There’s a widespread tradition amongst cancer treatment centres including the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton where the following poem is posted on the wall of the waiting area outside each radiation treatment unit.
Ring this bell
Three times well
It’s toll to clearly say,
My treatment’s done
This course is run
And I am on my way!
Today, after 30 treatments over the past 6 weeks, it was finally my turn to ring the bell! I woke at 5:30 a.m. filled with anticipation and the morning crawled by as I waited for one o’clock to arrive. Now that it’s over, it’s hard to put how I feel into words! Perhaps it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Maybe it will seem more real when I board a plane for Vancouver tomorrow instead of heading back to the Cross!
I’ve been told not to expect the side effects to peak for another two weeks and there will be follow-up appointments in the future, of course, but this race has been run. Praise God!
Today was a bit anticlimactic in that, immediately after ringing the bell, I had to go upstairs for a CT scan to see what’s happened to my other cancer in the six months since it was last looked at but I’ve crossed one finish line. I’ve climbed that mountain and I’ve rung the bell! Now it’s time to move on!