Writing From The Heart – goodbye, my young friend

If you’ve lost a close friend or family member to cancer, this poem of mine may resonate with you. I wrote it about our beautiful 37-year-old cancer group member who passed away in 2017, leaving behind an 8-year-old daughter.

My language is rude as usual, but this time I don’t apologise other than asterisking out the rudest words. I was angry, as we all are at such a cruel curtailment of a young life.

Writing From The Heart: goodbye, my young friend

RIP Deb, whose favourite colour was blue.


Who knows when your number’s up.
Three score years and ten, and then? [Read more…]

Breast cancer awareness: writing on the wall?

Breast cancer awareness: writing on the wall?

Are we unwittingly making boo-boos with funds raised through breast cancer awareness month?

As I’m sure almost everyone in industrialized countries knows, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Countless noble people are running marathons, giving tea parties, climbing mountains and performing unimaginable stunts to raise money for the breast cancer charities and succeeding admirably.

Speaking as an, er, interested party, thank you. Thank you, thank you. But where is all this really leading? [Read more…]

Choosing a name without taking the wee-wee

Choosing a name without taking the wee-weeHow do you choose a nice name for a cancer support group with a strong focus on urine?

When I’m not smacking the desktop keyboard coming up with pearls of writing wisdom, I’m doing voluntary work with and for cancer patients and their carers in leafy Milton Keynes, middle England. [Read more…]

How To Smile Through Cancer: a cancer survivor’s journal of life and laughter


I know that cancer kills. It killed my mother, one of my grandmothers, several friends, plus tried to kill two of my cousins, one of my grandfathers, my father, several more of my friends, and tried to kill me – twice.

Despite many cancers now becoming much more survivable, in itself it is not funny. Not in the least.

What can be funny, though, are the often ridiculous and hilarious things that can happen as a result of dealing with doctors, nurses, hospitals, chemo-baldness, prostheses, ultra-sound tests, examinations and loads more ancillary issues which invariably you trip over while going through your cancer journey.

A cancer survivor's journal of life and laughterDoctors don’t deny that laughter is good medicine, and that’s why I have put this book together.

It wasn’t my idea in the first place, though.

In 2005 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer (unrelated to the bladder cancer I had been receiving treatment for since 2003) I was feeling, shall we say, to be a bit of martyr.

Chatting on the phone to old friend and business colleague kicked me out of all that. This friend had been enduring metastatic bowel cancer for  several years by then.

“Suze,” he ranted down the phone to me, “I’ve been looking for some humour about cancer all over the internet and all I can find is some very bad jokes. You’re the writer who produces joke books amongst other stuff – get on and set up a blog where we cancer survivors can go and have a laugh that we need so badly.”

So I did.

This book is based on that blog – a journal of cancer journeys, if you like – sharing everything I wrote for the blog over the years, plus what so many others very kindly contributed, plus some other things I’ve come across (or written) that make cancer survivors smile.

Because I need to earn a living, you have to buy the book. It costs USD $8.49 which is about GBP £5.55 or € EUR 6.45 – the pre-publication price (it will be published as a full-length print and Kindle book soon.) Add to Cart

This introductory offer comes as an instant download eBook Add to Cart

And from each sale I guarantee to pay the following:

10 percent to Macmillan Cancer Support in the UK: a wonderful charity that provides essential support to cancer patients and carers across all tumour types, all the way through our cancer journeys. I’m proud to say I work (as a volunteer) with Macmillan nurses and other staff and am so pleased to be able to give something back to them.

10 percent to BreastCancer.org in the USA: this charity was a lifesaver for me when I had the breast cancer. People talk about a “wealth of information” but BreastCancer.org really has it: detailed, in-depth information about every imaginable aspect of breast cancers. It’s run by two doctors but is very patient-friendly, with numerous forums you can join to share experiences.

If you are on a cancer journey – or you’re a carer, relative or friend of someone who is – buy this book, read on, enjoy, have a laugh, and help these two extremely worthy causes.

Laughing is good for everyone!


PS: If you’re on Google Plus, you’ll find me and many co-cancer survivors chatting in my community there, Cancer Survivorship.

PPS: If you’re on Pinterest, check out my Cancer Bravery board.

PPPS: And please, buy this book with an instant download NOW!  Add to Cart

View Cart

Cancer: what to write to someone who has it

Cancer: what to write to someone who it

Cancer these days is not
usually a death sentence

Cancer is a word that strikes fear into the heart of anyone diagnosed with it. These days, however, it certainly does not have to be a death sentence; more and more cancer patients are surviving either to full-term life expectancies or for many good years they wouldn’t otherwise have had, even as little as a decade ago.

For a list of all 12 articles in this series on how to write well to people dealing with death, bereavement and other life sadness, click here. 

As you may already know, I’m a 2 x cancer survivor (so far) and am still very much alive and kicking, and have every intention or remaining so until I’m well into my dotage. Thankfully, increasing numbers of my friends and co-cancer patients are looking towards a similar future.

However, when we find out a friend or relative has cancer and we want to drop them a line to show how much we care and support them, it’s essential to realize that it’s a very sensitive time, and you  need to recognize the following key points to help you write. [Read more…]