• Did you get emotional and start crying when you finished your chemo?

    Asked by Julesmom on Saturday, August 17, 2019

    Did you get emotional and start crying when you finished your chemo?

    I have watched hundreds of videos of people ringing the bell and finishing their treatment and start crying. I said a hundred times that I wouldn't do that. Wrong!! I bawled my eyes out and kept crying all the way home. I didn't expect this overwhelming wave of emotions. Did you have this?

    24 Answers from the Community

    24 answers
    • Skyemberr's Avatar

      No. I was just relieved I was done and wavering to get home to rest!

      We never celebrated finishing that chemo except for just having family time out at a restaurant on the weekend together.

      about 1 month ago
    • Julesmom's Avatar

      Thanks Skyemberr, I just broke down and stayed there for a day. If I think about it much I get emotional all over. I think maybe I'm just worried that it will come back and I have to do it all over again.

      about 1 month ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar

      That's a very valid feeling to have!
      It could come back. Maybe not. We just never know this stuff and have to roll with the punches.
      The cancer patient has to end up being the strongest person for their family sometimes because of we look worried the rest of the family stays worried.

      It's a mess and going through cancer is a trauma. We seldom get enough help working our way through this stuff.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      No. I found the whole ending of chemo anticlimactic. Everyone else was very excited and exclaiming how happy I must be that it was "over" and to be sure to bring the bell on my way out. They were very taken aback when I announced I had no intention of ringing the bell. Why not?! Well, the treatments might have been over but I had a very strong sense the journey was just beginning. I said I would ring the bell when I actually felt well. Still waiting on that.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I didn't get to ring a bell when I quit getting my chemo or immunotherapy. I guess I didn't get to ring the bell because it is highly unlikely that I won't be in the chair getting more of one or both again one day. I did get to ring the bell after I finished radiation. I just felt extremely happy that it was over with so no tears. I did know that I was going right back into the chemo chair after the radiation so that might have dampened my enthusiasm.

      Congratulations on getting to ring that bell!!! I think you deserve to be relieved and happy!

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      My intention was not to belittle anyone else's experience or dampen their enthusiasm. Everyone's experience is unique to them. In my case I just couldn't understand why everyone keep going on and on about it being "over" as if this was the end of my cancer journey and I could now just ring the bell and skip on back to my life. I felt terrible, had lost strength, stamina and brain power, my eyes had been effected, my bone density was greatly diminished, etc., etc.... Oh course I was elated that I didn't have to sit through infusions and the horrible side effects anymore but I knew it was far from "over."

      about 1 month ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar

      I've heard a lot our people say we should feel "grateful" and many of us do up to a point.
      Folks don't realize that cancer patients are going through a lot more than gratitude in our heads when we finish a mind and body altering experience like chemo or radiation.
      To them We are at a stopping place, but for many of us we are not sure where we are on the journey.

      about 1 month ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Yes! I made it to my car and sat there with the tears streaming down my face. My husband and I were meeting for lunch to celebrate and he called to find out where I was. I told him I couldn't drive because I couldn't see past the tears. He said, I'm coming over to get you. We then sat together in the car, crying and hugging for quite a while before we could get it together to go into the restaurant. The waitress could see that we had been crying and we explained, so she treated us to a free appetizer and dessert.

      I also hadn't cried the entire time I was receiving treatments because the tears stung my eyes so badly. It was just a release, I guess.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      There was no bell when and where I finished. I had only - “only” - four treatments, each taking only one hour in the chair (not counting blood work). I didn’t cry. Each chemo session I went with a friend, not my partner, as I didn’t want him to see me while I was having chemo. I was very happy it was over, crying or not.

      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Let me get back to you on that. I was in constant treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for seven years[phone number redacted]), and have been in constant treatment for four years following a stem cell transplant in 2015. Many have much more treatment history than I do, but I got 11 years into this.

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      I am a ridiculously emotional person, but I did not cry when chemo ended. I do remember being surprised that I was actually finished. Also, I did not ring the bell. I was too superstitious to accept that offer. I still had radiation and the remainder of the year of Herceptin to keep me going back to the cancer center. When those ended, I was not offered to ring the bell, and I don't think I would have. After my last chemo, I met my daughter for lunch and came home to a dozen roses from my husband.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      Bell??? What bell??? When I finished chemo,I was never made aware about ringing any bells. Because of my blindness, I know not whether I was simply oblivious to the bell at my cancer center or if my center even had a bell at all. When I finished chemo, a friend and I quietly went to a restaurant and celebrated with mushroom and anchovi pizza. I'd heard from other survivors about ladies being given teddy bears after completing active treatment but never got one myself. Hmmm, I guess they weren't given out at my chemo center either. Of course my radiation center gave me a tote bag, fleace bathrobe, and one of those little things with seeds in it that you heat up in the microwave and wrap around your shoulders. When I finished active treatment, I was just happy that it was over and pray I don't have to go through that again. HUGS and God bless.

      about 1 month ago
    • Kp2018's Avatar

      I, like Bengal, declined to ring the bell. I wonder if the tradition of celebratory bell ringing is more for the wonderful doctors and nurses who see us through chemo. They have much to celebrate, having supported and treated us and helped us avoid serious infections and other deadly side effects. For them, it's a job well done. They should ring the bell!

