I had another clear scan last week, and found this poem I’d written back in 2017 when I was sitting in the main concourse of Addenbrooke’s Hospital nervously drinking tea before having radiotherapy.

Who’s Worse? by Stevie Turner

Here I sit and drink my tea

Before my appointment in Oncology.

A sea of people pass before my eyes,

Fat ones, thin ones; every shape and size.

On their way to who knows what?

Maybe to see a doctor and find out what they’ve got.

Whatever they have I bet I can see

Someone here who’s worse off than me.

Yes, there he is, a little old dude

In a wheelchair and with an oxygen tube.


Here I sit in my wheelchair and seethe

‘Cos I’ve smoked all my life and now I can’t breathe.

I’m on this pill and that one, green, red and blue,

Still no difference; I can’t even walk to the bloody loo.

Never mind, my old lady will wheel me off

To Respiratory, where they’ll get me to cough

And breathe out into that tube which I can’t do,

Because of cigarettes, ‘cos I’ve smoked quite a few.

Oh well, Maybe I can see

Someone here who’s worse off than me.

There she is, poor old cow,

No arms, no legs, just a torso.


My motorised wheelchair is the best,

I get around from east to west.

Along the hospital corridors I fly

To see my mate who’s going to die.

I was born this way, I know no other,

I’m used to it; it’s really no bother.

I overtake a dude with an oxygen mask,

Who’s wheezing like every breath’s his last.

And a thin woman sitting drinking her tea,

No hair under that scarf that I can see.

Poor lady, so sad to be that way,

At least I’ll see another day.

She gives me a smile as she sips her tea

As she probably thinks… there’s someone who’s worse off than me.