Health and Disease Quotations

The QuipperyCancer

An adult friend asked Christina what she would like for her eighth birthday. The small child, diagnosed with neuroblastoma, rubbed her hand over her bald head, then rested her face in her hands and said, “I don’t know. I have two sticker books and a Cabbage Patch doll. I have everything. (Christina, age 12, Alpena, Michigan)
– Erma Bombeck, I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to go to Boise – Children Surviving Cancer –

Although the strain had been building slowly in both of us, particularly over the seven months of chemotherapy, we both came unraveled rather abruptly …It seemed that one day we were fine, and then the next day life came apart at the seams like a cheap suit.
– Ken & Treya Wilber –

Bert was 5 years old and fighting neuroblastoma. He loved to draw. One day when he was asked, “Are you going to be an artist when you grow up?” he said indignantly, “I am an artist.”
– Erma Bombeck –

Cancer is a great wake-up call. A call to take the tag off the new lingerie and wear that black lacy slip. To open the box of pearls and put them on. To crack open the bath oil beads before they shrivel up in a bowl on the toilet tank.
– Regina Brett –

Cancer is not a sentence, just a word.
– John R. McFarland, from Now That I have Cancer I am Whole –

Cancer is part of my life. But it’s only my body that has cancer all the time. It’s okay for my spirit to be free from it once in a while.
– John Robert McFarland –

Cancer patients are notorious emotion suppressors. We’re like the man who caught the porcupine under a tub. You’ve got a darn mad porcupine under there, and no idea which way it’ll come out if you don’t hold it down. So you just keep sitting on the tub.
– John Robert McFarland –

Cancer’s like that, isn’t it? It’s a lens slipped down in front of our eyes. Suddenly there’s a whole new world to see. It’s a strange new world, frightening in it’s strangeness, but there’s a certain clarity, a point of focus, in all that newness.
– John Robert McFarland –

Crystal of Grass Valley, California, who at age three had the perception to observe hospital procedure and said, “These people don’t know what they’re doing. They put blood in me one day and take it out another.”
– Erma Bombeck –

I got Ken and we both stood in front of the mirror, looking at each other, both completely bald. What a sight. “My God,” Ken said, “we look like the melon section in a supermarket. Promise me one thing: we’ll never go bowling.”
– Ken & Treya Wilber –

I have been quoted as saying, “There are just some things you don’t poke fun at.” I was wrong. Laughter rises out of tragedy when you need it the most and rewards you for your courage.
– Erma Bombeck –

I scan the room. I pray for each of them in turn. I try to speak with my eyes, spirit to spirit, saying, I’ve got a little extra strength today; take it, and use it.
– John Robert McFarland –

I see my tumour giving me certain freedoms I never allowed myself.
– William Hurt –

I stopped evaluating my body and began to draw strength from it.
– Arthur W. Frank –

It brings with it the loneliness of being cut off from friends, the risks and anger that each day brings for their survival, and the inevitable prayer, “When can I go home and pick up my life as it was?”
– Erma Bombeck –

It will come as a shock to no one that cancer isn’t something you put on your “List of Things to Do Today.”
– Erma Bombeck –

The cancer is a part of me that has run amok, but it is still a part of me, for all that. In trying to destroy cancer cells, I am also attempting to destroy a part of me. Some of me has to die if the rest of me is to live. The only way I can be more whole is if I am less whole.
– John Robert McFarland –

The healthy require health as an affirmation that their will is still effective, and they must continually prove this effectiveness. The ill accept their vulnerability as an affirmation that the world is perfect without any exercise of their will, and this acceptance is their freedom… I still did not know how to enjoy health without making it a condition of my life. We are free only when we no longer require health, however much we may prefer it.
– Arthur W. Frank –

They reminded me of candles in the wind who accept the possibility that at best they are in danger of being extinquished by a gust of wind from nowhere and yet, as they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those of us who watch their light.
– Erma Bombeck –

They were little people whom destiny had tapped on the shoulder and announced, “We interrupt this life to bring you a message of horror.”
– Erma Bombeck –

We might get past the stage of being a cancer patient, being treated, perhaps even being tested, but I suspect we never stop being a cancer person. There’s always a piece of the mind that remembers, and wonders.
– John Robert McFarland –

We’re not talking E.T. here, who had a planet to go home to where everyone is hairless and has sixteen-inch fingers. We’re talking about THIS planet where kids dedicate their lives to their hair.
– Erma Bombeck –

What happens in our bodies with the onset of cancer may be out of our control, but what happens in our hearts is not.
– John Robert McFarland –

When three-year old Carrie’s blond curls were all gone and little fuzz was starting to grow back, she observed with curiosity her father’s balding head as he bent over to tie her shoe. “Daddy,” she asked, “is your hair coming or going?”
– Erma Bombeck –

You show me something that doesn’t cause cancer, and I’ll show you something that isn’t on the market yet.
– George Carlin –

Colds and Flu

I am at the moment deaf in the ears, hoarse in the throat, red in the nose, green in the gills, damp in the eyes, twitchy in the joints and fractious in temper from a most intolerable and oppressive cold.
– Charles Dickens –

I hate winter flu outbreak! My wife felt so sick this morning that I had to carry her to the kitchen to make my breakfast.
– –

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you. I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan. I will make you beg me to stop! When I am finished you will be weak for days.
Sincerely The Flu.
– Author Unknown –

