Montreal Gazette

Diagnosis doesn't halt love of life

- ABIGAIL VAN BUREN 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

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.

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