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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother Stands Her Ground About Letting Kids Near Dog

DEAR ABBY: I have a friend in her early 40s who is dying of cancer. "Claire" had a Class II pap test years ago, but she never went back for a recheck.

Claire now has only a short time left. She leaves an adoring husband and three teenagers. Please remind your readers once again how important it is to follow through as instructed by their physician. My friend's death might have been prevented. -- GRIEVING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR GRIEVING: Sometimes people with many responsibilities place themselves low on their list of priorities. Your friend may have been one of those -- or she may have been afraid to return to the doctor. But one thing is certain, whatever bad news the doctor might have to deliver, the WORST is that because the patient procrastinated the condition has become so advanced that it's impossible to treat.

P.S. Test results are usually available in about a week. If a patient hasn't heard from the doctor's office by then, the patient should contact the doctor.