As you enter the infusion room, there is a small brass bell on the wall to your right. Everyday someone rings that bell. The room is normally pretty quiet so a clanging bell easily gets your attention. That attention is well deserved. Every single person who rings that bell has had their own "Dec 13", a life changing day where a doctor told them they have cancer. Every single person who rings that bell has endured the painful side-effects of some cancer related treatment. Every single person who rings that bells hopes it is the last time they see that bell.
Linda may have missed out on the half marathon she was training for, but on April 16th, she finished the first part of her triathlon. It was her time to ring that bell.
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Like the big suck that I am, I got pretty choked up that day. Truth be told, I tear up during the ASPCA dog abuse fund-raising ads on TV so tears on my cheek are no monumental event, but this was big. For a small moment, we could declare victory. There are no guarantees in this fight, and Linda still had surgery and radiation therapy to go, but this felt good and sounded sweet.
You can hear Linda at the end of the video clip saying "We did it". From holding her hand for comfort during the first infusion to not mixing whites and colors in the laundry to proudly watching her ring that bell, we did this as a team (even though I was literally the 'water boy ' through most of it). We are stronger because of it and every day I am thankful to have Linda by my side.
With the help of friends and neighbors, we threw Linda a surprise post-chemo party. Friends, kids, presents, cake, and balloons (everything pink of course) were waiting for her when we got home that day. She finally cried.