Recently we’ve discusses Au Pair illnesses, when an Au Pair ought to share this information with Host Parents, and how / when Host Parents can best respond.
Now, the shoe’s on the other foot, with this email from HostMomWithGoodPrognosis.
Should this information be shared before matching with an au pair? Or later, once the au pair arrives?
As HostMomWithGoodPrognosis writes:
“I suppose the answer is always going to be “it depends on the specific facts,” so here are my facts for consideration.
A month or so ago, I had a lump in my thyroid tested and received a diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. The good news is that the prognosis for this is generally excellent — without boring you with the details, the survival rates are extraordinarily high, and it’s likely that at most I will only need to have part of my thyroid out. I won’t need chemo or radiation so I’m unlikely to be debilitated for any significant period of time. I’ve been told repeatedly by doctors that “it’s the best cancer to have” (somewhat annoying in that I’d rather not have any cancer, but objectively speaking it’s highly treatable and highly survivable). The options on the table right now are either active surveillance or a partial thyroidectomy, to be determined after I get a second opinion from one of the leading experts at a major cancer center in a couple of weeks.
The way the timeframe is shaping up, though, is somewhat tricky vis-a-vis our AP candidate interviewing and matching schedule. Our current AP leaves in late September and we need to match with our next AP by mid-August.
We’ve recently made an offer to an au pair candidate we really like, but I did not disclose the diagnosis to her during the interview process, because the final treatment plan is still up in the air. For what it’s worth, pending getting the second opinions and formulating a treatment plan, I’ve only told my current au pair, my boss, my mom and my siblings, and two close friends, but not my kids or my larger social network.
The timing of the surgery, if any, is so completely up in the air right now that I can’t say anything more than “I might need surgery either soon-ish or maybe months or years from now.”
At what point do I need to tell our new au pair? I am really not comfortable telling her right now (when we have not yet officially matched) in part because (selfishly) I don’t want this to influence her decision, in part because it is not a huge health issue that’s likely to affect how I function in the household during her year here, and in part because it still feels very private.
Is it OK that I’m withholding this information until I know what treatment plan I decide on? And once I do know what the plan is, I hope in a couple of weeks, should I tell her before she arrives or wait until after she’s here?