DEAR ABBY: I'd like to pose a question. A man is dying. If I went to visit him, he would be delighted to see me. Even though I haven't seen him in years, it would bring back happy memories for him. Neither his wife nor his children know that I exist.
After much soul-searching, I have decided that I won't go. I came to the conclusion that a visit would be disruptive and cause the family pain and suffering, as well as warping their memories of a wonderful man. But as I pondered this question, I wondered how many wives might accept such a visit, knowing that it would provide some solace to a man whom they both love. -- THE MISTRESS
DEAR MISTRESS: Probably not many. If the family resided in Europe, where mistresses are more common, such a visit might be welcomed. However, in the United States, we have a more disapproving attitude about extramarital relationships, and wives of dying husbands are not likely to appreciate a visit from a secret "admirer." Better to let lying dogs sleep.
DEAR ABBY: I recently lost a friend to complications of testicular cancer. As a health-care worker and his grieving friend, I find it frustrating that there isn't more education and information available about this disease.
An entire month is dedicated to breast cancer -- which I think is wonderful -- but teaching young men about self-exams for testicular cancer is just as important.
Testicular cancer primarily affects males between the ages of 15 and 40. Symptoms are often chalked up to hormones or "growth changes" until it has spread to other parts of the body.
Testicular exams are simple to perform and take only a few minutes once a month. The best time to do them is after a warm bath or shower. Roll each testicle gently between the thumb and fingers of both hands. If you find ANY hard lumps or nodules, see your doctor promptly! With early detection and treatment, the chances of a complete recovery are excellent. -- CONCERNED IN EUGENE, ORE.
DEAR CONCERNED: I offer my sympathy for the loss of your friend. Men's health is certainly as important as women's, and I'm certain many of my male readers will thank you for taking the time to explain the examination and warning signs of testicular cancer. Men should also have periodic prostate and breast examinations.
The American Cancer Society is an excellent resource for cancer education, information and locations that offer emotional support.
DEAR ABBY: My sister "Fay" is 20 years older than me, and we were once very close. She was like my second mom. My husband, "Jerry," has been successful in business. Over the past few years we have been able to buy a beautiful new home and cars. My sister, on the other hand, has to struggle to pay her monthly bills.
Jerry is our family's main source of income, and I am not comfortable asking him to lend or give money to my sister.
Fay is resentful that we're doing better than she is. She picks fights, insults us and criticizes everything we own, including our family dog. I take her out to dinner and nice places, but she even resents that.
I miss the relationship Fay and I once had. How can I mend the fences so things can be like they used to be? -- PERPLEXED IN PEORIA
DEAR PERPLEXED: You'll be happier if you stop trying to cling to the past and accept the fact that sometimes people and relationships change. The problem is not yours -- it's your sister's. You can't buy her love or "make" her let go of her jealousy. Only she can do that.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600