Ringing the Cancer Bell

One of my favorite shows is the “Little Couple”; it is a show about Bill and Jen Arnold and their two adopted children. It is a story that brings awareness to dwarfism and what makes it so great is that these people, although challenged in many ways, never stop reaching for the stars. It is inspirational, fascinating and downright enjoyable.

Recently Jen Arnold was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer; the show followed her treatment and documented her recovery and eventual cure. The day she received thumbs up, an all-clear from her oncologist, her oncologist and the staff that treated her brought her over to “The Bell”; they told her that she had beat cancer and it was her turn to “Ring the Bell”! At first she was a bit reluctant, but once she started ringing the bell, you could visually see her face light up and her huge smile said it all; I fought hard, and I won!

That moment was bittersweet for me; I was so happy for her, but once again, it made me want to “ring the bell,” something that keeps being brought to my attention. The other night my Bunco Babes gathered for their monthly game night. This month it was at our house, so at the end of the night, I was still around for gossip time. The new gossip was that another neighbor was diagnosed with cancer; lung cancer. One of the gals in the circle is currently being treated for breast cancer. 

Being on the outside of that particular circle, my attention was drawn to them when I heard the word “cancer.” I heard the one gal saying that she had three more treatments and that the newly diagnosed neighbor had a specific number of treatments planned. While I am extremely happy for them, there was a small voice inside my head that said, “They will get to ring the bell.” 

Once again, I was reminded that someday…….”I WANT to ring the bell!” I know that this may seem silly to some, but after living with cancer for over three years, sometimes I am just weary. I don't want to think about or feel side effects, I don't want to have to see an oncologist every three months, I don’t want to have to read about new complications and losing a member of our ever increasing community, I don't want to have to worry about the new things that creep up, due to a continual dose of highly potent medication, and I WANT TO RING THE BELL!

I want to have the energy that I used to have, I want to ditch the pain, I want the headaches to go away and I want to be able to sleep the whole night through, without being woken up with hands that are so numb that they ache incessantly. I want to be able to say that I fought the fight, and I won! I want to win; I don't want to have to fight every day; apparently I want a lot of things! 

I am guessing that I must be in some sort of a three year slump; because there are times that I almost forget that I even have CML. Most of my days are good days; I have a happy life and I am so grateful to still be here to enjoy it; I have it better than many and I sometimes I must remind myself of that fact, but is it wrong to reach for the stars and shoot for the moon?

Is it wrong to want to “Ring the Bell?”


  1. I want to ring the bell too!!

  2. Yes, you a having a BAD DAY...and yes, I want to ring that damn bell to and after.....15....years of dealing with CML....I just HOPE and PRAYER everyday I can at least have another....15.....years even if I don't get to ring the almighty BELL....I have meant a lot of people in the past 15 years that have a lot more time than I have been BLESSED with and they still have not gotten to ring that almighty BELL and they are just so damn grateful and BLESSED to be alive along with myself and it has been HELL and when it is I just look at my 5 amazing (3 of which were premies) grandson's that 15 yrs. ago I never thought I would be here to see 1 let alone 5...I am sure you have heard, "This to shall pass" and u will wake up tomorrow and have that to have your choice to make it a great one or not so great one....it took me a long time to come to peace with that myself but when I did, my CML life became a tad easier to deal with the cards I have been dealt and I still have to have those talks with myself in the mirror (yikes) to remind me of the choice I still have control over as we know there is so much we don't have control over....AMEN and God Bless

  3. Instead of the light at end of the tunnel be in the light outside of the tunnel

  4. This is another good post and I'm enjoying the comments. It causes people to look at their hopes and dreams. Everybody has them. It's hard going from healthy to weekly blood tests and almost weekly doctor visits. I don't want anyone to go through this disease but I'm thankful for those sharing their story and making the best of it. And I hope to be a part of that group--making the best of it.

    Ever since my diagnosis in January, I have been reading and searching for more information about CML. Hoping to find a way to regain my health and take more control. My search has lead me down different paths. I think my family would just prefer I accept it and go on with life. And, I would have to agree because it lead me to fungus/candida (Doug Kaufmann and knowthecause.com) and the Phase 1 diet. I'm denying myself carbs and sugars to starve off the fungal only to find out last night and confirmed from another source, that my mercury dental fillings could be causing the fungal/candida.The fungal/candida is a protection against mercury poisoning. Ugh! Not what I was hoping for. So it's an unexpected and unwanted adventure, still I at least I have a diagnosis, sightly fewer side effects, and my circle of acquaintances is growing.

  5. Thanks, all for the replies! I agree, Donna, it is nice to hear other responses. We are in a stick together kind of situation at this point, that is for sure!


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