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by Abigail Van Buren

No Holiday Cheer for Wife Left Out of Gift Exchange

DEAR ABBY: In a few minutes, I have to start getting dressed. I haven't worn a suit since I buried my older brother last year. In one hour, I'll bury my lovely wife. I'm so glad my son could fly in. I need him so much at this time.

Abby, please urge your women readers to get that Pap smear now. Tell the guys to take them. Don't let them put it off. Cancer is a monster. Just ask anyone who has seen it up close. -- WES IN PHOENIX

DEAR WES: Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. Your message is sobering and certainly worth space in my column.

Readers, cancer is often treatable -- if it is caught early. The screening tests that exist today are effective only if they're performed. Please don't gamble with your health by postponing them. (And I'm not just talking about Pap tests!)