I commenced the penning of this narrative on 2nd December at 15.39 GMT, whilst residing in the waiting area/reception of a state of the art oncology unit in West Yorkshire.
I sit with an aging couple (who I shall call Bert and Mavis) and a younger couple (who I shall also call Bert and Mavis just to confuse things even more).
Bert the elder is awaiting his last treatment of the week. To celebrate he has treat himself to a bag of liquorice allsort candy’s and the purchase of a local evening paper…… We know how to throw a party in the Strachan family!
Mavis the elder sits nursing a heat resistant cardboard cup from Costa in her frail hands. There isn’t anything in the cup but her maternal instincts manifest themselves in eccentric ways these days.
Bert and Mavis the younger have just moved across the waiting room, disturbed by the sight of Bert the elder, who has finished reading the local paper and is now sat gurning through the horse collar around his neck.
Ambulance drivers, office staff, and some medical people have started filtering past towards the exit door, heading towards a well deserved weekend break.
I just hope that there are some doctors still in attendance as it looks like Bert the elder has got his head stuck in the horse collar. He is no longer gurning, the faces he now pulls are resultant from his attempts to free himself from the collar.
The elderly couple sit and debate which waiting room would be more comfortable; where we are now or in the radiotherapy department where his treatment is due in around 50 minutes.
With views of Bert’s consumption of old fashion confectionery, exposure to local news stories, the sight of gurning and now a debate over comfort comparisons of the waiting rooms at this medical unit, Strachan family excitement levels are at an all time high.
All we need now is for one of us to use the hand sanitiser unit on the nearby wall, and I reckon I’d be as giddy as a kid who has just eaten 20 bags of Haribo gummy bears, washed down with 5 cans of cola.
At the conclusion of the waiting room comfort levels discussion, the consensus of opinion was that the radiotherapy waiting area offers higher levels of comfort and serenity. As a result, at 16.11 GMT we moved to seating in a different salle d’attente.
Thankfully, I won’t be here tomorrow as Bert’s treatment blocks are from Monday to Friday. Unless of course Bert has to be admitted to get the horse collar removed in a surgical procedure on Saturday.
I want to be clear that I don’t begrudge attending this unit with Bert and Mavis the elder. I joked earlier with them that with I’m at this unit so often with various family members that I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t start getting a residential council tax bill…… Mavis didn’t laugh, but Bert grinned inanely at my quip…… Although that might have been him gurning again.
When bringing this blog to a close, we are thirteen minutes away from Bert the elders scheduled treatment. The tenth of twenty eight radiotherapy sessions he is due to undertake.
As he scans stately home property pages in Yorkshire Life magazine (he must have more money than I thought) and chomps his last liquorice allsort, I look at him and can’t help but think “You could have offered me one of your sweets you greedy get!”