Ho Wai-On 何蕙安 aka Ann-Kay Lin

Song & Dance of a 3-Time Cancer Survivor

Act 2


The Heroine's first hospital appointment for 'investigations' starts with interrogation by an unsympathetic medical technician.  Then comes a long wait for the test.  In the Heroine's fevered imagination the taciturn surgeon becomes a weird mix of Dracula and the taciturn film star in Spaghetti Westerns.

Heroine's opening speech:

I feel afraid at my first hospital appointment for cancer investigations – waiting to go through medical procedures, and to see Mister (with fear & emphasis) – the surgeon.

(An image of Gloria Gaynor singing)


I will survive! I will survive…


That woman who takes some sort of diagnostic photo

was annoyed with me

when I didn't know the answers to some of her questions.

She's bad tempered –

perhaps she had a row with her husband this morning?

And that makes me feel better!

But she should know better –

anyone would be a bit confused

when it is suspected they have cancer!

Now more waiting,

for Mister– the surgeon!

O hell! Surgeons only know about one thing!

I'd be less scared to see a Doctor.


Waiting rooms! …

Waiting games! …


Trying to find this place and that place

for different medical procedures!  

Using the elevator in this large hospital –

large and bright, like an Operating Theatre –

descent into darker and scarier places!


Dante's circles of Hell! …

Circles of Hell! ….


It's my turn to see the surgeon –

waiting all alone,

partially clothed and feeling exposed,

lying on this trolley-like bed,

in a tiny cubicle!  

Here comes the surgeon –

dark, and with hair styled like Count Dracula.

He does not smile, but is taciturn and monosyllabic.

He has no expression on his face.

(The face of the surgeon is cut to an image of Dracula. Ideally, the male lead as the surgeon is in his thirties, tall, dark and handsome. There is a Freudian element behind the heroine seeing the consultant surgeon as Dracula and 'A Man With No Name' – there are sexual overtones in the Dracula films, and Clint Eastwood's 'A Man With No Name', and something to do with power. It's partly the large numerical ratio that arises from being a specialist – one consultant can 'take care of' many patients. The common male/female set-up accentuates this. Big imbalance of power.)


The mask that masks both smiles and frowns.

The mask! The mask! …


She's afraid, and her eyes are THIS BIG.

(Speaking to the heroine slowly, like Clint Eastwood as A Man With No Name in 'A Fistful of Dollars' in his first Spaghetti Western)

Needle test!


That's all he said when he took a sample from me!

He probes, he invades,

and very likely the decision will lead to an incision.


She would not take her eyes off me

and her eyes are still This Big.

(speaks slowly, to the Heroine, like A Man With No Name in 'A Fistful of Dollars')

Not that bad, was it?


Behind the mask another one that's not yet desensitised.


He's left the cubicle –

So much waiting for this man with so few words,

and nurse says, go home and wait!


Waiting games!


Waiting rooms, waiting games.

We wait in line for the medical circus.

I feel like hell in this hospital!


Dante's Circles of Hell!

Heroine: (smiling)

You know, later,

when getting to know this surgeon better,

he's kind,

he's well dressed under his white coat.

Nurses and women patients think he's a good-looker.

Yet to me, he was as attractive as Dracula!

When I was under the shadow of cancer.

Male lead: (the surgeon in everyday clothing)

You know, when Solzhenitsyn was in the hospital for the same,

only when he began to win the battle

did he notice nurses were attractive!


Ha ha ha ha ha!


Well, at least, I am a woman –

It seems to affect men more when they lose their libido in this battle –

Some male thing!


Ha ha ha ha ha! …


Hopes and fears at unpredictable, stressful times –

Waiting game –

Fear of waiting for diagnosis –

Malignant or benign?     

Surgeon Mr Nasty or surgeon Mr Nice?

Bad medical team or good team?

Tails you lose and heads you win –

ultimately, death or life?

Life, life, life…

Chorus: (computer-like speech)

This binary division

is at the heart of the fear of waiting for diagnosis.

A single, literal bit as in computing – binary digit of information,

(human speech): We tell you this,

because the Heroine also uses the computer for her music creation.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

She sees specialist, consultant as Dracula.

Because she's on his territory, in his den or castle.

He has power

and she has no mirrors, crosses, and garlic,

and daytime is like night.

She feels helpless –

this big imbalance of power!

Who is that masked man?     

The man with no name,

Namelessness of doctor!

Dr Who!?  O no, no,

Dr No!?  O no no,

not a doctor, much worse,

He's a Mister, a surgeon!

Namelessness of disease,

Anonymity, like spies,

Dare not speak its name –

The name we all fear!

_ _ _

Heroine's stays in hospital – like being on a production line,

yet there is human failing that causes unnecessary suffering.

See next, Act 3:


What fun!  

Tick Tock Tick Tock

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