DEAR HARRIETTE: My uncle was recently diagnosed with liver cancer. He caught it early, so he was able to get chemo and has had a couple of surgeries in the past few months. We live in different states, but I have always had a close relationship with him.
I work full time, but I have been thinking about visiting him for a week or two. I can’t afford to take that much time off, but something is telling me that this may be the last time I get to spend quality time with him. Should I visit him? -- Sick Uncle, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR SICK UNCLE: It is honorable that you want to spend time with your uncle. Too often, when young people move away from home and start their lives, they disconnect from family. This is usually unintentional, but it's still common.
You absolutely should go visit your uncle. Work it out with your employer. Speak to your boss about your family crisis and ask how much time you can take off to support him.
If your uncle has the energy and ability to use technology, set him up with FaceTime or Skype so that you can have video chats when you are back home. He will appreciate your presence in person and your continuing connection to him by phone.
While you are with him, do your best to ensure that he is set up with the medical supports he needs. If there is any family nearby, talk to them about how they can help him during this fragile time.