Letter to the Editor

I was published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette yesterday… just a letter to the editor… For a class I am currently taking we were required to write a letter to the editor regarding something surrounding health or health care that sparked our interest… if the letter got published we would be awarded 5 extra points…

Awesome I thought because I spent 2 years in high school as the editorial editor of my school paper and I also had a guest column published in college that stirred up quite a bit of controversy (if you have more questions about this please email me directly tallieterp at msn dot com)….

So I looked and looked for an article that I thought I could really identify with and then I stumbled across this one…


Regarding how to share the bad news of a medical diagnosis with loved ones…. But as I finished the article I was left thinking, why was nothing mentioned about what happens when you choose to keep it all to yourself, or when you choose to lie about the diagnosis…??? and moreso, why do we seem to be glorifying those in the media who admit that they keep these things from family members… don’t get me wrong I LOVE Mondo on project runway but I was so upset when I found out he had kept from his family that he was HIV+ for 10 years…

So I wrote this back… and 3 hrs later got a call saying that they would like to publish it… just a small victory in my mind… but its something…

Denying grief

While I was glad to see the topic of how to share the news of a medical diagnosis tackled in “Why It’s So Hard to Share Bad News — Fear, Anger, Uncertainty Drive Behavior” (Nov. 1), I was disappointed in what the article left out. It did not mention any effects on the immediate family members. By not telling those in your life about your diagnosis you are denying them their right to grieve.

When I was 16 my father told me he had a kidney infection. A little less than a year later, he admitted that it was cancer. Weeks before his death the truth came out that the original diagnosis was terminal cancer with a year to live. I lost precious time with him thinking that nothing was really all that wrong.

Maybe he thought he was protecting me, that I would have acted differently had I known the truth. It should have been my choice to decide if I wanted to give up time with my friends to be with him. His decision denied me that.

Illness affects everyone that it comes into contact with. Patients have the right to decide what information to divulge to others, but when it comes to immediate family, especially children, I just suggest that you ask yourself, are you really protecting them or are you protecting yourself? In the end, the ones you leave behind are the ones left with the consequences of your choices.


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