Pete rings the bell!

This week we reached a major milestone. My husband Pete, who has been undergoing chemotherapy since mid-December, got to ring the bell.

“Ringing the bell” has been a tradition at cancer centers around the country since the 1990s. Cancer patients often ring a ceremonial bell to celebrate the end of their radiation treatments or chemotherapy. 

On our way to the Simmons Cancer Institute on Tuesday morning, we took our usual route. Each time Pete got an infusion — eight in all, each with increasingly difficult side effects — we made a point of driving by the house on MacArthur Boulevard with this sign in their yard.

Pete posed for a photo outside the cancer center where he’s been meeting with his oncologist and getting treatment since October. He will still need to undergo some pretty serious surgery in another month or so (continued prayers appreciated!), but for now, we are celebrating his arrival at the finish line for the chemotherapy portion of his treatment.

These days it seems nearly every cancer facility has a bell that patients can ring to mark the end of treatment. But it’s thought that the tradition began at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in 1996, when a cancer patient named Irve LeMoyne brought a brass bell to his last treatment, rang it several times and left the bell as a donation.

The bell at Simmons, where Pete got his chemotherapy treatments, is mounted on a wall plaque inside the infusion center.

If one must go through chemotherapy, the infusion center staff goes out of its way to make the experience as bearable as possible. These folks were absolutely the best!

After completing his final infusion session, Pete was awarded a commemorative t-shirt to mark his “graduation” from chemo.

And here he is, ringing the bell. The sheer happiness on his face literally brought tears to my eyes — and such joy!

After the ceremonial ringing of the bell, Pete gave us all an enthusiastic thumbs up.

I have been so impressed and humbled by my dear husband’s persistence in the face of ghastly side effects — nausea, breathlessness, numbing fatigue. I’d say he richly deserved the hearty round of applause he got from the staff.

CONGRATULATIONS to my sweetheart! And thanks be to God for getting us this far.

38 thoughts on “Pete rings the bell!

  1. What a sweet looking man!: I can see Jesus in his bright shining face. 🙏 Total recovery and a joy so great that it will astound him and you, too.
    Blessings, strength and love be yours as well as his as you go through and pass this test of faith. ❤️ Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The right attitude is as vital as the treatments and your husband seems to have it in spades. I’m so happy that things are going well for him and pray they continue to do so. Family support is also a vital part of that so it looks like he may have a winning hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how wonderful the sound of the bell. Both my wife and daughter in law have battled through ovarian cancer and chemo. Though they are the ones who passed through the dark valley, their struggles have touched all of us in the family. What good news about your Pete and God bless him as he goes through surgery.

    Liked by 3 people

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