Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Bells Are Ringing!

"No, you can't go yet," said my nurse as I finished my final chemotherapy treatment and said a (not so fond) farewell to Taxol.

"There's something else?" I asked.

"Of course," she replied. "You can't ring the bell without me! Just give me a minute to finish up with this other patient."

So I waited and as I did I thought I could begin to hear other bells ringing in the far distance. No, I thought. It couldn't be. Not really.

The nurse finished plugging the codes into the new patient's intravenous drip and then took me by the arm and led me to the exit. On the way she gathered all the other nurses and volunteers in the chemo day care who were free. By the time we got to the bell over ten nurses were there waiting.

The bell is a good size, made of brass and is attached to the left of the exit door. To accommodate shorter patients, it has a long cord attached to the clapper. It is there for patients to ring as they complete their final chemotherapy.

I took hold of the cord and took a moment to think of all those who posted such touching comments about their own battle with cancer, or the battles family members have fought. And I thought of the hundreds of bloggers who where joining in this bell ringing.

Then I pulled the cord on the bell back as far as I could and RANG THAT SUCKER. LOUD AND LONG!

While the nurses and volunteers cheered and laughted with delight.

So I rang it again and they cheered some more.

The door exits into the Chemo waiting room where thirty other patients and their supporters waited their turn for treatment. And, to my shock, they were also all yelling and cheering and clapping as well.

Bringing me to a complete halt Stunned with surprise.

While, in the distance I was now certain I was hearing Hindi temple bells, ranchhand triangles, dog collar bells, cow bells, artistic Manor Iron Bells, jingle bells, Tibetan singing bowls, elephant bells, china dinner bells, Alaskan bear bells, cat toy bells, Andre Rieu playing hava nagla (honestly see Skip Simpson's blog for details)and hundreds of others more.

Eventually my brother-in-law Steven, who had spent the day with me, had to physically take my arm and move me out of the waiting room, cheers and applause following us down the long hallway. The sound only fading as the elevator door closed behind us and we descended to the lobby to find my brother John waiting to drive us home.

Home to my blog and all of these comments!

I am beyond moved.

Thank you all.