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Always put maiden names on tombstones

Dear Abby: I take exception to the advice you gave "Mrs. Smith in Marietta, Ga." She asked how her name should appear on her tombstone, given the fact that she remarried after a long and happy marriage. You told her she could use both husbands' last names — "Jane Smith Jones."

Please don't take away her real identity. She was not born with the name Smith. Her tombstone should read something like this: "Jane Brown/Wife of Robert Smith/Wife of Vernon Jones."

A monument producer explained this to my mother and me many years ago. A tombstone is a historical document of sorts, and a wife's maiden name should always appear. — Jeanne G. Bobrowiecki, Sunrise, Fla.

Dear Jeanne G.: I like your solution. Everybody has equal billing — even the deceased.

Dear Abby: Two months ago, I discovered a hard lump in my husband's testicle. I urged him to see his doctor, but he put it off for many weeks. He finally went two weeks ago. The doctor diagnosed him with testicular cancer. That same day, my husband underwent surgery to remove his testicle. Two days after that, he underwent CT scans of his chest, abdomen and pelvis. The five days of waiting for the results were excruciating. Thankfully, his cancer had not spread. He must undergo scans every four months for the next two years, but his chances for a full recovery are excellent.

After reading about Lance Armstrong (four-time winner of the Tour de France cycling race), I had encouraged my husband to practice regular testicular self-examinations. He did not. To me, this was as simple as my monthly breast self-exam. Had I not known the signs, my husband's treatment might have come too late. We are inundated with information about breast cancer, but testicular cancer is rarely mentioned.

Abby, please suggest that your male readers practice monthly testicular exams. My husband and I have heard stories of men from 17 to 70 with this cancer. The cure rate is very high and the cancer is fairly easy to detect. — A Loving Wife in Oregon

Dear Loving Wife: I'm pleased your husband's prognosis is a good one. He is blessed to have such an alert and caring spouse. The American Cancer Society informs me that testicular cancer is highly curable when diagnosed early. Testicular exams are quick and simple and can easily be performed in the shower. For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345. Web site:

Dear Abby: I have recently started dating "Jack." He's someone I feel strongly about. Jack appears to be quite fond of me, although I'm not sure his feelings are as strong as mine.

Ever since I've known him, he has talked about his past girlfriends. He enjoys discussing their relationships.

I've never been the jealous type, so I'm not really offended — - after all, those women are a part of his past. However, I don't understand why Jack feels compelled to tell me everything he does. Other men I've dated haven't regaled me with their escapades. I understand a man talking about his most recent romance, but some of Jack's stories go back 20 years. What do you think, Abby? — Too Much Info in Connecticut

Dear Too Much: Jack is no gentleman. Describing that kind of personal information is a sign of immaturity and insecurity.

Now I have a question for you: How will you feel after your relationship is over knowing that Jack is telling the next woman in his life all about YOU? If I were you, I'd run for the hills!

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate.