. I don’t believe I’m in denial, but I choose not to speak or think about my illness every minute of the good days I still have. This disease will take over much of my future soon enough. When voicing these thoughts in response to their queries, I have been met by some with surprise and it’s perceived as insulting by others who are showing concern for me.
How do I convey my desire for privacy regarding my health without offending well-wishers? This problem is sure to become more frequent as the disease progression becomes evident to more people. – GOOD FOR NOW IN MICHIGAN

DEAR GOOD: Too many people are “endlessly curious.” If you prefer to take each good day as it comes and not dwell on or be quizzed about your illness, that should be your privilege. You have a right to some privacy.
Ask these well-meaning individuals to please not discuss your illness further because, when you are ready to discuss it, YOU will raise the subject. If that message offends anyone, so be it.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend just started his first year of college. We have been together for about a year and a half. He isn’t super far away, but his mom is restricting us from seeing each other “too often.” Every time I go to visit him, I pay for my own train ticket. I don’t really think my visiting him is affecting her in any way. We both want to be respectful of her and her wishes, but when it’s possible to see him, I’d like to be able to.
A relationship is hard to maintain seeing each other only once a month. He does come home for breaks and some weekends, which I am grateful for. I just don’t feel she should be making those choices for us. I want to communicate to her about this, but I don’t want to seem disrespectful or rude. What should I do? – THREE IS A CROWD

DEAR THREE: Your boyfriend’s mother wants to be sure her son concentrates on his education with as few distractions as possible. She may also be fearful that the two of you are becoming intimate before you are mature enough to manage the consequences. If you are smart, you will refrain from having the discussion you are contemplating. If the visitation schedule is too restrictive, your boyfriend is the person who should talk to his mother about it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox