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, October 22, 2010

Guest post: My Beauties - what a gift! By Jackie Dunn

Many thanks to fellow breast cancer survivor Jackie Dunn who got somewhat more than she had bargained for when undergoing breast reconstruction surgery ...! Here's her story:

After about a year following the chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the latter which left great gaping holes under my arm and under my right breast, I was definitely not impressed with hospitals and regular treatment. However, knowing there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, I decided to get well with the zeal of a mad-woman let loose after my release.

Because the skin was very thin and difficult to heal following the radiotherapy – something which I am sure I was not told about, I sulked and screamed for a while. Then got over myself and healed.

A while down the road, I asked my GP for a referral. I wanted new boobs. You see, I had not been told that with the radiotherapy, that I might experience hard tissue on the breast. The right breast was getting very hard. I was single and still wanted to have 2 normal-looking breasts to fill my bra, which was about a size 34 C then. Along I went to plastic surgeon – Mr V. in Leicester, one of the finest in the UK. He was compassionate and told me that my skin had not healed sufficiently. Perhaps in time. Perhaps never.

So, 6 months later, I followed the same route; GP, then Mr V and then rejection. Hmmmmm, so there would be another way, I thought. So I started by sending Mr V. gifts. At one time, a bottle of fine wine. Then a wonderful card saying how wonderful he was and his bedside manner was just the best. Eventually, we got together again, this time on first-name terms. He agreed that he would give it a go, to speak. And he measured me up for the boobs that I wanted – after all, I wanted a matching pair didn’t I? We decided on the size, the weight and the shape. It was like looking for a great pair of shoes when you have so many to choose from and only one lifetime choice. Better get it right.

He did tell me that I would be added to the waiting list and I said that would not be necessary, that his personal PA was just waiting for the nod and I would be top of the list. More on this another time, and suffice to say that I was booked in the following week.

Pre-med. Gowned up, fastened at the front this time, I was wheeled to the pre-op room. Mr V. came in to see that I was ok. He also was gowned up with a mask under his chin. He looked a bit worried when he approached me. “Mrs Dunn,” he said, “we have a situation here. Your notes have not been found; they seem to be between the four hospitals you were dealing with. So there you have it. You have a choice to make here, and I cannot help you. Whatever you decide, will be recorded and you will sign to agree on the action.

You can either go home and we’ll let you know when your notes turn up – giving the full size and weight of your agreed silicones . Or you can verbally agree here and now and we’ll get on with the operation.”

Woozily I said, “just get on with it and fill the gaps” …. Signed a piece of paper and then all around me scurried into action.

When I awoke, back in the ward, the next morning, I was trussed up like a chicken. The bandages were protruding really quite a lot and then another doctor came along to see how I was doing.

“Doctor,” I said, “I seem to have a lot of swelling, here. Not quite as I expected, actually.” “Mrs Dunn” he said in a serious manner, “there is no swelling”. He and I gulped, in an awkward sort of way …. No swelling, eh? And so back off to sleep to allow his words to sink in.

So, getting used to my now and forever rather large breasts, I now refer to them as ‘my beauties’ . In actual fact, we have a birthday celebration for them each year. They suit my personality and are one of my greatest souvenirs of the final cancer chapter.

Jackie x

Have a look at Jackie's great website, "The String Bag" ...

Many thanks to Animation.Comedy.Com for the loan of their lovely pic of Marge.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hello again and how to prepare for a hospital stay

I'm back, having become an accomplished "urostomate" and of course, not having lost my sense of humour, I thought you might enjoy this little ditty (original author unknown):

How to prepare for the hospital

Going into 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 stark naked on your lawn and ask a gardener to probe you with his weedkiller applicator.

2. Drink two litres of 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 in your front garden and lie on your bed dressed in a paper napkin with straws stuck up your nose.

4. Put your hand firmly down into your food processor on the “chop” setting while practising 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 Phillips (squarehead) screwdriver, stab yourself with a knitting needle and wrap several elastic bands very tightly around your upper arm.

6. Remove all fresh food from your house and replace it with "boil in the bag" culinary delights from the back of your freezer which you haven't defrosted in over 10 years.

7. With several strands of Christmas fairy lights strung from a coat stand and onto yourself, walk slowly up and down the hall. One familiar with this, practise going to the washroom in similar fashion.

8. Urinate into an empty lipstick tube and ensure you don't miss, even if you're a woman.

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 partner ignore you completely as you plead for her/him to come and bring you a roll of paper.

Having spent three weeks in a UK hospital this year I find the above not quite so funny, as I might have otherwise. I wonder why?