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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Want to get healthy? Get a pet.

If any of you cancer warriors out there are foolish enough still to be smoking cigarettes, here's a heartwarming story from the UK's BBC News website...


Smokers at an office in West Yorkshire have kicked the habit thanks to a new colleague - Rupert the cocker spaniel.

The nine-month-old dog was brought in by managers at Relay Recruitment in Bradford in January to help staff beat the post-Christmas blues.

But the move had an unexpected bonus as four of the firm's 12 smokers gave up cigarettes by substituting fag** breaks for a 10-minute walk with the dog.

Bosses now plan to provide dogs for their staff in Leeds, Halifax and York.

To read the full story, click here.

**North American readers please note: "fag" is British slang for a cigarette. Yes, really.


Of course, before taking on the responsibility of a pet there are a few ground rules you need to establish. Here are some suggestions you might find helpful (original author unknown.)


Dear Dogs and Cats,

When I say "move," it means go somewhere else, not switch positions with each other so there are still two of you in the way. The dishes with the paw prints on them are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help, because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king size bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue to sleep on the couch to ensure your comfort. Look at videos of dogs and cats sleeping, they can actually curl up in a ball. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space used is nothing but sarcasm.

My DVDs are not miniature Frisbees.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. In addition, I have been using bathrooms for years. Feline/canine supervision is not mandatory.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dogs' butt. I cannot stress this enough. It would be such a simple change for you.

To pacify you I have posted the following message on our front door...

Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don't.

2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.

3. I like my pet a lot better than I like most people.

4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

5. Dogs and cats are better than kids. They eat less, don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't smoke or drink, don't worry about buying the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes, don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and if they get pregnant, you can sell the results.


No matter what, it's better than smoking...


Saturday, February 25, 2006

My other blog, if anyone's interested

A quick note to say Hi and that I've renamed my other blog, which is about my work (yes, we ALL have a life as well as cancer.)

Because I post excerpts from my eTutorials about business writing on the other blog, I thought it was a bit stupid to call it "Newz from Suze..." so it's now "BetterBizwriting"

By all means have a look if you have to do any writing for your work or community activities - you might find some of the posts helpful.

All good wishes


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Test results ... oh, why are we waiting?

Just got back from chemo and as usual am covered in dog hairs, courtesy of Bradley the Golden Retriever Guide Dog with whom I sat on the floor of the waiting room before I was called in.

Well, the place was busy and there were few free chairs - also Bradley seemed in need of a cuddle (doesn't he always?) And I wanted to chat to Margaret, his owner.

She's had a bad time since her first double whammy of "CMF" (the second half of our chemo regime consisting of Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate and Fluorouracil - she wrote, copying from her little hospital book) and her test results had come back with big no-nos written all over them. Having arrived before me she was ushered into the treatment area and then ushered straight out again, well pleased because she now has another week to get stronger before the next assault. Exit woman and dog, grinning.

Meanwhile my test results had come back just about OK so eventually I was called in and spotted my next-door neighbour, Barbara, once again ... she's a haematology patient and they share the facility with us chemo kiddies. So we had a brief catch up on local gossip before I was hitched up to the drip and off we went.

But waiting for test results can be stressful, can't it? Especially for this poor fellow...


A man suspected of a serious infection is lying in bed with an oxygen mask over his mouth. A young auxiliary nurse appears to sponge his face and hands.

Nurse," he mumbles from behind the mask, "Are my testicles black?"

Embarrassed the young nurse replies, "I don't know Mr Wallace, I'm only here to wash your face and hands."

He struggles again to ask, "Nurse, Are my testicles black?"

Again the nurse replies, "I can't tell. I'm only here to wash your face and hands."

The Head Nurse was passing and saw the man getting a little distraught so she marched over to inquire what was wrong.

"Nurse," he mumbled, "Are my testicles black?"

Being a nurse of long-standing, the Head Nurse was undaunted. She whipped back the bedclothes, pulled down his pyjama bottoms, moved his willie out of the way, had a right good look, pulled up the pyjamas, replaced the bedclothes and announced, "Nothing wrong with your testicles!!!"

At this the man pulled off his mask and asked again, "I SAID.... Are my TESTS RESULTS BACK .....!! ???"


