Open Letter To Bexley

Well Bexley Wing oncology unit we meet again. My spouse’s scheduled rendezvous with her oncologist bequeathing me with yet another few stolen hours in your welcoming although capricious company.

Another hour or two residing in your hallowed chambers in the companionship of supportive medical staff, impatient out-patients, slightly more patient in-patients, scenic views of Burmantofts and temperamental hand-sanitiser dispensers.

Despite you never failing at being a welcoming bedfellow, hopefully you’ll not take umbrage when I disclose I’d rather we’d never met. The nature of frequent visits with my spouse meaning, regardless of how engaging you are, it was never going to be an affectionate tryst between us.

However, with circumstances dictating my missus’ continued visitations amongst your gleaming corridors are a best case scenario, only escapable by the darkest of conclusions, I can only hope these liaisons continue unabated. As much as I’d desire to, I can’t repudiate your part in this existence, regardless of how much these experiences plague me.

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Regrettably, there isn’t an acceptable scenario in which we can permanently part company, Bexley. Consequently, we’ll have to let the neighbours gossip about our continued liaisons and the longevity of our tryst. In the knowledge we’re most definitely ‘friends without benefits’, turning a blind eye to them talking at our expense over garden fences and their unsubtle peering from behind their net curtains.

I’d dread to think how many hours I’ve been in your company over the past eight years since my wife’s, and latterly my dad’s, cancer diagnosis. In the absence of that detail, I’ll proffer the observation “Too bloody many!”.

Thousands of minutes that’ve almost led to my hospitalisation with the little known affliction of ‘Bexley Waiting Room Numb Bum’. A condition the latest Lancet publication posits has no cure; apart from not visiting the Bexley oncology unit, or remaining standing when oncology unit in situ.

We’re two ships that cannot pass in the night, or indeed the day, ne’er making a split until the unthinkable occurs, when the men in tall dark hats enter the melancholic fray. A time that hangs over my brood like Damocles’ sword; it’s rope taut, Strachan nerves fraught.

Anyhow, it’s oncologist appointment time so I need to conclude this narrative, Bexley Wing. Although begrudged, I hope our rendezvous continue for many more months/years.

In 1974 US singing group The Three Degree released a hit single enquiring When Will I See You Again? A refrain containing the following prose amongst it’s romantic lyrics:-

When will I see you again
When will we share precious moments
Will I have to wait forever
Will I have to suffer
And cry the whole night through?

When will I see you again
When will our hearts beat together?
Are we in love or just friends?
Is this my beginning
Or is this the end?

A set of questions I’ve no requirement to ask you, Bexley…….. We’ve a letter telling us it’ll be next Tuesday at 11am, when Karen receives her monthly tumour containment treatment…. See you then! Bring cake!

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