Posted 2/23/2008 2:47 PM (GMT -6)
I told my director and the team I work with as soon as I was diagnosed, and it was really the best decision. They've been helpful and supportive, my director even allows me to work from home part or whole days when I need to do so. When I get my Remicade, I read word-related stuff or write reports in the morning, then work by computer from home in the afternoon. That way I don't have to use sick time. I'm sure others in our office know, in fact I've told some as there was an indication to do so. I've had no bad effects.
My close friends know; they also know this is a serious thing that makes me very sick and not something to tease about. If you think your bowling group is going to be insensitive, you can either just bow out and say something has come up and you're no longer available to bowl. I'd probably tell them I'm having some health issues, nothing for them to worry about, but I just don't feel like doing the activity because of them. If they're jerks about it, maybe they aren't such good friends.
Definitely your children should know mom has a health issue that will make her sick at times, but it isn't something that can make her die (children always worry about this.) Tell them that you'll let them know when you're feeling really bad, and at that time they can help you by doing more for themselves and being as pleasant as they can. Tell them you love them very much, and you want them to come to you for help with anything they need help with, even when you're sick. Adjust the language to their age and understanding levels of course.
I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised when you share the information. Do develop the habit of not talking about your health unless necessary afterward, though. It makes people feel more entitled to know your personal stuff if you discuss details with them. When someone at work asks me how I am, I usually answer "fine." If it's a really bad day, I'll say "so-so." My team members know what that means, and they'll take extra effort to be helpful that day sometimes.