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, 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


  • At 6:48 AM , Blogger Deborah said...

    Dear Cancer Bloggers:

    This is a message to those of you who maintain/read/participate in blogs related to cancer. Might we request your assistance in an academic study about cancer blog usage?

    My name is Deborah Chung, and I am an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications. My research focuses on the use of new communication technologies and their potential to empower information consumers. Currently, I am interested in examining how health information seekers, particularly cancer patients and their families/friends, adopt blogs.

    I am teaming up with Dr. Sujin Kim, also at UK, who is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science and has a sub-specialization in medical informatics. She has been working closely with the UK Cancer Center to build a biorepository information system (UK-BIS) for lung and ovarian cancer samples. Together, we would like to learn about how new information channels, such as blogs, are being used by cancer patients and their families/friends — specifically we are interested in their motivations, uses and consequences of using blogs.

    As approved by our internal review board (IRB) at UK, this study is an anonymous survey that does not carry any risks to cancer patients. At the same time, we believe the information gathered from this study will greatly contribute to our understanding of the adoption of new communication technologies by cancer patients. This information will in turn assist in supporting the needs of cancer patients for future information technology and service development.

    Thus, we would appreciate your participation in our survey. You can find the survey here. You might get a notice regarding the validity of the certificate. If that happens, please continue to proceed.

    We appreciate your time, and thank you in advance for your help.


    Deborah S. Chung, Ph.D
    Assistant Professor
    School of Journalism &
    University of Kentucky

    Sujin Kim, Ph.D
    Assistant Professor
    School of Library & Information Science
    University of Kentucky


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