Sunday 4 November 2018

Chemo BellEnd

Chemo Bell End!

Did you know that on many Oncology wards across the globe there are these bizarre contraptions called Chemo bells? (No, they are not a knob related chemo side effect) They are actual Bells hung on the wall of the Cancer treatment ward.

It does not ring the time, thankfully, (that would be an hourly reminded of hour long you’ve been sat on your arse) it is a bell that sounds the end of treatment.

It is traditionally rung by the patient, spelling the end of their chemotherapy course. An announcement to all the other patients in oncology that they have reached the end of treatment and therefore are cured and will not be returning to a cancer ward, (unless unfortunate enough to experience a metastasis or secondary spread of the primary cancer as its more commonly known.)

Isn’t that marvellous. Ringing out your victory over Cancer, across the Cancer ward for all the other Cancer patients to hear?

No, no its bloody not. Shall I tell you why it’s a metal crock of shit? Because there are many patients that hear that bell knowing full well that they will never get to ring it. Those of us unlucky enough to have secondary cancer will NEVER finish treatment and will never have the chance to ring that bell. That bell is another reminder that we will never be cured. We hear that bell, whilst hooked up to our palliative care and endure the resounding gong of a victory that we shall never experience. It’s cruel really. ‘Ding dong here’s what you’ll never have ding dong.’

That’s not to take away from those lucky enough to have that experience, but why oh why is it right in full view and ear shot of those that will never qualify? I’m happy for those that get to do it, but why not shove that bell somewhere we don’t have to be reminded of it. Maybe up Cancers ass?

My friend Mel, who is a ‘lifer’ like me, summarises what many of us secondary patients feel about this bell….

It's time for it to go. And we aren’t the only ones that feel this way. Many of the Primary clan do too. “I could see it was there but I just didn’t have the heart to partake. It’s like rubbing people’s faces in it” Hear hear. The bells were well meant, and provided by people and charities that care, but it’s time to move them. Don’t be a thoughtless knob…. get rid of the gong. #ChemoBellEnd