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

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays

For all of you who celebrate at this time of year, my best wishes for a happy time - and let 2006 be the year when even more of us cancer warriors defeat the dreaded beast once and for all.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I don't know if it's the influence of the impending Holidays, but my chemo session today (number three) was more like attending a giggly girls' night out than anything else I can think of.

At one point hysterical laughter starting emanating from an adjacent room. Three or four different voices. For several minutes. It was obvious that a joke-telling session was in full swing.

"Hmph," grinned my oncology nurse rhetorically. "You'd never guess she's having her bone marrow done, would you..."

And me? I sat chatting with my chemo-team-mate Margaret while epirubicin was pumped into our Hickman/PICC lines and we, along with the nurses, set the world to rights with Margaret's beautiful Golden Retriever Guide Dog, Bradley, asleep at our feet. In fact ON our feet.

When I got home my son was shocked. "Mum, why are you covered in dog hair? I thought you'd been to the hospital."

"I have. I gave Bradley a cuddle, though."

"Bradley? Cuddle? You're weird." And he slunk off, expressing befuddled disapproval as only teenagers know how to do without needing to say a further word.

Comfortable chairs, friendly girly chat, a cuddly dog to make a fuss of ... if we'd had a glass of wine to drink it would have been the perfect afternoon. Maybe next time I'll take a bottle...

And in honor of the superbly trained and behaved Bradley, here are a few sobering words of wisdom for any of you who are contemplating getting a puppy (excerpted from "Canine Capers," one of my jokes books, available from Amazon or my website, commercial over!)


How to prepare yourself for your first puppy

Buy a pair of really expensive shoes (Gucci or Jimmy Choo are ideal). Bring them home, remove from box and place on chopping board. Beat several times with meat tenderising hammer, then clip around edges with pinking shears. Laugh and throw them away.

Take your best white shirt or blouse from the wardrobe. Put it on, go out into garden on a rainy evening and splash liberally with mud. Observe the “dry clean only” label and smile.

Put your new duvet cover and bed linen on your bed. Buy a juicy beef shin bone from the local butcher’s and bury as deep as you can in the duvet. Scramble around the whole bed and see if you can make all the bedclothes and pillows into a huge pile on top of the bone.

Take a cheese grater from the kitchen. Apply it powerfully several times, rubbing it up and down, to the flounces on your brand new sofa in the living room. Admire the shreds as they fall to the floor.

If you haven’t done this already, buy a computer and get it hooked up to the internet. Ensure that you have bookmarked a reliable news service as one of your “favourites.” Resolve to be comfortable with the fact that from now on newspapers are for weeing on or for chewing up.

Rip up all carpets and wood or parquet flooring from your home and replace with good, old-fashioned, “easy wash” linoleum.

Hire an electrician to remove all electrical wall sockets from skirting board level and replace them at (human) shoulder height. Then remove all objects, including table lamps, from tables and other surfaces and suspend them from the ceilings.

Remove all food storage elements and, similarly, suspend them from the ceiling, including vegetable racks, canned food stores, fridges and freezers, waste bins and waste disposal units. This is especially important if you are getting a Labrador puppy.

Talk your husband and children into abandoning socks and slippers as conventional footwear. Persuade them to wear Dutch wooden clogs barefoot instead, although these will require replacement at frequent intervals.

Put your cat or cats into immediate psycho-analysis (especially Oriental breeds, e.g. Siamese and Burmese). Show them pictures and videos of delightful, gambolling puppies and movies like “101 Dalmatians.” Practice making effective puppy noises like high-pitched woofs and growls. Cover a wooden spoon with fake fur and smack them with it over their noses several times a day. Prepare a sanctuary for them on top of a high cupboard or tall wardrobe, or suspend something strong and inviting from the ceiling (see above, literally).

Finally, abandon all hopes of a tidy home for a period 12 – 84 months, tending towards the higher figure in the case of such breeds as Labradors, Boxers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Dalmatians and especially English and Irish Setters.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Poem for the Holiday Season: "Twas The Night Before Chemo"

The following poem also appears on's humor boards - click here to view - posted by Binney. I thought it was great so have shared it here too. Unfortunately I can't trace the original poet but thanks so much, whoever you are!


T’was the night before chemo, when all through the room
Not a patient was stirring, from Ativan I presume.
The chemo bags were hung on IV poles with care,
In hopes that a cure soon would be there.

The patients were nestled all snug in their lounge chairs
Sipping Ensure and hugging Relay teddy bears
And the nurse in her scrubs and I in my wig
Had just settled down for another chemo gig,
When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, I flew like a flash
Tore open the blinds and threw up on the glass.
Soothing my nausea with the fresh cool breeze
The wind took my wig and it flew with such ease.
When what to my wondering eyes did I see?
Eight tiny nurses giggling with glee.

