Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Damn Bell

 
I feel I needed to write a post about this bell that is symbolic of finishing chemo treatment. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about I’ll explain. When someone finishes their last chemo treatment they ring this bell to signify the end of treatment. Ahhh, sounds lovely doesn’t it? As if life goes back to what it was before, I f*ck*n hate that! Up until now I have had two herceptin infusions which is not chemotherapy but rather a targeted therapy. It’s a monoclonal antibody that interferes with the HER-2 receptor because my cancer was HER-2 positive.


 
The first time around with this cancer crap I feel I was very aware of the people around me when I went for treatment. You know that many of these people will never finish treatment, but they sit silently never saying a word to anyone around them. When I initially finished my last herceptin infusion I never rang the bell, but simply walked away because somehow I didn’t feel it would be appropriate to share my good fortune with people who may not be as fortunate.

 
Fast forward to today and that bell pisses me off even more. Now I have to choose my words wisely so I don’t sound like I’m a completely bitter, mean intentioned human being. This time around I am well aware that there isn’t an end in site in regards to treatment. Therefore, when I went for my first infusion and saw two separate people ringing this stupid bell as if it were the end of a damn school day, I wanted to take this bell from them and disassemble it. Actually who am I kidding, I wanted to throw it out the window!! I looked at the one lady in particular who was smiling from ear to ear and ringing it as if there was no tomorrow. I wish I could have taken a video to share with you all because it reminded me of one of those slow motion commercials where they are trying to promote a drug that can cause impotence, blindness, and death, but it works so well for your dry skin. You all know what I’m talking about, but who on earth would settle for a potential side effect of death?? I would much rather have some dry skin. Anyhow, now I’m going off topic but the point I’m trying to make is ringing that bell is comparable to a CEO of a fortune 500 company going outside and showing a bunch of homeless people how much money he has. It’s fabulous that things turned out well for you, however not everyone around you is in the same boat. Personally I find it a bit ignorant and obnoxious to see people express their excitement when others around them are simply struggling to stay alive. I remember sitting there, faking a smile as though I was happy for them while whispering under my breath to Chris, “just wait a couple years and you may be back here, don‘t ring that damn bell too hard”. I know that sounds awful and I would never wish cancer on anybody, but enough with this bell already!! If you want to celebrate, do it once you’ve left the cancer centre. I am very well aware of the unpredictable nature of this disease and would love it if people could simply be mindful of those around them. I think this goes with all aspects of our lives as we may all be ignorant towards something at some point, but sadly we are not aware of its effects on those around us to change our actions.


 
 

11 comments:

  1. Hi Sweetie. We just learned from Chris about your blog. We have both read it and found it inspiring and very brave of you to share this experience. Please know that we are very proud of you. We couldn't have asked for a more loving and caring daughter-in-law. We love you with all of our hearts.....Garry & Ingrid

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  2. Judit, I would be happy to come visit you with a baseball bat?

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  3. Tell me where the bell is…Danielle and I will go destroy it!!!!

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  4. That bell belongs where the sun does not shine! I'll put it there! Professionally trained!

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  5. Thanks you guys!! I love that some of the nicest nurses i know are willing to resort to violence:)

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  6. First of all, I love your blog :)
    As a nurse who works in the building where that bell resides, I just wanted to say I dislike its ringing as much as you do. While I am happy for the people ringing it and acknowledge that for them, it signifies a milestone, I secretly wonder when they'll be back. Many people who ring that bell do return to us. And I feel great heaviness for those who sit in the treatment area and know they will never be the ones shaking or tapping that brass bell. We have so many patients being treated indefinitely and I can only imagine how it feels to be sitting there, watching someone 'gloat' in their 'good fortune'. Thank you for your perspective.
    Keep writing... your insight is inspiring!

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    1. Thanks for your response as it's refreshing to hear from someone who works there!! I appreciate all that you guys do:)

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  7. Good to know there is a unit 4 gang on call for appropriate violence. Do we wear blue or red bandanas?

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  8. I would like to think that I have some impressive ninja-like moves and intense pent-up aggression that I would more than gladly contract out to you for an unlimited amount of time...either that or I would be more than willing to sit next to you at your next visit and help you give thee most intimidating death glares at the next person who even dares to approach that bell...we may have our degrees in caring but we have our masters in being bad asses ;)

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  9. I guess I will skip the bell on Tuesday...

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  10. Merry Christmas,
    You are so interesting! I don't believe I've truly read through anything like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality! If you want to read Christmas Message you have to see the link
    Thank you,

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