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Dear Abby: I am writing in response to the letter signed "X-ray Tech," who complained that she was tired of patients who, while being positioned for mammograms, make comments such as: "Do you do this all day? What a disgusting job; there's not enough money in the world to pay me to do what you're doing."

I can relate to such comments because I am a nurse, and I'm tired of being asked, "How can you stand to work with terminal patients? Isn't it depressing caring for people when you know they are going to die?"Instead of treating this as an insult, or passing it off as ignorance, I take a few minutes to explain why I chose the nursing profession.

Also, one should please tell "X-ray Tech" that she's a "radiologic technologist" - and she should take pride in her chosen profession.

- Proud Nurse, New Haven, Conn.

Dear Proud Nurse: Thanks for a fine letter. I am sure you speak for many men and women in the health-care profession.

Dear Abby: When holiday time rolls around again this year, please remind your party-giving readers to consider people who are trying to watch their calories.

I can't count the times I've gone to holiday gatherings where almost every dish offered had cream cheese or sour cream in it.

My boyfriend is allergic to all dairy products, and I am trying to cut down on sugar and fat in my diet. It's not easy to enjoy a party when all you can find to eat is the parsley decorating the wheel of Brie.

All I'm asking for is moderation and variation in menus. Your guests will appreciate it.

- M.M. in Beverly Hills

Dear M.M.: Good reminder: The considerate hostess offers options. For those who are trying to resist high-calorie desserts, an assortment of fruit and berries will be very much appreciated.

Remember, too, that it's unwise and unfair to encourage guests to have "another drink" or "one for the road." Always have plenty of soft drinks available. And never spike the punch bowl with vodka or anything else without letting your guests know.

Dear Abby: I think you should know that Mike Hitt of Katy, Texas, was recently recognized for his donation of a total of 75 gallons of blood.

Hitt began donating blood in 1968 when he was active in the U.S. Army. He continued donating blood until 1987 when he became one of the blood center's first pheresis donors. Hitt's dedication has been phenomenal; he usually donates twice each week. The Blood Center of Texas gave Mike a plaque and a 75-gallon mug at a reception in his honor.

- His Friend in Houston

Dear Friend: Mr. Hitt's donation record is indeed impressive. And for those who don't know what "pheresis" means (I didn't), my medical dictionary describes it as the procedure of drawing blood, after which the desired components of the blood are removed, and the remainder is reinfused into the donor.

Worth remembering: "The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature to those of us who really like to study people is that, in fiction, the author can really tell the whole truth without hurting anyone - or humiliating himself too much."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)

1992 Universal Press Syndicate