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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Chemo finished, hair growing and a poem to celebrate

Yep. It's all over. No more three-weekly poison and tea at the lovely local onco unit. Am still feeling pretty tired and will for a while longer, but at least I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it isn't an express train heading straight for my face. Now it's back to the daily anastrozole plus Herceptin, we hope, as my local area NHS here in the UK aren't coughing up for BC early-stagers but the pressure is mounting. Especially now that a recommendation for it has been issued by the European Medicines Agency.

And my hair is growing back with vigour. In a recent press article I noticed that Aussie singing star Kylie Minogue (who if you didn't know has just finished chemo and radioT for breast cancer) now sports her head in an elfin crop. Were I not a lot older and fatter than her I would do the same. On her it looks cute; "chez moi," it would look like a greyish-blonde scouring pad on top of an extremely large baking potato. Ah, such is the harshness of middle age.

For now though it's stick with the wig, pictured here with me looking none-too-pleased with it. Ozzie the dog keeps eyeing it up and no doubt is looking forward to the day I donate it to the doggie toy box. So am I.

And looking forward to my next (single) mammogram in September, here is another cute poem about them which I don't believe I've posted before. Author unknown, so thank you for sharing it with us whoever you are.


The Boob Poem

For years and years they told me,
Be careful of your breasts.
Don't ever squeeze or bruise them.
And give them monthly tests.

So I heeded all their warnings,
And protected them by law.
Guarded them very carefully,
And I always wore my bra.

After 30 years of astute care,
My gyno, Dr. Pruitt,
Said I should get a Mammogram.
"O.K," I said, "let's do it."

"Stand up here real close" she said,
(She got my boob in line),
"And tell me when it hurts," she said,
"Ah yes! Right there, that's fine."

She stepped upon a pedal,
I could not believe my eyes!
A plastic plate came slamming down,
My hooter's in a vice!

My skin was stretched and mangled,
From underneath my chin.
My poor boob was being squashed,
To Swedish Pancake thin.

Excruciating pain I felt,
Within it's vice-like grip.
A prisoner in this vicious thing,
My poor defenseless t*t!

"Take a deep breath" she said to me,
Who does she think she's kidding?!?
My chest is mashed in her machine,
And woozy I am getting.

"There, that's good," I heard her say,
(The room was slowly swaying.)
"Now, let's have a go at the other one."
Have mercy, I was praying.

It squeezed me from both up and down,
It squeezed me from both sides.
I'll bet SHE'S never had this done,
To HER tender little hide.

Next time that they make me do this,
I will request a blindfold.
I have no wish to see again,
My knockers getting steamrolled.

If I had no problem when I came in,
I surely have one now.
If there had been a cyst in there,
It would have gone "ker-pow!"

This machine was created by a man,
Of this, I have no doubt.
I'd like to stick his b*lls in there,
And see how THEY come out


Until next time! SUZE

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hurray - the hosepipe is gone!

At my penultimate chemo session Thursday the nurse removed my PICC line (conduit through which chemo drugs are administered) as I had developed an infection at the point where the pipe entered the vein, in the crook of my right elbow. I had been awake half the night from the pain of it.

Erica, my onco nurse, dragged all 40-odd centimetres of it out of my arm and jauntily asked if I'd like to keep it as a souvenir. "Might come in handy to water the hanging baskets," I quipped, "or perhaps if I need to give an enema to one of the cats?" However in the end I declined.

The wretched thing developed leaks three times in five months, necessitating a long trip to another hospital to have it repaired each time. The problem? Mine was a newer, cheaper version of the old PICC lines which had never given any trouble. An example of our dear British Health Service trying to save money - something of a false economy in the circumstances.

Next week is my last session and I shall receive the chemo via a canula - for the uninitiated, a nasty scorpion-like device that bites into a vein on the back of your hand, strapped down tight, through which saline, drugs etc are pumped. But anything's better than that hosepipe 24/7.

Anyway, in the southern part of the UK drought conditions mean we are facing hosepipe bans. I will gladly ban that one - hopefully forever.

And here now, are some cheering thoughts if you are about to go into hospital for an op or procedure of some sort. I can't remember the original source of this but whoever wrote it, thanks a bunch...


How to Prepare for the Hospital

Now, going to the hospital is never fun to begin with, but with these tips you should be able to prepare for your stay, and minimize the discomfort when you get there.

1. Lay nude on the front lawn and ask the weed man to probe you with his applicator.

2. Drink a quart of Sherwin-Williams Eggshell One-Coat Coverage Interior Flat White #2. Then have your child stuff his slinky down your throat.

3. Put a real estate agent's 'Open House' sign on your front yard and lie on your bed dressed in a paper napkin with straws stuck up your nose.

4. Put your hand down the garbage disposal while practicing your smile and repeating: "mild discomfort".

5. Set your alarm to go off every ten minutes from ten PM to seven AM, at which times you will alternately puncture your wrist with a Craftsman (squarehead) screwdriver and stab yourself with a knitting needle.

