Would You Tell Your Family and Friends?

I was talking with my spouse last week and she related that someone she knows has been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and likely has less than a year to live.

Cancer Patient with Doctor

Licensed from iStockPhoto

She’s a younger woman, in her mid to late 40’s, and while the cancer may be treatable, she has decided not to undergo treatment. While this surprised me, what came next left me speechless.

Not only has she decided not to seek treatment, but she has decided not to tell her long-term partner or her family.  Having been at my spouse’s side while she fought Stage III cancer, I can’t imagine turning down treatment and I would fight it with all I had in me.  I also can’t imagine trying to do it alone.

This revelation really got me thinking though. If I was terminal with no chance for recovery, would I want to burden my spouse and family with it? Would it be fair not to tell them only to have them find out later? Would not telling them make it any easier in the short- or long-term? A week later I’m still pondering these questions.

What would you do?

About Tom Branch

Tom Branch has written 597 posts in this blog.


Have you ever just met someone, but felt you like you'd known him for years? That's what most people experience with Tom. He has a knack for making folks feel right at home. After 21 years in the Air Force, loyalty and honesty are the foundation of everything Tom does. In addition to being a Texas Real Estate Broker, Tom is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR).

1 comment to Would You Tell Your Family and Friends?

  • Hi Tom. Like the new blog….maybe a little less registration to encourage comments? I’ll be following your direction.

    In any case, I do know people who refuse what you and I know as medical treatment. Personal choice.

    The “not revealing” may be based in the “no medical treatment” issue. If you believe that you embrace the lord’s will, then you will “reveal” or “treat/not treat” when the answer is given.

    Very hard to confront someone who is waiting for divine intervention….I’m not being sarcastic, it’s a real idea.

    On the other hand, if your friend is in denial and not confronting what may be a life-changing issue of care for the partner…..then that is unfair.

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