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Ringing of the bell after completion of radiation treatment

BruceGLarson's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2014

I am looking for information on the tradition many hospitals and other cancer centers have in place whereby, upon completion of radiation treatment, a bell is rung to signify successful copletion of a major step in the treatment process.

I want to use this for an article. I just completed radiation today and was hoping to take part in this tradition, but my hospital does not recognize this.

Can you help?

Puffin2014's picture
Posts: 533
Joined: Jun 2014

I haven't reached that stage in my treatment yet, but know that the Roger Maris Cancer Center, Sanford Health Care out of Fargo, North Dakota has a bell ringing ceremony at the conclusion of treatment. The bell hangs by the entrance to the cancer center in the lobby, and when someone rings the bell everyone in the lobby cheers and claps. The staff also have a camera and take the person's photo. Friends have already requested that I tell them when I'm going to be ringing the bell so they can attend.

psro's picture
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2014

I wish my treatment center had something like this. It was a hard road to go, and some kind of celebration would have been a huge emotional boost!

Posts: 32
Joined: Mar 2015

Where i realize the bell ringing signifies a great accomplishment please be aware that sometimes it is done prematurely.  My wife received the bell ringing after her last chemo treatment, after her double mastectomy they found the tumor to be HER2 positive and we had to undergo another port placement and another year of treatment.  It was a devastating blow when you think you are finished.  Just a little food for thought.

Posts: 293
Joined: Nov 2013

Everyone is different, and I wish someone would have asked if my husband wanted all the fuss.  They rang a bell and cheered and gave him a balloon bouquet.   He did not like the attention, was embarrassed and upset.  This is a man who was having radiation treatments for horrible pain associated with bone mets.  It seemed so strange to broadcast This information to utter strangers in a waiting area.  What happened to privacy and HIPA?   I just want to put it out there, that if you are advocating for this to be done at your cancer facility, that not everyone likes the practice.   Just like some people hate it when everyone at a restaurant sings happy birthday.  Some people are just very private.  Not feeling well, and being in alot of pain is not the time to celebrate for us.  This spectacle of balloons etc., reminded me of when our children got their braces off.   That was a happy moment for a young person and balloons were appropriate.

Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2015

I agree with your husband.  It was embarassing and I was not prepared for it.  Did not like strangers clapping and cheering for a very horrible experience. Stage iv cancer is nothing to cheer about.  I was caught off guard rang bell as instructed by nurse not thinking what would happen just confused and following orders which is all that I have been since diagnosis.  W Iish I was prepared I would have kindly refused.  I am still upset about my loss of control over so many aspects of my life now.  



Barbaraek's picture
Posts: 613
Joined: Aug 2015

Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo NY,, now has a bell but it is not in the main lobby and patients may choose to ring it if they wish or decline if they wish. Here is a link to a very brief notice about it.



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