Ho Wai-On 何蕙安 aka Ann-Kay Lin

Song & Dance of a 3-Time Cancer Survivor

Act 9


Not content with its own awesome powers,

the enemy now seems to be in league with NHS bureaucracy.

Can any mortal withstand the onslaught of such a pincer movement?

NHS?  Private?

What best treatment ?!

Uncertainties… of the disease!

Heroine’s opening speech:

Some of the things I saw and experienced made me lose confidence in the hospital, and it seemed wise to be under the care of a centre of excellence for cancer instead, and to get to know more about cancer and cancer treatments, but…

Heroine: (exasperated)

What’s the point?

of knowing more?!

of the enemy Cancer?!

of treatment options?!

Chorus/male lead: (with sympathy)

Only to be thwarted

of making an informed choice

by old rules and new rules.

Heroine: (exasperated)

Battling cancer;

Battling the NHS

to go to a Centre of my choice.

Chorus/male lead: (with sympathy)

Fighting on two fronts!

Heroine: (exasperated)

I fought and fought so hard,

only to find a patient is treated

strictly by the standard procedures.

There are no choices!

Chorus/male lead: (with sympathy)

Knowledge only resulted in more frustration.

It’s better not to know.

Heroine/female members of the chorus:

Not having money,

what’s the alternative?!

No money, no choices!

But without the NHS

what a miserable world for many!

Chorus/male lead:

Without the NHS,

instead of being well again

to create this opera (or whatever format to be realised),

you might be writing

a new version of “Les Miserables”.


Yet in my long battle with cancer,

I saw many things that should not be so…


It’s the luck of the draw.

Fill in the forms and comply with the norms.

Risking some crazy bureaucratic rules.

Risking the terrors of clerical errors.

Knowing no one dares to blow the whistle –

No choice but to risk the safety in numbers.

But most importantly,

You survived!

Heroine final speech:

But who can afford cancer treatment without the NHS?  

In this country, private treatment is not necessarily better than the NHS,

and I can’t afford that anyway.

A cancer patient cannot buy private medical insurance.  

I have no choice.  

This country should be proud of the NHS.  

NHS is good.  Bureaucracy is not.  

Manned by humans, the NHS has human failings.  

This I understand – I am human too.  

I don’t know the solution – better not to think too much!

Most importantly, I survived!

_ _ _

People who had had radiotherapy often said they found the process was not too much bother, but experienced fatigue and the need to sleep a lot;

while chemotherapy has a bad press – but there is a funny side to all this…

See next, Act 10:


You must be joking!

How can such experiences be fun or funny ?!

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