It’s Tuesday 28th March and I’m currently sitting with my missus at a Leeds oncology unit, awaiting her four weekly treatment.

As I perch uncomfortable on a blue fake leather sofa, my eyes are drawn to three doors opposite. Adjacent to the matt grey doorways, signage kindly informs anyone who’s interested that this trio of portals lead to rooms for ‘NHSBT Clean Utility’, ‘Kitchen Staff Only’ along with a ‘NHSBT Store’ room.

Also decorated with a matt finish, the light plum coloured walls skirting the periphery of each doorway gawp back at me. As I inexplicably try to stare out this plum painted plasterwork. It probably thinks “Chuffing hell, Gary!…. You must be bereft of inspiration today. You’ve stooped to the level of talking about hospital portals and their signage.”

The walls are right to some extent, but I’d counter this by telling them it’s more challenging to paint a scene descriptive of my current bland view, than the scenic views bestowed where I ordinarily write. I’m taking myself out of my comfort zone to a certain extent.

A stethoscope clad doctor with a look of late actor Anthony Perkins, who played psychotic murderer Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s movie Psycho, has just wandered menacingly through our waiting area.

Perkins isn’t the only one who’s late as my wife should have gone in for her treatment ten minutes ago….. Oh, hold on, they’ve just shouted her now.

Call me neurotic but I’m relieved that I’m not seeing this doctor. I’d be uneasy about trusting the diagnosis of a man who looks like a character who sporadically takes on the character of his dead mother…… For instance, how would I know he isn’t giving his prognosis while taking on his deceased mater’s persona?

She won’t have been to medical school for 5-6 years, making the accuracy of her thoughts on the root cause of a patients symptoms highly questionable.

I’d not just be concerned about the diagnosis’ accuracy. I’d also have fears if the characteristics of his mother manifested themselves I could be bludgeoned to death with a reflex hammer, strangled by stethoscope or smothered with a prescription pad.

I’m not sure why I’m rambling on about my concerns of being the victim of medical malpractice, after all I’m not even a patient. Yours truly is merely here to accompany my missus while she receives treatment aimed at controlling her tumours.

Thankfully, so far this medication has mitigated against the further disease growth of the stoic  wee lady’s liver, breast and bones.

When I commenced penning this narrative, my wife was sitting next to me on the blue fake leather settee. She’d been given a short questionnaire by the receptionist on our arrival, which she swiftly completed prior to moving onto reading a new book .

Although I couldn’t quite catch the questions requiring answers, I’d like to think they went something like this:-



 Question                                                                        Yes  –  No  –  I was watching


Is your name Karen?

If yes, are you sure?

What were you doing 9pm yest?

Was it good drama?

Should Hayley have stayed in Corrie?

Do you think Lenny Henry did it?

Does your Dr have a look of Norman Bates?

If yes, does it unnerve you?

Do you own a Segway?

Why didn’t you watch C4 at 9pm yest?


Right, I need to make tracks as I’ve some gardening chores and Karen wants me to take her to price Segways.