All good wishes! SUZE

Friday, February 17, 2006

Condom conundrum

Politicos in the UK are all of a twitter over the price of condoms, saying that the products' current classification here as "luxury items" means they are taxed excessively. Considering nearly everything else is taxed excessively in the UK the fact that dear old condoms haven't escaped is no great surprise.

However in the light of recent revelations that lots of good sex could be very beneficial for your health - including prevention or amelioration of cancer (see my previous post) - how can our dear UK government justify taxing condom users out of their brains?

Surely the money saved through the therapeutic effects of protected sex would far outweigh .... but no, I'm not going there. Politics suck, especially when like me you're tired out after a week's work and a mild dose of "chemo brain." I'll leave the arguments about taxing condoms to the sexperts.

If you want to know more about our condom-inium plight here in the UK have a look at this article on the BBC's website - click here.

In the meantime, let's not forget that the Winter Olympics are rampaging on - and here is a short anecdote that is relevant to this post in more ways than one:


A man is out shopping and discovers a new brand of Olympic condoms. Clearly impressed, he buys a pack. Upon getting home he announces to his wife the purchase he just made.

"Olympic condoms?" she blurts, "What makes them so special?"

"There are three colours," he replies, "Gold, Silver and Bronze."

"What colour are you going to wear tonight?" she asks cheekily.

"Gold, of course," says the man proudly.

The wife responds, "Why don't you wear Silver? It would be nice if you came second for a change."


Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And now it's sex, sex, sex. Err, excuse me?

When I saw the latest research results implying that a fatty diet was NOT necessarily a death sentence for us post-menopausal cancer warriors, I rejoiced. Yum, yum, yum. So my little bits of butter and olive oil aren't necessarily going to enrage my cancer to the point that it kills me.

And now, what more good news? According to this article on the UK's BBC news website (click here to view) sex is good for walloping cancer too, amongst other things.

Am I dreaming? Am I being hopelessly optimistic? Am I hoping to find a man who will feed me lots of fatty cr*p, seduce me, and cure my cancer all at the same time?

Hmmmmmmmm. I don't think so. But hey, aren't those just some WONDERFUL notions????

All we need now is to know that chocolate cures cancer. When that happens, we can tell the doctors that chemotherapy is sooooooooo last year...

Have a good week!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Fat, fat, fat

Hee, hee, hee ... at long last I don't need to feel quite so guilty about being umpty-dump pounds overweight. I gleefully quote from this article on MSN ...

"A large U.S. government study has found that a diet low in fat but high in vegetables, grains and fruits does not reduce the risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women."

And what's more, we post-menopausal girlies can eat carbs!!

"Researchers were also interested to note that high intake of carbohydrates did not increase body weight. Rather, it tended to maintain it."

So ... eat your heart out, Atkins dieters! And sorry about that awful pun!

Read the whole article here. If you're my age and female it's soooo heartwarming.

In fact the next thing you know they'll be saying that chocolate milk shakes cure cancer...

In the meantime though, I feel morally obliged to balance this post by issuing the following warning:


Top 10 signs that you're overweight

10. Your favorite bedtime reading is all your local takeouts’ menus.

9. You've had to have the doorway to your bedroom widened.

8. You recently paid a substantial sum to get satellite TV purely for the Food Network.

7. You fail to attend your daughter's wedding because you don't want to miss your local Thai restaurant’s “all-you-can-eat” special offer

6. Your doctor had to change your blood group on your medical records from "O" to "raspberry coulis"

5. The Nobel Prize this year will be awarded to the scientists who succeeded in measuring your gravitational field.

4. Blinking your eyes makes you feel winded.

3. You buy steaks by the square metre.

2. Your travel agency ensures that you buy three airline tickets to ensure you can sit in the aircraft comfortably.

And the #1 sign ...

1. Your ideal start to the day is an enlivening mug full of warm Hollandaise Sauce.


Have a great (low calorie?) weekend .... Sz!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Never thought I'd be glad to have chemo pills, but...

Well, here we are in shivery Britain going through what - in my memory - has been one of the worst winters for kids' bugs since my son (now nearly 14) was born. One throat bug after another cold after another chest infection after another tonsillitis after ... well, you name it, he's had it.

