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, April 27, 2007

"This won't hurt, honest..." ARRGGGHH!

I hate doctors. They're liars. When I asked about the surgical procedure on my bladder and whether it would hurt afterwards, they flashed me glazed smiles and said "no, just a little discomfort maybe."

"A little discomfort" turned out to be three days of feeling like my lower abdomen had been driven over at speed by an 18-wheeler, then stamped on by entire stadium full of rioting British soccer fans.

Mind you there were mitigating circumstances. Most bladder surgery is done in a non-invasive fashion, i.e. with everything required inserted up your wee-hole as against via an incision. In my case the little CCTV cameras they use so they can see what they're doing didn't work. One, two, three and four all failed.

Mercifully number 5 produced a good picture but by this time nearly an hour had elapsed on a procedure that shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes. Hence a lot more bruising, bashing, scraping and tweaking than Mike Tyson's face received during his entire boxing career.

I had chosen a spinal (epidural) anaesthetic which was great in one way, as I didn't get the hangover associated with a GA. But it meant I was wide awake to hear all the four-letter words and curses used by the surgeons when the succession of camera gizmos proved useless. I learned a few new ones, too; the head surgeon was African and the number 2 was from the East Indian sub-continent, so I can now swear fluently in at least one Nigerian and one Bangladeshi language.

And when my bottom half regained consciousness, oh, whoops. Did that ever hurt.

Anyway on to funnier things and click here for an anecdote about bladder cancer treatment that had me rolling around laughing. It's from fellow Cancer Blogger David Ferdinando and his My Bladder Cancer Journey - take a look at that blog, it's excellent and very informative about this increasingly common disease.

Only four weeks to go now and I start my immunotherapy treatments. The doctors say they don't hurt, either ... yes, right...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Talking of bladder cancer, did I ever tell you about...

...a few years ago when I was the writer/interviewer on a video production about the male urinary tract?

Anyway ... as bladder cancer and its somewhat eye-squinting treatment is now back on my mind after a welcome break, here's a story that should bring a smile to the lips of most women and a tear to the eye of most men.

Once upon a time I was scriptwriter and interviewer on a video production sponsored by a pharmaceutical company to promote its product which was an opaque medium used in a process called videocystourethrography. Sounds good? Means it was something injected into you which showed up on an X-ray, so that video cameras could track your wee-wee as it exited your body.

On the day concerned we had a subject who was willing to be shown on the programme - an elderly man. For reasons best known to the wallahs this elderly man required not one, not two but three catheters to be inserted up him; two up his willy and one up his back passage.

By the time we got to the insertion of catheter number two, our director - a gallant young man - was on the point of unconsciousness. "Suze," he gasped while fighting to stay aware, "I can't cope with this. You'll have to direct it."

Well, I'm not sure how many people in show business have experienced their directorial debuts by default, but I sure did. With a slightly bemused Suze in command we shot the scene in one take and bang, it was "in the can."

Sadly so was the director, but in an entirely different metaphorical "can" ... that of the lavatorial kind. Poor guy. Let's hope he never needs to have his bladder examined ...