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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Fed Up With Cousin's Invasion of Family Privacy

DEAR ABBY: Astonishing! The day your follow-up to "B.J. in Georgia" appeared in our local paper was the day I learned I needed to have a colostomy. Many of my friends called me to see if I had seen the column.

I felt exactly the way "B.J. in Georgia" did -- no way was I going through with the procedure.

After reading the testimonials from your readers -- "Phil," "Glass," "Nancy" and "Laura" -- my fears were eased and I have decided to have the operation.

I want to thank you and your readers for helping me to make this most difficult decision. I have cut out your column and will refer to it any time I feel the need. -- EARL IN PORTLAND, ORE.

DEAR EARL: I'm printing your letter so that all of the people who wrote to offer support will know their caring and generosity made a difference. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers, and all of us wish you a speedy and complete recovery.