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Oct 21, 2011 03:06PM
Well, I did not ring the bell.
During the 4 hours of my chemo, I gave it substantial thought. It really didn't matter a big deal to me if I rang it or now. Like usual - I've always ALWAYS had an issue with putting myself first. I was more concerned about everyone one. I felt a little selfish for those starting out and perhaps feeling they are so far from being able to ring the bell. I remember feeling that way in the beginning too. I also felt that they might get discouraged if they see me ring the bell, and see me back in weeks or months to come when I return for my Herceptin (not chemo) injections on the exact same beds in the exact same wards (pods). They might get discouraged and think my cancer is back so soon - and infer that maybe theirs will return also.
In the end, it really didn't matter to me. I felt so great yesterday, ringing or not ringing the bell was so secondary. I went out and had wings, nachos and 3 cans of de-alcoholized beer. I was high on life - it felt so amazing to finish this part. In my mind, through all of this, I just kept focusing on getting through the treatment...not getting sick so that it would be delayed or changed or stopped. Having this one part, without missing a scheduled round, no changes to the plan, all on schedule - and having it done...was like reaching a summit. It is a truly amazing feeling.
Now Sunday is when my pain hits - and I feel like every bone in my body is broken. So, I'm really enjoying my celebratory mood during the calm before the storm. But I also know that throughout the two weeks of extreme pain (and I'm forbidden pain killers due to my failing liver), I can make it and I won't have to do it again...at least not for a very long time. I feel like I am a winner...and I know I can fight all my battles and win my small victories along the way - one at a time.
The whole bell thing seems so silly now. Whatever pleasure it brings to people - good. If it doesn't - then don't ring it. For me personally, I didn't need to do it, I know the feeling I have today would not have changed anyway. And I don't have to wonder about how others felt when I rang it...because I'm quite certain that part of me that always puts everyone else first, is not going to change overnight!
Thanks for all your input... I'll be disappearing for a couple of weeks while I weather my storm. But I'll be back...and ready to start radiation as soon as this storm has passed. And I'll be reading all of your posts again.
Joanne - thanks everyone - this was a great post...I really feel a part of the forum now!
Just taking it one day at a time.
5/5/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+