6. Remove all actual food from the house.

7. With several strands of Christmas lights strung from a coat tree and onto yourself, walk slowly up and down the hall.

8. Urinate into an empty lipstick tube.

9. Rub a bit of honey on your left buttock, drop your pants, go over to a wasps nest, bend over and shake it just a bit.

10. Make sure that there is no toilet paper in your bathroom, eat a bowl of cherries, and have your wife ignore you completely as you plead for her to come and bring you a roll of the paper gold.

11.Call up your local cable company and insist that they charge you a monthly fee every day of the week.


All good wishes! SUZE

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tomato touts take off

Once again the marketing wallahs have realised that there's money to be made from cancer - or at least the fear of it.

Tesco - the UK's largest supermarket chain - have managed to breed a super tomato that contains twice the lycopene of ordinary tomatoes. Lycopene, as we know, is said to be very useful in the fight against various cancers, particularly of the prostate.

The article on the BBC News website goes on to say ...

'Tesco produce technical manager Ian Reed said the super tomato was the first of a range of "functional foods" being developed by the supermarket.

He said: "The health benefits of anti-oxidants such as lycopene in our diets have recently attracted a lot of positive attention from both the medical and culinary worlds.

"Functional foods such as tomatoes naturally have high levels of lycopene however this naturally-bred variety has even higher levels than standard ones and tastes great as well."'

Not surprisingly in the light of this tomato launch Tesco fail to point out that the best way for us to absorb the lycopene from tomatoes is if they are cooked, along with a little olive oil. (This is not hot air; I was told that by my Urologist.)

Sorry Tesco ... much as fresh, raw toms oozing in extra lycopene may be a great sales gimmick, your customers are probably better off absorbing it from a jar of spaghetti sauce - or even the humble tomato ketchup.

And here's a further commercial thought about tomatoes...


A small boy was looking at the red ripe tomatoes growing in the farmer's garden. "I'll give you my two pennies for that tomato," said the boy pointing to a beautiful, large, ripe fruit hanging on the vine.

"No," said the farmer, "I get a dime for a tomato like that one."

The small boy pointed to a smaller green one, "Will you take two pennies for that one?"

"Yes," replied the farmer, "I'll give you that one for two cents."

"OK," said the lad, sealing the deal by putting the coins in the farmer's hand, "I'll pick it up in about a week."


All good wishes for Easter and Passover


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cancer news snippets ... and a bit about growing older

Some recent articles in the UK's Daily Mail newspaper have given us some interesting food for thought.

Chemo without hair loss?

Developed by Dr Semali Perera of Bath University, England, this new method will administer chemotherapy by using tiny drug-soaked beads or fibres implanted into your body near the tumor. As those break down the cancer gets hit right between the eyes, but the rest of your body gets far lower levels - hence, we assume, far fewer side effects.

Clinical trials are expected to start on ovarian cancer patients within the next few years. Could be - if it works out - that the new method will give wig and turban sales a good haircut...

Young girls may get anti-cancer vaccination

With cervical cancer being such a serious problem, it's good to know that a vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV) is being developed. HPV is thought to be responsible for all cases of cervical cancer and is transmitted by sexual contact.

Professor Henry Kitchener of the Academic Unit of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Manchester, England, reckons girls as young as 10 should be vaccinated, before they become sexually active.

Two big drug companies are currently racing to develop an appropriate vaccine which could protect women against 70 percent of the HPV strains.

Watch this space.

Ginseng ...not just an aphrodisiac

According to a study conducted at the Vanderbilt University of Tennessee, USA, ginseng could have an important role to play in improving prospects for us breast cancer sufferers.

A study of nearly 1500 Chinese women treated for breast cancer found that those who had been using ginseng before their diagnosis were 30 percent more likely to survive, than women who had never used the herb.

So should we get taking that ginseng? Maybe. Plus there are other advantages ... its other properties are encouraging for old goats like me, the classic Baby Boomer.

And talking of Baby Boomers...

For readers of a certain age here are some re-written Baby Boomer song titles that might ring bells with you.


Paul Simon -- "Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver"
Carly Simon -- 'You're So Varicose Vein"
The Bee Gees -- "How Can You Mend a Broken Hip"
Roberta Flack -- "The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face"
Johnny Nash -- "I Can't See Clearly Now"
The Temptations -- "Papa Got a Kidney Stone"
Nancy Sinatra -- "These Boots Are Made For Bunions"
ABBA -- "Denture Queen"
Leo Sayer -- "You Make Me Feel Like Napping"
Commodores -- "Once, Twice, Three Times My Back's Out"
Procol Harem -- "A Whiter Shade of Hair"
Steely Dan -- "Rikki Don't Lose That Clapper"
Herman's Hermits -- "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Walker"
Credence Clearwater Revival -- "Bad Prune Rising"
Marvin Gaye -- "I Heard It Through the Grape Nuts"
The Who -- "Talkin' 'Bout My Medication"
The Troggs -- "Bald Thing"


Hope you're having a good weekend!