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, March 24, 2006

Another chemo tea party and a little serious stuff

Had part 1 of my second CMF chemo treatment yesterday and it was like catching up with old friends...David the nurse was back from a fabulous 4-week vacation in New Zealand so we bombarded him with Kiwi questions ... my Irish buddy was ecstatic because it was her last treatment ... Jackie and I sat together and tried on each others' wigs ... and another lady was there for her first session ... very nervous. So we ganged up and cheered her on, and I think she found it a far less traumatic experience than she was anticipating. The first time can be terrifying - I remember that one well.

Now, I've been in touch recently with an interesting lady based in NYC, Sally Church Ph.D, a pharmaceutical expert who amongst other things runs a blog called OncoChat. It's aimed more at professionals than us lay folks, but all the same it will provide you with useful knowledge. In it Sally posts her own views of all the latest developments in oncology, worldwide. Have a look and bookmark it; click here to view. (And as soon as I figure out how to create new links from here I'll include it in the side bar.)

While we're on the subject of technical information, here are some noticeboard comments found in science laboratories (originally from New Scientist magazine, I believe.)


The fridge in the lab is full of really nasty things. The fridge in the tea room is full of really nice things. Please maintain the distinction.

Lost: the will to live. If found please return to the postgrad room.

I hereby withdraw my declaration that Trevor smells like a mongoose - the mongoose has threatened to sue.

The tea bags in the jam jar are mine and mine alone. I have coated them with a potent neurotoxin to which only I have immunity. Thieves will inevitably die a painful, lingering death and I'll then merrily dance on their graves. This concludes my COSHH statement (Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health.)

Remember add acid to water not water to acid. If you get it wrong the emergency services are on extension 1234.

The departmental van is not available at the moment. It can be found on its roof just to the left of Highway 9 about a mile north of town. Mike did it - but don't tell anyone.

The bins in the lab are for paper - not barium salts, manure or body parts. Please remember, 'cos Beryl the cleaner isn't into slasher movies - yet.


Have a good weekend!


Friday, March 17, 2006

Prostate cancer and red hot chilli peppers ... and things, not the rock band (although I love their music) but now - according to this article on the UK's BBC website - enough to make prostate cancer cells commit suicide.

I have to say there have been times when an overdose of chilli has made me think about jumping out of a 5th floor window, but only for the benefit of the cool air on the way down that might put out the fire in my tonsils. However (and I quote) ...

The ingredient which makes jalapeno peppers hot also makes prostate cancer cells commit suicide, a study suggests. Tests showed that capsaicin triggered 80% of the cells to start the process leading to cell death. The US research in the journal Cancer Research also found tumours treated with capsaicin were smaller. UK prostate experts say capsaicin could be the basis of a future drug but warned eating too many hot peppers has been linked to stomach cancer.

.........I'm not surprised at that. As you might surmise from my comment above, on the rare occasions when I do eat chilli my stomach feels like it has been infiltrated by thousands of ants looking to build a new nest. Ah well, it's a decision the guys need to ponder. You can always use your frequent chilli consumption as an excuse to down a few more cold beers.

In the meantime, I've been thinking about getting more exercise. Despite feeling a bit tired from the chemo I've been advised not to lie down for a snooze, but to go and do something a bit lively to get all the systems going again. So here is an exercise program I plan to follow, as sent to me by my childhood friend Janet from Prince Edward County, ON.

I came across this exercise to build muscle strength in the arms and shoulders. It seems so easy, so I thought I'd pass it on.

The article suggested doing it three days a week. Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb. potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides, and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax. Each day, you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb. potato sacks. Then 50-lb. potato sacks, and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb. potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.

Once you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, March 11, 2006


My cousin Mike from Oakville, ON points out that colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during an examination were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1. "Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!
2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"
3. "Can you hear me NOW?"
4. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
5. "You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married."
6. "Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"
7. "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out..."
8. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"
9. "If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!
10. "Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."
11. "You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"
12. "God, now I know why I am not gay."

And the best one of all...
13. "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up here?"

Hmmmmm. Makes your eyes water, huh.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hair of the dog?

Last Sunday we brought Ozzy, our new (third) dog home from the Pet Rescue Center. He's the cutest thing you ever saw - a Jack Russell Terrier / Springer Spaniel cross - and he's settled in so well no-one can believe he's only been here a few days.

Our two other dogs are quite elderly - 10 and 12 years - so we've kind of lost the habit of having a lively youngster around the place (Ozzy is only about 2 years old.)

So it took me a few seconds earlier today when I came downstairs and found a proud little Ozzy wagging from his tail to his nose, proffering his lovely, hairy teddy bear, to realize what it was.

It was my wig.

As we chased around and around the house playing a lively game of "catch me if you can," I was laughing so hard I could hardly keep upright. Anyway I rescued the wig, gave it a quick rinse and dry, and it's as good as new, apart from the odd tooth mark.

Although I'm only three-quarters of the way through chemo my own hair is beginning to grow back. So I've promised Ozzy he can have the wig when my crowning glory is restored.

In fact I think by then I might feel like grabbing the wig in my jaws and running around and around with it, too...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Cancer prevention - are we doing enough?

My cousin Alyson in Ottawa brought a recent CBC TV programme about cancer to my attention and I was fascinated to read the hardcopy version on the CBC website, click here to view. It really does make you think about the politics surrounding cancer and all the other potentially menacing issues that might stand between us being healthy, and not.

But hey, we're not here to get down about cancer, so let's have a laugh about Canada instead ... (and being a Canadian myself, of course I have a good sense of humor about it!)


The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart

70 above (23 C)
Texans turn on the heat and unpack the thermal underwear.
Canadians go swimming in the Lakes.

60 above (16 C)
North Carolinians try to turn on the heat.
Canadians plant gardens.

50 above (10 C)
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
Canadians sunbathe.

40 above (5 C)
Italian & English cars won't start.
Canadians drive with the windows down.

32 above (0 C)
Distilled water freezes.
Lake Superior's water gets thicker.

20 above (-5)
Florida puts on coats, thermal under wear, gloves, and woolly hats.
Canadians throw on a flannel shirt.

15 above (-10 C)
Philadelphia landlords finally turn up the heat.
Canadians have the last cook-out before it gets cold.

0 degrees (-18 C)
People in Miami all die...
Canadians lick the flagpole.

20 below (-30 C)
Californians fly away to Mexico.
Canadians get out their winter coats.

40 below (-36 C)
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Guides in Canada are selling cookies...door to door.
And Winnipeggers are still barbecuing

60 below (-51 C)
Polar bears begin to evacuate the Arctic.
Canadian Boy Scouts postpone "Winter Survival" classes until it gets cold enough.

80 below (-63 C)
Mt. St. Helens freezes.
Canadians rent some videos.

100 below (-74 C)
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Canadians get frustrated because they can't thaw the beer keg.

297 below (-184 C)
Microbial life no longer survives on dairy products.
Cows in Canada complain about farmers with cold hands.

460 below (-275 C)
ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero in the Kelvin scale).
People in Winnipeg start saying, "Cold 'nuff for ya?"

500 below (-297 C)
Hell freezes over.
The Leafs win the Stanley Cup


Well ... not so sure about the Leafs there, but the rest is all true, of course ...

Have a good week