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Discrimination


KatieB

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I just posted a blog about a young cancer fighter who must remain "annonymous"...why? her job, her professional standing, her fear of being descriminated against because she is fighting lung cancer..... As a survivor have you felt this before? I assume that most people want their stories heard, but as our survivors get younger and younger there are real employment and legal issues to consider...I know that a part of it is emotional and a personal choice, but how many of you were hesitant about going "public" about your lung cancer?

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I'm the caregiver but I speak for both my wife and myself. We discussed this very topic when she was diagnosed and decided that we would be completely open about the subject from the beginning. I did a regular update for a select group of people but we also never refrained from discussing it with others. I can understand the mentality of those who do not want to discuss it--we had family members who would not even tell others at a family reunion--they referred to it as a health issue.

Keep in mind that we're older and retired so we do not have the same issues of discrimination as would someone younger and still active in a career. I would consider withholding information a smart move under those circumstances. There is no doubt in my mind that discrimination is a fact of life! Having said that there are obviously situations where disclosure would be a good thing which would bring additional support. In the end it becomes a personal decision.

Tom

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With my fix dx in 1998, I did pretty much keep it a secret. I have to admit there was a part of me that was embarrased, but mostly I was afraid it would effect how people, particularly employers, looked at me. Once I'd had surgery and was back on my feet, I simply never mentioned it. I remember my first new job after dx, my supervisor was taking me over to a City Council meeting and said "let's just take the stairs" -- times like those were really hard. I managed, but thankfully there were only a couple of flights and she was older. I do believe it would have changed people's perception of what I was capable of had they known. All in my head maybe - but I was definitely more comfortable keeping it quiet.

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