In the book 100 Questions & Answers about Head and Neck Cancer, the authors recommend involving family, mostly from the practical angle, as cancer usually affects the entire family. More pertinent, of course, to families who live together, or at least interact together on a regular basis. In my case, family is physically distant so practical support would be minimal or nil.
As a public figure, Michael Douglas did the right thing making full disclosure about his throat cancer. As he has most of his career behind him, announcing his disease to the world will now allow him to be a mentor, bring light to this disease, and in certain cases, in a slight way, let others with the same affliction feel somewhat better knowing someone going through the same thing.
However, as a non-public figure, the last thing I want to do is announce to everyone I know that I have throat cancer. Coming full disclosure to the people I work with doesn’t seem particularly prudent. Those who might consider hiring me for a job may think twice about someone with cancer.
From a practical standpoint, my life partner will provide all the support I could need. She will be (and does), cook up/blend up whole, nutritious meals. And, she’ll be giving me most excellent foot reflexology therapy during the process. From the emotional support standpoint, she is extremely positive and will do anything to keep that positive energy flowing.
Back to the family. My brothers and sisters and my offsprings are spread all over. We might see each other once every two years at most. And, it’s not like this form of cancer is genetic, so there is no risk to them in not telling. But as it says in the above mentioned book, not telling them could lead to offending them. But that brings up an entirely different philosophical area, i.e., one doesn’t control other’s feelings, blah, blah.
Regardless, my sibs, parents, kids, are all downright smart individuals. There may be something they bring to the table that my shortsightedness won’t focus on. So perhaps what I’ll do is drop them a line, at once in the same email, inviting them to share this blog.