      I didn't want treatment to end, believing at the time that it was life saving. After radiation, there is no subsequent preventative treatment for triple negative breast cancer. I desperately wanted some kind of ongoing treatment to prevent recurrence. So, there was no celebration for me, just the grim awareness that I was completing treatment with a very weakened immune system, and was extremely vulnerable to recurrence while my immune system worked to restore itself. I also was haunted by the thought that I would be back in the chair in the future, thinking, "I wish I hadn't rung that damned bell."

      My attitude was probably influenced by the fact that I had weathered chemo reasonably well, and had only one side effect (mouth sores) the entire time. Maybe if I had been more miserable, I would have been more in the mood to celebrate.

      about 1 month ago
    • Jouska's Avatar

      I spent my last chemo chatting with a woman who was having her first chemo. She was so pleased to meet someone who had made it through - she and I were having the same chemo/targeted therapy. I didn't ring the bell, but I think we both cried at the end.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      I agree with what you said Kp2018. I think the whole bell ringing thing is more for the doctors , nurses, techs, etc.... It's about their sense of acconplishment. They've done their job and gotten the patient through. And, yes, I'm sure we all have an appreciation for that. But, they also need to appreciate that their job doesn't stop at that point. We don't walk out of there after our last chemo or radiation and just go back to our lives. Everything has changed for us and we may need ongoing support indefinitely.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      I too had the opportunity to speak with a woman going into her first chemo infusion and getting setup in the chair next to mine. It's almost a sense of passing the torch; I was terrified but I got through this and so can you. I think that's something that could become a part of pre-treatment prep. Giving the incoming patient an opportunity to speak with someone who is or has been through the process.

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      After each of my first two dx's and treatments there was no bell. Just a hardy, "you can go now, good luck" and "NEXT"!

      Oh well, I felt relieved to be done with them, not much emotion though. But I was young and didn't think the whole thing was a big deal, I wanted it over with so I could just live life without being sick.

      After my third, still no bell, but I was relieved again and did feel a bit of emotion, mainly the feeling of gratitude that I had made it through after my doctors 20 years earlier had said that it would be "difficult to control" if it came back the third time. My Wife and Sister-in-law did attack me with silly string when I walked in my office that day of my last treatment. That was about it.

      about 1 month ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      On the final day of my chemo, my husband bought in a large sheet cake for the infusion center staff to enjoy. No bells to ring but I was given a certificate of completion by that staff and I thanked them for helping me through some very tough and uncertain days. I did not cry. I felt gratitude, a sense of accomplishment and surprise that I was actually able to finish my treatments. My doctor was not sure that I would.

      about 1 month ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I'm weird. I was stoic through all the bad stuff. Any time I got ANY go news, I would go out to my car and start crying. And my infusion center didn't have a bell to ring. I'm jealous about that...

      about 1 month ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar

      When I finished all of my treatment (surgery, chemo, radiation) I rang the heck out of that bell!!! I wanted other patients to hear me! I cried tears of joy. What was also funny was my last treatment was on Halloween - so I decided, what the heck - and dressed in a long dress and bright red wig as a witch - the technicians were also in costume (Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss - with bright blue wigs) and they laughed a lot when they saw me in costume! I now consider Oct. 31 my "second birthday"!

      about 1 month ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      I've "finished" treatment twice now in two different centers, neither of which had a bell to ring! Anyway... I do get teary a lot after my diagnosis but finishing treatment feels like I won a major race and I smile a lot. I feel like I won a major victory.

      about 1 month ago
    • Amor's Avatar

      Hi JulesMom ~

      I cried a TON and didn't worry about it, because I knew I had to release my emotions. The way I look at it, I was trying to be brave through my whole chemo treatment ordeal, no matter what, and not allow let my emotions to weaken my resolve. When I thought I was done with chemo, but was told I needed to continue for three more cycles, I tried to keep my emotions in check, which was really, really hard. Because I was determined, I was able to ignore them and continue showing my strength in fighting cancer.

      After I completed my last chemo treatment, the wonderful nurses at the cancer center gave me a "graduation" ceremony and I felt so much love and joy. But then, I started to cry uncontrollably. I was even trying to laugh as I was crying at the same time. Yes, I just let go. And, even though I was able to stop crying at the cancer center, when I returned home, I continued crying ... and laughing at the same time. Definitely like a roller-coaster. It was strange, but (and I decided this), it was ALL GOOD! No judgment on me or my reaction; just joy and relief for having beat cancer! Like Kalindria said ... It was a 'MAJOR VICTORY!" :-D

      about 1 month ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      It was weird. No tears ever until after an X-ray, 3 months after treatment. I left the dressingroom after I was told I'm still clear and out of nowhere! broke into sobbing. A woman in the lobby came over and hugged me.

      25 days ago
    • robynr's Avatar

      Bengal I know how you feel! I didn't ring out either. I felt horrible. I guess in my head I should feel good and be without cancer. I hopefully will be ringing it in 4-6 weeks.

      20 days ago

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