Leading the pack was an oncologist so sweet
With a mission of cancer that they would beat.
To help with side effects from chemo we blame
Was his arsenal of drugs that he shouted by name:
"Now Xanax!, now Ativan!, now Zofran! and Compazine!
Let's offer comfort with bon bons and magazines.

On Vicodin!, on Darvocet!, on Tylenol! and Morphine!
Let’s make them all loopy and cause a big scene!
To the top of Mt. Courage, to the top of Mt. Hope
Now dash away, dash away so we can help cope
With tumors and lesions and lumps, it is clear
We must make their cancer finally disappear!"

So up to the clinic-top, they flew and flew
With a sleigh full of drugs and the good doctor too.
Then with a jingling I heard from their purse
Was the prancing and pawing of each little nurse.

As I drew in my head and was turning around
In through the vent the came the doc with a bound.
His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples so merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
He was dressed all in white with an ugly plaid tie,
And he preached to the patients, “Do not ask why.
Have courage, choose hope and just think positive.
Live, love and laugh and your life will be lucrative.
Never forget that you're heroes in my book
Conquering cancer without a second look!"

With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head
He soon let me know I had nothing to dread.
A bundle of drugs he had flung on his back,
He looked like a drug dealer opening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to work
Making me feel sick, so I called him a jerk.
A human pin cushion, I had become
So multiple pokes, again I succumb.

But then I remembered, my life he was saving,
So I realized I better start really behaving
"What comes around goes around" I always say.
And a bad attitude might haunt me one day
I thanked him for fighting with me side by side.
With two against one, cancer cannot hide.

Then laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the air vent he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, gave the nurses a sign
To travel the world fighting cancer like mine.
The sleigh held our hope, and he was the driver
Bringing strength and good cheer to every survivor.

I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight
Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!


Brilliant stuff, isn't it? I'm going to print this out and recite it at our local oncology unit while I'm having my next chemo session this week...Sz.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Beautiful broccoli...

Here in the UK everyone has become wildly excited about the anti-cancer potential of broccoli, or at least of eating it. I quote from a recent post on the BBC news website...

Cancer team make 'super-broccoli'

Scientists are developing a "super-broccoli" which they hope will help people ward off cancer.
Broccoli has anti-cancer properties but an Institute of Food Research study has found some people's genetic make-up may minimise the protection they get.

IFR scientists say creating broccoli containing more of the key chemical - sulforaphane - may counter this effect.

They hope it will be ready in three years but recommend eating lots of different green vegetables until then.

Lead researcher Professor Richard Mithen said the key appeared to be a gene called GSTM1, which about half the population don't have.

He said: "Some individuals, who lack the gene, appear to get less cancer protection from broccoli than those who have the gene.

"Our studies suggest that this may be because, if you lack the gene, you cannot retain any sulforaphane inside your body. It is all excreted within a few hours.

"However, if you consume larger portions of broccoli, or broccoli with higher levels of sulforaphane, such as the 'super-broccoli', you may be able to retain as much sulforaphane in your body as those who have the gene.... (etc.)

One thing that intrigues me is that in creating this wonderful new "super-broccoli," are the scientists by any chance using genetic engineering? And, er, hasn't that created some angst among other groups of cancer warriors?

Ah well, I suppose I had better get down to my local store here in our English village and buy up their stock of fresh broccoli for dinner tonight. In the meantime I leave you with this short piece of dialogue overheard in the store recently...

Customer: Worcester sauce crisps please
Shopkeeper: Sorry can't, it's off the shelves, cancer scare.
Customer: Oh right, Chinese Chicken Wings?
Shopkeeper: Ah that's the same, Cancer scare
Customer: Hamburger Relish?
Shopkeeper: Cancer scare
Customer: Sausage and Mash?
Shopkeeper: Cancer scare
Customer: Cottage Pie?
Shopkeeper: Yes, wait, Cancer scare.
Customer: So they're all off the shelves because of a Cancer scare?
Shopkeeper: Yes
Customer: (sigh) Just give me a pack of cigarettes then.
Shopkeeper: Certainly. £4.50 please.
Customer: Thanks.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Surgery ... arrrggghhh!

I cast my mind back to my mastectomy surgery way back in September and remember...well, I was out for the count. But many folks aren't - especially if they elect to have epidural anaesthetics, as did my Pop-in-law recently for a knee replacement op.

Here's why he should have elected for general anaesthesia despite being 89 years old...


A List of Things You Don't Want to Hear During Surgery:

*Has anyone seen my watch?
*Come back with that! Bad Dog!
*Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?
*Hand me that...uh...that uh.....thingy
*What do you mean he wasn't in for a sex change!
*Damn, there go the lights again...
*Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!
*Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.
*What do you mean, he's not insured?
*Let's hurry, I don't want to miss "Bay Watch"
*What do you mean "You want a divorce"!
*FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!