No. You aren’t dying. You have the flu.
– Author Unknown –

Of course, we don’t know how the bird flu situation will turn out. But, I see no strong reasons we won’t see a three to four dollar (per hundredweight) seasonal cattle rally in the first quarter.
– Dan Vaught –

Some people with coughs go to bed. Some go to doctors. Most, however, go to symphony concerts.
– Author Unknown –

The flu, in a nutshell: At First I was afraid I was gonna die. Now I’m afraid I won’t.
– Author Unknown –

Way to stand your ground on the whole “flu shot is a scam” bit. Call me when your lungs have drained.
– Author Unknown –

What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?
For Bird Flu you need tweetment and for Swine Flu you need oinkment.
– –


I caused my husband’s heart attack. In the middle of lovemaking I took the paper bag off my head. He dropped the Polaroid and keeled over and so did the hooker. It would have taken me half an hour to untie myself and call the paramedics, but fortunately the Great Dane could dial.
– Joan Rivers –

“Sorry to hear about your Dad.”
He shrugged. “He was seventy, and we always told him fast food would kill him.”
“Heart attack?”
“He was hit by a Pizza Express truck.”
– J.A. Konrath –

The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.
– Demetri Martin –


A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
– Author Unknown –

Age doesn’t make you forgetful. Having way too many stupid things to remember makes you forgetful.
– Maxine –

Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief, because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember what’s been stolen.
– Jarod Kintz –

Destinasia – get to where you were going and forget why you were going there.
– Author Unknown –

Funny, I don’t remember being absent minded…
– Author Unknown –

I had amnesia once — or twice.
– Author Unknown –

I learned two important lessons today. I can’t remember the first lesson, but the second one is I have to start writing things down.
– SnarkECards –


As a quadripelegic, she can’t even manoevre her chair around to the music in some semblance of dancing. Proving that life is truly relative, she says wistfully, “Parapelegics are so lucky. They can do practically anything in a wheelchair.”
– Author Unknown –

I don’t deserve this, but then, I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either.
– Jack Benny on getting an award –

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
– Author Unknown –

If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
– Leon Eldred –

I intend to live forever – so far, so good.
– Steven Wright –

If you do everything you should do, and do not do anything you should not do, you will, according to the best available statistics, live exactly eighteen hours longer than you would otherwise.
– Logan Clendening –

If you get colored contacts, make sure it’s a color that exists in nature.
– Dee Ann Stewart –

If your access to health care involves your leaving work and driving somewhere and parking and waiting for a long time, that’s not going to promote healthiness.
– Larry Page –

It doesn’t matter what the disease is. There’s always room for hope. I’m not going to die because of statistics. I hope you won’t either.
– Bernie S. Siegel –

Laugh and the world laughs with you.
Snore and you sleep alone.
– Anthony Burgess –

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.
– Doug Larson –

Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
– Dave Barry —

Our health is enhanced when we engage in deeply creative work that is satisfying to us – not just because it pleases our boss, husband or mother. This work can range from gardening, to computer programming, to welding. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t believe that creativity is valuable for its own sake.
– Author Unknown

Patient being examined by her doctor who says, “We don’t know as much as we’d like to about migraine headaches. Why don’t we treat you for something else?”
– Lisa Shea –

Scientists have found the gene for shyness. They would have found it years ago, but it was hiding behind a couple of other genes.
– Jonathan Katz –

Sir, My local branch of Boots can’t even organize it’s sandwiches into logical categories, so I am certainly not letting them anywhere near my eyes with a laser. Does the 20 minutes include the time queueing to pay?
– John Turner –

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.
– Mark Twain –

To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live… To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.
– Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain –

We must realize that people aren’t “living” or “dying”, they are either alive or dead. As long as they are alive, we must treat them that way.
– Dr. Bernie Siegel –

We’re not like a TV set, which, when it blows one part, it’s finished. Margaret had almost everything blow, but she kept on, she continued to struggle. I lost my fear of my body. I know now that it will struggle to keep me alive. I have a much stronger sense of myself as being safe in the Universe.
– June Callwood Callwood, June Twelve Weeks in Spring –

Women’s Health

It’s important that you meet Cora in the examination room at her gynecologists. There’s always something intimidating about the place. Maybe it’s because you’re sitting in a chilled room in a paper dress (you’ve set drinks on a bigger piece of paper) waiting to discuss intimate things with a man who is two years younger than your cookie sheet.
– Erma Bombeck –

Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month I can be myself.
– Roseanne Barr –

5 thoughts on “Health and Disease Quotations

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read the cancer section. My daughter was diagnosed with cancer (leukemia) when she was a teen. Most of the Cancer quotes I gathered at that time were inspirational. Humour was harder to find. Erma Bombeck was the exception. Her book on childhood cancer is an absolute gem.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is the most mind-boggling collection yet!! OK, I’m repeating myself, but this time I mean it!

    The best thing about it: the Cancer Quotes show a counter-intuitive thing about humor: it’s always appropriate in the sense that it buoys us up, gives us hope and courage and power, and helps us live life with a certain grace, even in its darkest moments. Thanks, Margy.


    1. I saw most of the cancer quote thoughts in action at the hospitals where my daughter was treated. The nurse who wore the gag hat that looked like she had an arrow through her head – she was one of leaders of hope through humour.

      Liked by 1 person

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