Hancock’s Half Hour

14 Apr

Every time I think of blood – obviously donations but transfusions as well – I think of Tony Hancock’s unforgettable sketch, “The Blood Donor”[1]. And Hancock was exactly the person I thought of the moment I was told I needed a blood transfusion during my latest Abraxane treatment last Monday.

Funny thing, the brain – and thought transference. Which again reminds me of one of my favourite quotes – this time from Woody Allen: “Amazing thing the brain. For most people, it works from the moment you wake up – till you get to work”. Back to my blog. They tell me I need a blood transfusion. My hemoglobin count was too low. What I didn’t realize was that not all transfusions have the same affect. A healthy person, for example, in some sort of incident requiring blood, would have little problem in receiving multiple portions. In my case, my body is at high risk – apparently at a much greater risk of rejecting the blood.

But my thoughts didn’t immediately rush to the whys and wherefores of the need. I thought of Hancock and his inimitable lines. For those not around in those days back in the Sixties – and who were not lucky enough to have heard the still hysterical show, I have to share a few of his lines, such as “God gave me eight pints – I need eight pints” or “I don’t mind giving a reasonable amount, but a pint! That’s very nearly an armful!” or “Can I have my tea and biscuits” (after his finger was pricked for a blood test). How the world has changed. I wonder if people find that sort of humour funny nowadays – or could even listen to comedy shows on the radio, or watch that sort of entertainment on TV today?

My life has changed as well – as has Pam’s. I didn’t actually imagine that Pam would be charged with the task of running around Tel Hashomer to bring the blood. But that’s what happened – and she didn’t even faint! The learning process goes on. I’m “A” Rhesus positive (“Rhesus? They’re monkeys aren’t they?”). Having donated blood regularly for years, it was only this week that I found out what blood group I am. Does having the Rhesus factor improve my chances of survival?

So I had the transfusion – nice and slowly. Drip by drip just to make sure there was no adverse reaction – or maybe to ensure that it was another interminable day at Tel Hashomer.

But hey, they told me a blood transfusion would put my energy levels up – and it did. ‘Bloody marvellous!   

[1] “The Blood Donor” was an episode from the BBC comedy series featuring British comedian Tony Hancock. First transmitted on 23 June 1961, the show was written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

6 Responses to “Hancock’s Half Hour”

  1. sara at 6:32 pm #

    wish I could donate you a pint or two – but sadly MDA won’t take my blood – you see i was still living in England in the ’80’s during the foot and mouth epidemic and everytime i go to donate blood, i get rejected – you’d think enough time has passed. Thankfully for you there are some good people around making sure there are some pints available when you need them. I’ll just have to get you a pint of something else!
    keep those spirits up!

  2. angiemaus at 3:59 pm #

    Cannot tell you how wonderful it was to spend those couple of hours with you and Pam on Saturday. First thing I did when I turned my laptop on was to check your blog!

    Keep ’em coming darling, think I have a little problem.

    Hugs from
    Addicted of Waterloo

  3. Ilan Clive Shachar at 6:54 pm #

    Do you remember how he said it.? A sort of breathless ” ‘ancock’s ‘alf ‘our ” – ‘aitches were nowhere to be found!

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