I know this very well. I worked in computers in great floors of cubes and was considered a star worker even though sick because I actually DID my job instead of gossiping. In my opinion, you could tell these people a thousand times and they would still gossip because they have nothing else in their boring little lives to talk about and are too incompetent to do their job. I was known as being a bit of a b**** but was very professional, I worked with a lot of different clients and managed people, I let no one know I was sick, but probably should have let certain people know, it was my decision good or bad. When people remarked on my obvious illness, redfaced, stiff, shuffling around, not being able to find my desk, I would just say, "Isn't there some work you're supposed to be doing?" In some cases I would soften it with, "If not, you can have some of mine," or if I was leaving, "there is some on my desk." It was cold, yes, but it nipped it in the bud. I didn't care if they thought me the biggest b**** in the world, it was better than that pity, pretend to care and stab you in the back crap that can be going on. This is the way I handled it for a time, until I just couldn't work anymore.
I think it was good of you to get mad. Let them gossip about how grouchy you were and not about your health. If they're mad, maybe they'll do their work for a while and leave you to yours and leave the personal stuff alone.
Another reply I had for people, these are coworkers, not bosses mind you, but just the rest of the sharks in the tank with me, was when they said,"you don't look well, are you ok?" "Thanks alot, way to tell me I look crappy!" Then they feel guilty and it puts it on them. I know i sound rotten but it kept them off my back and off the topic of my illness. Where I worked, if they had any reason to suspect you were ill, they would shift all work away from you and pretty soon start having talks with you about what you can manage, etc. I worked for very very large corporations and there was a lot of politics.
One friend I thought I had, I had told something about my illness (liver at the time) and I was going to be offered a promotion and I was turned down unexpectedly. She had gossiped with everyone. I was so hurt. She had played up how sick I was and really embellished it. She didn't get the promotion either, to her own chagrin, it went to a man who played golf with the boss. So it goes.
I hope the people you work with really do care and are sincerely worried. If not, the above work. My mother's response is always with a smile, "you know, I'd really rather not talk about my health at work." I would probably add, "don't worry, I'll warn you before I keel over." Mom's response is probably the appropriate one.
I'm sorry about this and I hate that stuff. If you have a work mediator or someone in HR, employee advocate or assistance or something, you can talk to them about that, but I steered clear of HR because I worked for them too, and because sometimes it backfires and though they aren't supposed to they go behind your back. You can go there, you just have to be careful. Unless the company will pay for sensitivity training, not much help and could build resentment.
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments