• We need some feedback from you about finishing treatment.

    Asked by GregP_WN on Thursday, October 31, 2019

    We need some feedback from you about finishing treatment.

    When you were done with treatment did you "ring the bell"? Did your clinic have a bell to ring when you finished? Some do, some don't, what I would really like to have is what finishing treatment and ringing the bell signifies for you? Even if there is no bell to ring what did it mean to you to be "done"? No more chemo, moving on, living life. Please tell us what it meant to you other than the simple fact that you were done.
    Thanks for your input.

    22 Answers from the Community

    22 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      My infusion center had no bell... I was sad when I heard about the tradition of ringing the bell. I was happy to be done w/the crap being injected into my veins. But I'll admit, I missed being fussed over every 3 weeks.

      5 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      My chemo center does not have a bell - most probably out of respect for those who will never be able to stop chemo. It must be terrible for terminal patients to hear others ring the bell.

      My center had a sign saying "Last Chemo" that patients could hold, and the activities director would take your picture with that. I had my picture taken with the sign, and I look at that photo occasionally - in amazement, that I have survived my Stage IV diagnosis.

      5 months ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I had radiation, no chemo. There was no bell.

      5 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      There was a bell; I chose not to ring it. Getting "done" with treatment does not mean you are finished. It is, in fact, just the beginning of a life long journey with many ups and downs, twists and turns, smooth going and rough road ahead. To tell anyone they are "done" is completely misleading.

      5 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      In all of the 3 diagnoses I've had and finished treatment for, there was no bell. I would have rung it, maybe even knocked it off the wall.

      5 months ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      My clinic has a bell, and I was begged to ring it by my doctor and nurses. I know the saying --4 bells and all's well-
      but for me a ships bell is everything negative-- starting with death. I've heard people frantically ringing the bell in the clinic--they don't realize they are ringing- all hands on deck-- hit the deck running----why are they running? nothing good. So if you ring the bell- ring it slowly and measured to show that all is well- and the watch is changing, your next watch is of health and joy.

      5 months ago
    • Richardc's Avatar
      Richardc

      There’s no bell to ring at my center. They now have a small celebration which includes a last day balloon and picture ceremony, both sponsored by Chemo Buddies. Since I never finished treatment ( I ended up too sick to continue) I feel like I never had complete closure to the process. However, volunteering as a Chemo Buddy has allowed me to enjoy this momentous time with many others.

      5 months ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      GregP Since I had oral chemo .And radiation.There was no bell.But your comment reminded me of when I was in a nursing home for rehab in 2010 on my back surgery(which was the worst sursery.I wouldn't which it on my worst enemy ).No one was coming to help me with a bed pan and turn me.I was getting so frustrated and beyond hurting that after ringing and ringing I guess I pulled that string so hard that I broke the bell off the wall.It took a week for someone to come to fix it. Too many memories.....

      5 months ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      Richardc Same here.I went once.

      5 months ago
    • BugsBunny's Avatar
      BugsBunny

      Ms. Pauline, sometimes you have to do whatever it takes!

      5 months ago
    • omaalyce's Avatar
      omaalyce

      No bell so I bought plastic clappers on my last day-you know they look like little hands on a stick and make a noise when you shake the stick.. There was a sign that said Last Chemo at the station where I would get my infusion. Later when I walked out the nurses lined up with their clappers and sent me home to the sound of the clappers and their well wishes. I made a big day of it-pink beads (like the ones thrown out in parades), cookie platters for staff and patients. Had on a plastic crown and a cape....I was quite a sight, LOL. Radiation all the staff came to the sign out window and presented me with a certificate.

      5 months ago
    • Dkatsmeow's Avatar
      Dkatsmeow

      I rang the bell. I also got a certificate of completion of my radiation. I didn't get chemo. It made me too sick. I was down to 50% kidney function. The bell part was fine. The certificate left me feeling kinda creepy. what kind of award is it to finish radiation. I was glad to have it done with not too many complications. And besides all that, you are nod "DONE". There is still a long road to follow and no one tells you about that part.

      5 months ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      Richardc I found it being not interesting that much .Plus it's very difficult to park..It's about 45 minutes away from where I live,because of traffic.

      5 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Yah, I didn't really understand that certificate I got from rsdiation. Like that's something I'm going to frame and put up on my wall? I don't need that kind of reminder. Mine went directly into the paper recycling bin.

      5 months ago
    • valeriet's Avatar
      valeriet

      No bell where I went for treatment of stage III tonsil cancer 20yrs ago. The feeling of sheer relief at the end of the painful treatments was overwhelming. After I recovered, I founded, and facilitated an OHNC support group for 19yrs. My motto was "bin there, done that. How can I help you".

      5 months ago
    • KB2013's Avatar
      KB2013

      I pass the bell each time I enter/exit the infusion area but, no one ever mentioned ‘ringing the bell’ to me upon completion of chemo and don’t know why.

      5 months ago
    • Maryflier's Avatar
      Maryflier

      There was no bell where I received my chemo treatments. The first I’d heard of the bell was here on What’s Next. The staff congratulated me and wished me well.

      5 months ago
    • Created07's Avatar
      Created07

      I had three bells...2 for radiation, and the last for chemotherapy. The last one seemed a little like severing my lifeline. The last one came in 2017, and I had been there since 2011. I was loved and made to feel precious. The thought of that being gone was a little frightening. But here I am today NED, and they are all still there making me feel safe. My breast cancer oncologist says he will care for my "girls" as long as I have them and beyond...if I need him. My endometrial oncologist (the cancer that started it all) says she will take care of my girlie parts below for the rest of my life. and my non-hodgkins is taken care of by my breast cancer oncologist so all my bases are covered for the rest of my life. Add to this the fact that this is the longest I've gone without a new cancer since 2011, I'd say Someone thinks I am special. I am truly blessed!!!

      5 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I rang a bell after finishing radiation but it didn't mean treatments ended, just radiation ended. I didn't like ringing the bell and as a patient it was always a little depressing to hear people ring the bell, knowing i probably never will ( i guess it was bittersweet because i was happy they got to ring the bell for themselves).

      I didn't need to ring any bell or even be cancer free to continue living life.

      5 months ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      13 years, 3 cancer surgeries, no chemo, no radiation treatments yet, no bell ringing, just more scans and bloodwork for the rest of my life, which I don’t mind to keep on top of things. I think it’s ok for children to get to ring the bell when they finish treatments for a way to celebrate though.

      5 months ago
    • smlroger's Avatar
      smlroger

      There was a bell and I did ring it when I finished my first go around and hoping to be my last round with chemo. The ring signified my ending of chemo not my dance with the BIG C. There are lots of things that stick with you after treatment is over. Three years later and another Dance which required chemo again, I did not ring. It's not over and wont be. But if ringing brings relief or comfort, ring it. Those of us who wont get to ring it again will share your happiness.

      5 months ago
    • cbchollet's Avatar
      cbchollet

      While waiting for treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I heard the bell, and one of the women there with whom I had shared many days of waiting, came in with a big smile and explained that it was her last treatment. All the others in the room had formed a bond during our daily waits for radiation and chemo. We all cheered for her and wished her a positive time going forward. When it was my turn to ring the bell, I had my treatment team come out and share it with me. I felt it was a significant marker in my journey. Many significant things, for which I was not prepared, occurred in the next months, but I still think ringing the bell was a celebration for me.

      5 months ago

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