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Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar


What's in a Name (Change)? Dear Annie: I have two daughters who have their biological father's last name. He never phones or visits. In six years, he has seen them once for an hour. I would like to change their last name to my maiden name. I have full physical and legal …Read more. Two Boys, Mixed Signals and Hopelessly Confused Dear Annie: I am 13 and an avid reader of your column. I have been working at a summer program, and I ride a school bus there and back. Two young men ride the same bus. I have a crush on one of them (I'll call him "Liam"), but I happen to know he …Read more. Genital Herpes and Physical Intimacy Dear Annie: I am a 68-year-old woman who has been divorced for more than 30 years. I haven't been in an intimate relationship for the past 10. Last year, I discovered that I have genital herpes. The doctor said I may have had it for years before …Read more. Physical Abuse: False Charges or Different Perspectives? Dear Annie: When my daughter was 14, she falsely accused me of physical abuse. She is now 33 and brings up these false charges whenever she is having difficult issues in her own life. She blames me for all of her problems. Even worse, my sister …Read more.
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Diagnosing Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma


Dear Annie: I am writing in the hope that my situation will help other women. A year ago, I started experiencing irregular monthly cycles that would last for 20 days at a time. I also had extreme pain and a rapid heart rate. I was told, "You are going through menopause."

After several months of this, my doctor had some blood work done. He had me go immediately to the emergency room for a blood transfusion. At the hospital, I was given a pelvic ultrasound that showed I had polyps that turned out to be endometriosis. Then my life changed.

I was diagnosed with endometrial stromal sarcoma and required a complete hysterectomy. During my surgery, the doctor found a five-pound tumor (which explained my unusual weight gain). I have since endured more than 30 radiation sessions and will continue this treatment until the cancer is gone.

I knew I was not yet going through menopause. My symptoms were too extreme. I am grateful that the doctors took the time to figure out what was wrong. I urge all women who are having such symptoms to seek help as soon as possible. Endometrial stromal sarcoma is very treatable. — Grateful in Indiana

Dear Grateful: Thank you for alerting women to be vigilant when it comes to their health. There is a support group for survivors of ESS and their loved ones at We hope you will look into it, if you haven't already.

Dear Annie: Would you please print this for grandparents everywhere? Dear Grandparents: You're killing your grandchildren with your kindness. We understand you love them, but you have to stop pumping them full of sugar.

You don't listen to us, so we're hoping Annie passes this along. Your grandkids visited the Saturday before Easter, and you made marshmallow treats together. On Sunday, you watched as they hunted for Easter eggs stuffed with candy and chocolate.

As a reward, they received overflowing baskets full of more sweets. Dinner was followed by some sort of whipped-creamy dessert so decadent it made our teeth hurt. Christmas was much the same, with mugs of hot chocolate.

We're learning so much about sugar and its potential for harm in our bodies. Yes, everything in moderation, but you have no filters on your moderation. We could understand if you only saw them once a year, but this scenario plays out weekly because you live nearby. Whipped cream, strawberries and syrup is overkill for morning pancakes. Find pleasure with your grandkids in other ways, please. It will make us all feel better. — Dad in Distress

Dear Dad: Grandparents want their grandchildren to love them, and they look forward to the excited smiles on the kids' little faces when they give them sweet treats. They rarely consider the long-term nutritional issues. First talk to your parents and in-laws and ask them to love the children enough to limit their sugar intake, and don't be afraid to enforce limits on what the kids eat when they are with the grandparents. Then teach your children about the way nutrition plays a role in how strong and healthy they will be. Teach them to say "no, thank you" to Grandma and Grandpa. The nutritional lessons they learn from you will help them throughout life.

Dear Annie: "Cranky Canadian" was upset that his stepdaughter, "Justine," parks herself at their home for two weeks at a time and doesn't lift a finger. Given that "Cranky" and his wife of six years are both in their late 60s, a change in the family dynamic is unlikely.

I suggest a vacation alone for "Cranky" during Justine's visits. It may make everyone at least partially happy. — Retired Psychologist

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



6 Comments | Post Comment
LW2 -
Since you already told all of this to he grandparentss and nothing changd, good luck with your little PSA.

The only things I can suggest is to severly curtail the sugar intake during the week to compensate somewhat, and/or limit the time they spend with the grandparents - depending on whether or not they exhibit adverse reaction to extreme sugar exposure.

Comment: #1
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:20 PM
With regard to Dad in Distress: You are correct that sugar is nobody's friend beyond moderation, and we know that now. It would surely be better if grandparents spoiled their grandchildren with outings to the park and runs around the block, but that will never happen with some grandparents. When we were kids, my grandmother had the huge bag of treats, but she also cooked healthy meals in between the sweets. We had our treats, Easter baskets, etc., but the big difference was that we went outside and played. We ran around, played stickball, hide and seek, and enjoyed doing those things. Dare I say it, even the girls got dirty sometimes.

I think our kids today have a bigger health issue with the time they spend sitting on their butts, playing computer games, alone, even if they are playing with an online group, watching television, and having no expectations on them to help out around the house.

I know there are tons of kids who don't fit what I am saying...they are participating in all kinds of organized sports, etc. But the way of life has changed for the unscheduled time for kids. They seem mesmerized by devices.

Comment: #2
Posted by: Carly O
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:23 PM
Could you get your pediatrician to put the fear of childhood diabetes into your parents and in-laws?

Failing that, YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOUR KIDS. Your parents are not the bosses, any more, of your children's parents.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Khlovia
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:57 PM
LW2- Like the Annies said, is there some reason you can't enforce limits on what the kids eat at the grandparents? Marshmallow treats and hot chocolate are probably not going to kill them, and Easter baskets aren't intended to be eaten all at once. You could have given the kids a choice between a couple pieces of candy or the dessert, and put away the rest of the candy for later or used the old trick of taking it to work to get rid of it (I assume you don't care as much what your co-workers eat). Strawberries are actually quite healthy, and putting a little whipped cream on top again won't kill them, hold the syrup. As long as your kids eat healthy 80% of the time, they'll be fine.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Lucy
Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:05 PM

LW3 refers to the first letter on 28 June 2014.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:32 PM
LW2: Agreed, and a I have a similar complaint - people who are all up in arms about artificial sweeteners being harmful and returning to good ol' sugar. No way is sugar better than any artificial sweetener. I realize that various groups are insisting aspartame and sucralose etc. are gonna kill you, but the FDA disagrees and says that's a bunch of hogwash.
Anyway - even if you do buy into the artificial sweetener hysteria, the solution isn't going back to loading yourself up with sugar (personally, I have high triglycerides, so sugar IS gonna kill me, but my comprehensive blood tests look pristine on the fake sugars). Anyway, the point may be moot now that Stevia is coming into play, which is a direct plant extract (so a small percentage of people get side effects, blah blah, same with sugar).
Comment: #6
Posted by: Steve C
Fri Aug 1, 2014 12:17 AM
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