Thursday, January 15, 2009

Apple chief should disclose extent of his illness

Privacy for the cancer sufferer in the beginning is necessary.

For me, it was just a matter of getting my emotional feet back under me.

But when you are in a public position, you should admit the extent of your illness. I did, in my column spot in The Tennessean.

And Steve Jobs -- in his departure from Apple Computers through June for his health -- should do so with complete disclosure of his health for his employees and investors. He has been fighting cancer for quite some time.

I have leukemia. I've had it since the fall of 2005. I am in remission, now approaching three years. I almost died in late June and early July of 2006. God through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe saved me. I still take chemo daily.

Jobs, some say, has been in denial about his cancer. But admitting the extent of the fight is simply the right thing for someone so many depend on should do. There is no hiding behind the excuse of privacy.

We are all human. Cancer strikes so many of us. In revealing the extent of our suffering, we acknowledge our mortality, and that can be liberating. Jobs does not have the luxury of staying in denial and in the dark about his cancer.

Too many people are depending on him. His first duty is to them as he departs to try and heal.

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