Despite my chemo I've managed to avoid catching all but one of the colds until this week, when we both got the gastro-intestinal bug that's been laying out hundreds of folks in our neighbourhood. Several schools locally have had to close because too many pupils and teachers were out for the count with it, and the doctors' offices are heaving with people who can't stop vomitting and/or trotting to the washrooms.

I've experienced a few trots myself but whenever I have felt that Vesuvius was about to erupt from my stomach, I have popped a couple of my wonderful "Dom Perignon" pills ("domperidone," for the medically minded) given to me to counteract nausea arising from chemo.

They work a treat. It's a shame I can't share them with my son but I just don't dare give them to him - they say you must never share medicines with others and I'm especially cautious in his case.

If he isn't better by tomorrow I'll take him to the doctor's but I can hear it now, can't you?

"Rest, plenty of fluids, and it'll clear up by itself."

So often, going to see your GP/primary care physician is just one very short, pointless yawn... as we can see from the following:


Patient: Doctor, I have a pretty bad sore throat.
Doctor: Go in the next room and disrobe, please.
Patient: But doctor, it's just my throat!
Doctor: Who's the doctor here? Please just go into the next room and disrobe.

So the man goes into the next room where he sees another man sitting down in his shorts with a box in his lap.

As the first man is getting undressed he starts up a conversation, "Can you imagine that doctor? I've got a sore throat and he tells me to undress!"

The second man answers, "What are you complaining about? I only came in here to deliver a package."


Yours longing for Spring and healthier days


Monday, February 06, 2006

MRIs and one from the boys

Tom P, a friend and fellow cancer warrior from sunny South Africa, writes...


'I enjoy the humorous side of life and have found that it has helped me much since being diagnosed with lymphoma in December. Just had my second course of chemo and the nursing staff and I have a lot of laughs.

Before having an MRI, I was asked if I suffered from claustrophobia (what difference would that have made anyway??).

I said "only in confined spaces" - the local humour didn't extend that far unfortunately...'


That's a bit like the gag that says "I'm in two minds about schizophrenia."

And MRIs. Sheesh.

I haven't had one yet but accompanied my Mother when she had one. I watched as they squeezed her through what look like a brightly-lit mains sewage drain, handing us ear protectors to save us from the din. I thought high-tech electronics weren't noisy, but this MRI machine made a 19th century textile factory seem quiet.

(And if you want to know what I'm talking about there, go and visit some of the textile museums in the north-west of England - Macclesfield is a good choice. I'm talking deafening, right?)

Anyway thanks Tom, have a good week everyone, and if by any chance you're MRIing, make sure you wear your ear muffs.


Friday, February 03, 2006

One for the boys

I was feeling very guilty yesterday when sitting in the onco unit having my chemo. Not only was I chatting with my good friend Margaret and her adorable guide dog Bradley, but also with a lady who happens to be my next-door neighbor out in the "real" world. We all had a good gossip and the time flew by.

Now I'm on a new regime of prettily colored poisons; "cyclophosphamide," "methotrexate" and "fluorouracil" (it says here in my little book the hospital staff gave me.) I nearly suggested to David my chemo nurse that he stack them all up in a nice hi-ball glass over some crushed ice and an olive. They looked good enough to drink - shaken, not stirred, of course.

Anyway why was I feeling guilty? Not towards the lovely David who was the only guy surrounded by us gorgeous girls. He wasn't complaining. No, I feel guilty for going on about breast cancer treatments at such length when so few men - fortunately - get that disease. Don't want this blog to become a females-only enclave.

So here, just for the fellows, is a cute story I saw on Ray Owens' wonderful jokeZine from Joke-A-Day...


'I work as a pharmacist at a fairly high volume pharmacy. Most of the processing is done by our good technicians, but they don't always know the clinical aspects of the medications we're dispensing.

One day last week there was a medicine making its way to the counter for a customer who was waiting. My tech didn't know the medicine was to help men who had erection problems.

The tech sensed the customer was becoming impatient and said, "Yours will be up in just a minute, sir."'


Have a good weekend! Sz...