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 @ suzanstmaur.com (If you want to know more about me see my profile on here or http://HowToWriteBetter.net)

Friday, June 08, 2007

So sorry … haven't been feeling myself lately (ouch)

Ach, where has she been, I hear you say? Swanning off to some luxurious resort in the Far East or the Caribbean to mop her fevered brow after the traumas of the disastrous "poke and peek" exam of her bladder cancer?

I wish.

No, being a fulltime working lone Mom I couldn't afford that kind of luxury and in fact once the initial discomfort had passed I have been perfectly OK.

Day before yesterday was the first BCG treatment … click here for a full rundown on what that entails. The treatment itself paled into insignificance because as is common with our dear National Health Service here in England – due to a new computer system of course – they had managed to mislay not only my notes but those of everyone else in the waiting room of the MacMillan Unit which runs cancer treatments at our hospital. Not to worry! The good old British Blitz Spirit kicked in and by the time the kindly volunteer had brought tea, cookies and sympathy to us all (well, except me because I wasn't allowed any fluids) we were all yakking away like high school buddies at a 30-year reunion.

The lady sitting next to me, it transpired, was in there for a leukaemia check and she and I entertained each other for more than two hours with stories and anecdotes about children, dogs, and life in general.

When finally I was called in for my treatment I felt a twinge of regret, as my name had been shouted out in mid-conversation about Rottweilers and how dreadfully they are misunderstood. My urology nurse sympathised as she stuck a catheter up my urethra and instilled the magic potion.

Then, as it was my first time, I had to spend a further two hours in the waiting room while the potion did its stuff, in case it did its stuff somewhat too well and flung me into anaphylactic shock.

Fortunately nothing emerged for me other than a raging thirst and hunger which the uro nurse finally assuaged with a huge glass of water and a large cup of good old British tea, accompanied by a skinny ham sandwich courtesy of the NHS, 15 minutes before my wee-wee time was up.

At the appointed time I went to the washroom, discarded the magic potion, swamped the toilet with bleach to kill off all these lovely bacteria I had been entertaining for the previous two hours, and went home.

Reaction so far? Diddly squat. But they say the first session often does result in nada reaction … it's the later ones that get you.

If they do, I'll report back in full glorious burning technicolour.

In the meantime, a couple of very interesting news items…

One, it seems Vitamin D has made a startling comeback after having spent years in the doldrums featuring in the largely extinct (in industrialised countries) disease called rickets, caused by a deficiency thereof.

No, no, never mind rickets, deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to cancer.

Now guess what … it appears that Vit D "slashes risk of disease by as much as 60 per cent." However in order to benefit from Vit D you need to spend around 20 minutes without sunblock catching those rays – per day – or take about 1,000 iu of Vit D orally per day. Vit D also occurs in milk and fish-liver oils like cod and halibut, plus eggs and other things, but you have to consume one hellova lot of that to get the recommended daily 1,000 iu.

Well, I'll try anything once …

And to finish, a new (breast) cancer-related comic strip plus much more, courtesy of MyBreastCancerNetwork.com
well worth a look.

Talking of breast cancer, my 6-month checko on May 24th was OK. Next stop for that, mammogram in September … and next stop after the BCG treatments is another "poke and peek" end August or so. Yaaaayyy! Looks like I get the summer off….

…but have no fear, I will be tuning into CancerComicStrip at ridiculously frequent intervals from my summertime perches of the UK, Canada and the USA, so please keep the comments, anecdotes and experiences coming. Especially if they're funny.

SUZE

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