Feeling like Tigger on gin, I went full Brian Blessed on entirely the wrong medic – Susan Morrison

My wonderful oncologist’s secretary called. Our meeting would have to be cancelled.

Friday, 24th June 2022, 12:30 pm
Susan Morrison was moved to expressed her joy at a clear cancer scan in the manner of Brian Blessed (Picture: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images)
Susan Morrison was moved to expressed her joy at a clear cancer scan in the manner of Brian Blessed (Picture: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images)

I think she said she was unwell, which I think unfair. NHS staff should be excused from having illness. Must be like a busman's holiday. Bet they make terrible patients.

Anyway, the secretary said they could do a phone consultation. Excellent, said I, though with a pang of regret. I really like her, and I was feeling pretty chipper. I knew the scan was clear and the Beast boxed for now. I had planned on bounding into her office like Tigger on gin.

I also wasn’t listening properly. No surprise there. For some reason, I thought she herself was going to call me, like she would scoff down the Lemsip, blow her nose and put down the copy of Interior Design Today that she’d choried from the waiting room just to dial me up.

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Incidentally, I’m not suggesting that my incredible oncologist is a magazine kleptomaniac, but some of those magazines are seriously tempting.

My pal George and I, NHS veterans both, used to compete to find the weirdest and oldest magazines in our various waiting rooms. He won in 2019, with Practical Photography from October 2002, which he found a little alarming since he was waiting for a colonoscopy. Surely they already knew their way about a camera?

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Anyway, my phone rang, and a voice I thought sounded familiar said "I am hoping to speak to Susan Morrison”.

I bellowed back, in full Brian Blessed mode, “Then your hopes and dreams have come true for this – THIS – is she. Aha!”

Yes. I said “Aha” at the end.

Long silence. One of those silences when you know, beyond doubt, that you have made a bit of a boo-boo.

"I’m a colleague of your oncologist,” said the now baffled voice. “She asked me to call?” She made it sound like she had drawn the short straw.

Then she said: “Your scans are excellent.”

And that is all I wanted to hear.

She did ask if I had any questions, but I suspect she was rather glad to get me off the line.