17 January 2018

End of chemotherapy treatment bell

A bell has been installed in The Judy Beard Day Unit at Conquest Hospital so that patients, who are receiving treatment for cancer, can ring it to mark when they have finished their course of chemotherapy treatment.

Many patients have said they felt it was important to mark the end of their journey through their chemotherapy treatment and ringing the bell gives them the opportunity to do this and to signify the end to their current journey, giving them hope and strength for the future.

End of treatment bell with Matron Andrea Yardy and members of the Judy Beard Day Unit.

End of treatment bell with Matron Andrea Yardy and members of the Judy Beard Day Unit.

“Ring this bell
Three times well
It’s toll to clearly say
My treatment’s done
This course is run
And I’m on my way.”

Kallie Smith who has rung the bell having completed a course of treatment said: “Entering the world of cancer is a very daunting, scary and challenging one. At the time, you just want to get on with whatever treatment is recommended, with little thought to getting to the end of it all and life after.

“I counted down each treatment, looking forward to ringing that bell to say my treatment was over. That day came, last year in December, and it was an overwhelming moment, one of which I found stupidly hard to do. You see, for me it marked the unexpected diversion my life had taken, the rollercoaster of emotions, the challenges my treatment presented.

“It also symbolised all the incredible people I’ve met, not just the amazing people like myself, or the people I know will never get the chance to ring it. But my cancer consultant, Miss Shah, my oncologist Dr Glendenning and her team, my breast care nurse, Louise Hunter and all the staff in various departments at the Conquest Hospital and in Brighton that have all contributed in my diagnosis and treatment. But most importantly the staff on Judy Beard Day Unit all of which I know I couldn’t have got through my treatment without their hard work, dedication and support. I hold each and every member of staff on this unit dearly in my heart. They are and forever will be my angels and ringing the bell meant I had to let them go.

“So ringing this bell was not just to say my treatment is done, I’m on my way. It meant so much more. I made sure I rang it loudly and proudly. I hope this bell rocks throughout 2018 and for many more years to come.”

Judy Beard Day Unit Matron, Andrea Yardy said: “We were advised about the bell from one of our patients who had seen an article online and were keen that we looked into obtaining our own bell. Upon investigation we found a charity, The Maria Watt foundation, who provided the bell to us for free. Since its installation, many of our patients have rung the bell and it gives us, as a Unit, a chance to offer support to them at this significant moment in their treatment. We also understand that there may be patients who would not like to ring the bell and we always respect their wishes too.”