Dear Abby: Does co-worker count as a cancer survivor?

SHARE Dear Abby: Does co-worker count as a cancer survivor?

DEAR ABBY: One of my co-workers, “Liz,” lost her mother and an aunt to breast cancer. She had genetic testing done and found that she carries the breast cancer genes. As a precaution, she had a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.

Since her surgery, she has been attending Relay For Life events and has been walking in the “survivor lap.” There has been a huge backlash here in the office because people think Liz is misrepresenting herself as a cancer survivor. They are being cruel and calling her a liar, not so much to her face, but all over social media.

I wonder if you think it is appropriate for her to call herself a survivor? — CONFLICTED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CONFLICTED: Considering her family history and what genetic testing revealed about her chances of suffering the same fate as her mother and her aunt, what Liz did seems prudent to me.

That her co-workers would trash her on social media is appalling. What horrible people they must be. I think the woman has suffered enough to walk a victory lap without being criticized for it — don’t you?

DEAR ABBY: In 2004, my husband and I were contacted by a friend who had gotten into an abusive relationship and lost custody of her daughter. She asked us to go through social services and adopt her little girl, so at least she would know her baby was loved and well taken care of.

Long story short, we did everything we could, but in the end we lost our battle. The grandparents were involved and took over. It was heartbreaking after a year and a half of loving the girl to have to let her go.

My niece works at an ice cream shop and saw our precious one recently. Would it be wrong to contact her and her grandparents now that we know they are in town? I’d love to visit and form a relationship, but don’t know if it would be appropriate. — HURTING IN COLORADO

DEAR HURTING: Not knowing how bitter the “battle” to keep your friend’s child was, it’s hard to say how the grandparents will react if you reach out. I suppose it couldn’t hurt to try — but do it via a letter so they have the option of contacting you or not.

Do NOT contact the girl without their permission, because they could perceive it as threatening.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married 13 years. Of the two of us, I am the more organized. Before we married, she warned me that she kept a messy bedroom. Well, that has been confirmed!

Recently we had an argument about her clothes. After two weeks of her clean clothes lying on the floor and my asking her to pick them up, I took matters into my own hands. She caught me in the act and we both vented our frustrations.

I explained that my environment affects my peace of mind. She called me “controlling.”

I’m not sure how to compromise and resolve this. I want to keep a clean house. She wants me to leave her things alone. Any suggestions? — READY TO THROW IN THE TOWEL

DEAR READY: Yes — separate bedrooms.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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