Cancer Comic Strip

My name is Suzan St Maur and I've had cancer twice. I find that humor helps me get through my cancer, and from what I understand it helps many others too. This blog is dedicated not to information about the disease, but to cancer warriors and their relatives/friends who just want some cheering chuckles. By all means share your funny stories and jokes with us - email them to suze @ (If you want to know more about me see my profile on here or

Saturday, September 17, 2005

It will soon be "poke and peek" time...

Although in recent weeks I've been in a flurry of breast cancer issues we mustn't forget my original introduction to the disease, i.e. superficial bladder cancer. I'm reminded of that specifically by the fact that my (now) annual check will be due next month ... laughingly known as a "poke and peek." Basically it means my dear urologist will once again be directing a periscope up my frontal nether regions to see if the beast has returned there.

I was diagnosed with this one about two and a half years ago and went through a TURBT (trans-urethral resection of bladder tumour) followed by a one-off intra-vesical chemo session.

All gobbledegook and jargon unless you've been there yourself, but hey - the good news about early (and even advanced) bladder cancer is that it has a relatively low mortality rate. In other words, it's one of the cancers least likely to kill you, even if it has begun to spread.

Through my bladder cancer issues I discovered a wonderful self-help website and discussion list called "Bladder Cancer Web Cafe" which you'll find here:

Much as I admire the information-only websites that tackle pretty much every type of cancer I have to say that this one really has helped me get through the illness more than any other - because it also contains input from warriors, not just doctors and other experts.

If you, or anyone you know, is a bladder cancer warrior then that's the place for you to find not only information, but also the comfort of exchanging experiences with numerous others with the same illness.

And that leads me on to ACOR - the Association of Cancer Online Resources.

I haven't had time to explore each type of cancer represented individually by this group, but it strikes me as a resource that will provide a rather more holistic type of help to cancer warriors whatever the "brand" of their disease. To go there...

And as we're here to have a laugh - not just tackle the serious stuff - here follows a notice sent out some time ago by a North American ER (UK version, Casualty or Accident and Emergency) department to their staff...

It has come to our attention from several emergency rooms that many EMS narratives have taken a decidedly creative direction lately. Effective immediately, all members are to refrain from using slang and abbreviations to describe patients, such as the following.

1) Cardiac patients should not be referred to as suffering from MUH (messed up heart), PBS (pretty bad shape), PCL (pre-code looking) or HIBGIA (had it before, got it again).

2) Stroke patients are NOT "Charlie Carrots." Nor are rescuers to use CCFCCP(Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs) to describe their mental state.

3) Trauma patients are not CATS (cut all to shit), FDGB (fall down, go boom), TBC (total body crunch) or "hamburger helper." Similarly, descriptions of a car crash do not have to include phrases like "negative vehicle to vehicle interface" or "terminal deceleration syndrome."

4) HAZMAT teams are highly trained professionals, not "glow worms."

5) Persons with altered mental states as a result of drug use are not considered "pharmaceutically gifted."

6) Gunshot wounds to the head are not "trans-occipital implants."

7) The homeless are not "urban outdoorsmen," nor is endotracheal intubation referred to as a "PVC Challenge."

8) And finally, do not refer to recently deceased persons as being "paws up," ART (assuming room temperature), CC (Cancel Christmas), CTD (circling the drain), DRT (dead right there) or NLPR (no long playing records).

I know you will all join me in respecting the cultural diversity of our patients to include their medical orientations in creating proper narratives and log entries.


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