High on the wall next to the exit from the Chemo Day Care Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital is a bell.
And a sign.
The sign invites those who have completed their last cycle of chemotherapy to ring the bell as they're leaving. Periodically throughout the day, yesterday, as I lay in my bed being pumped full of Taxol, I could hear the distant ringing of that bell. And whenever it rang the nurses and volunteers and other chemo patients paused for a moment and applauded.
During the summer when I completed my first round of chemotherapy, I was too ill to even notice the bell and, besides, I still had a week of radiation therapy to make up before I was through. So no bell for me at that time.
In three weeks time, I will be completing my last scheduled cycle of this latest round of chemotherapy.
It may not be my last, that will depend on getting a negative result from the CT Scan that will follow (negative being a good thing). So, in a way I shouldn't presume that will be the last I'll see of Taxol.
But as I lay in bed, my kindle hot in my hand, listening to that bell peel and the following applause, I knew one thing above all others.
When I finish my next injection of chemo, I'm ringing that damn bell!
Bell photo courtesy of Photobucket.
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