DEAR ABBY: Earlier this year, my sister "Kathy" was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation, and will begin reconstructive surgery soon.
Because of her diagnosis she encouraged me to get an exam. When I did, they found a lump, which needs further testing. I have not shared this with my family because my sisters and parents have been deeply affected by Kathy's diagnosis, and I don't want to cause them needless worry.
My husband is angry and he said that because Kathy is their favorite they wouldn't care anyway. I thought it was insensitive to me, but I also felt he wasn't thinking about how upset my doing so might make my family. Am I wrong to feel this way? -- Need Further Testing
DEAR NEED FURTHER TESTING: Certainly not. Your husband's comment illustrates the importance of keeping one's mouth firmly shut if one can't think of something helpful or supportive to say. It almost appears that he is angry at you for the questionable test result.
I can't blame you for not wanting to upset your family at this point, but if more testing confirms that you, too, have breast cancer, I think it's important that you let them know -- especially your sisters, who might want to be screened sooner than later.
I hope your husband's apparent inability to support you emotionally during this difficult time is an aberration, but if it's not, you will need to find support elsewhere.
DEAR ABBY: About 15 years ago I committed a crime against a woman I cared about. I have felt guilt and remorse about it ever since. I can't speak to her or have any contact with her.
I would like to tell her I'm sorry. I have beaten myself up over this and thought about suicide. What do I do? Please help. -- So Sorry in St. Joseph, Mo.
DEAR SO SORRY: The first thing you must do is talk with a mental health professional about your suicidal thoughts. Once you have been stabilized, you should then understand that you may have been forbidden to contact your former friend because what you did was so traumatic and contacting her could further victimize her. If you're looking for forgiveness, forgive yourself and move on -- but leave her out of it.
Dear Abby, written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © 2013 UNIVERSAL UCLICK.