Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Bell Sings: Keeping the tradition ALIVE

I've walked into Oncology for 18 weeks now, twelve + times, and knew there was a bell in the garden by the entrance but never looked at it closely. I think I was preoccupied and compartmentalizing everything going on.
Let me show you where I've had treatment:

Comfort....soft chairs, anything you need, nurses making sure you're okay. My home-away-from-home.
It's a GOOD PLACE. Howard Regional Oncology is a good place to be when you need this type of health care.
And yes, last day, dressed to the nines, studded heels and all!

Studs, leopard purse, big earrings, slinky dress and scarf...I'm READY!!! And yes, I am HAPPY!!!
I was provided comfort here; security, understanding, compassion and, with me involved, some laughs.
After conferring with my Doctor, as we were leaving to head to the chemo room, he said, "You know, we have a tradition here. Whenever a patient finishes chemo, they get to ring the bell outside. Do you want to do that today?" (as I still have follow ups after labs, etc.)
You're asking ME if I want to do something to make noise and celebrate???

I anxiously awaited the meds to finish, and then to my surprise, it wasn't just DH and I and one of the nurses going out, but a goodly portion of the Staff and Dr. Salter as well.
To witness.
To celebrate one door closing. (yes, I have more doors to kick open and go through)
To hear the Bell Sing.
With jubilation!

Felt WONDERFUL hearing it ring! (guess that shows a little....)
And then, a shot with my two guys that have seen me through this all; dear Gary and a most compassionate and damned smart Doctor, John Salter. (I promised to only *pretend* to ring the bell so as not to deafen anyone....BTW, Dr. Salter blogs here; go have a read as he is a good writer and it's nice hearing from the other side of the stethoscope...and leave a kind word too)

Bald is BEAUTIFUL, baby!!! What a ham.....LOL!
I am part way down the road, and ready for the next step. For anyone else traveling the same path, remember:

Life is to be enjoyed, even in the smallest quantities, everyday. (laughter too)
Observe what is going on in your body & how meds work. Even the bad days.
Vigilance is the key in health, no matter where you are now.
Embrace what is happening, then box the worry away. Meditate or pray, but embrace and accept. It's not easy, but necessary. See what that spelled? That's the most important of all. Love daily
And if you need inspiration to get through the rough patches, just look at this crazy woman having her Whooo-Hooo moment! ;-)

I thank you all for being with me on this long road. Grazie. x 1,000,000!!!
Now get out there and LIVE!!!



Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

P.S. Remembered the 7 new knit hats to deliver; they filled the basket with some other lovely ones already there. The previous seven I made were gone. :-)


Elena said...

Simply, wonderfully, beautiful. You look gorgeous, your spirit shines brightly. Please remember to always embrace, accept and release the worry away.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Elena, until I got the dx, I thought all worry could be released, but believe make a nice little iron box to lock it in, and occasionally it seeps out, then you beat it senseless and put it back in.
It's out of sight and mind, but it never totally leaves.
And that's okay---it's the strengthening of the journey.


Anonymous said...

You my Dear, are the most inspirational & beautiful woman I know ! ! ! ! !
Love, Marilyn

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

lOL! Marilyn, this morning I feel a little more of the *dazed and confused* type as I try and make it through a long do-list.
Thinking some will get pushed off till tomorrow....


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Ring that bell, baby! Bitchin outfit, too -- you rock!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Debra~~one of my calmer combos....hahaha!
Nice to be in dress and heels again, for sure!


Janet Ghio said...

Oh Anne--what a wonderful tradition to ring that bell! WOO HOO! And I love that you were dressed for the occasion!! Big hugs!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

You don't know how good it felt!
And yes, it was a WHOO-HOOOOO moment!!!


audrey said...

Anne, I can hardly type because tears are streaming down my face. My heart is full of happiness seeing these photos. You are one beautiful lady inside and out. Seeing the joy on your face while ringing that bell ... priceless!!
Stay Strong and Be Well, my friend.
Your shoes ROCK, Anne!!!
We'll talk soon.
♥♥♥ audrey

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Audrey,

I had a few of those yesterday afternoon too!
Will be glad when we have a chance to talk my friend.


Linda Moran said...

Woo hoo!!! Fabulous!!! Amazing! You look gorgeous!! And I am thrilled for this next step for you! You are back!!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Welcome home beautiful...I love this bell ceremony!!! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

You look freakin AWESOME in those studded heals! I am so happy for you - ring that bell baby!!! xox

Quilt Rat said...

You are a lady with ATTITUDE!!!!! Fantastic-fabulous-in-f*#king-credible Attitude!

I wanna be just like you when I grow up....oh wait we don't have any plans to grow up do we?

Seriously are an amazing inspiration!!! I thought I heard bells ringing :-)

Susan ~ Killam Creative said...

Anne, your spirit is contagious! I'm weeping tears of joy for you right now. I'm so glad to see you smile.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Jill, No growing up planned here! LOL! Too much work.....bwa-hahahahaha!

I think I wore myself out yesterday; had to grocery shop this morning and get garbage out and now at 11:40, I am ready for a NAP. Of course, I seem to be forgetting I had that last dose of chemo....might be that too, ya think??? ;-D

Got to save my PIC line from my arm and cleaning it out to make into a mixed media piece. Yeah, kind of a dark subject, but it inspired me pronto, and having the art cells working again is great!


Lisa said...

Congratulations Anne! You look radiant for such a momentous occasion. My friend Janet (above) told me about your blog, because I'm a fellow baldy and have two more chemo cycles to go through. At my CC they just sing to you, no bells. But your story made me cry, so happy for you.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Girls,

Sorry, I got my relpies out of order...hahaha...chemo brain! Thank you ALL for the congrats~~I hold them near to my heart, and will carry them on with me through the rest of this journey.
Yes, I'm carrying baggage with me, but it's the GOOD STUFF!


Whytefeather said...

So happy to hear and see that this door is closing as you move to kicking the next one open! What a beautiful Lady the photos show, thank you for sharing your wonderful moment! Warm, healing hugs to you :)

brandi said...

~i thought i heared a sweet joyous sound ringing through the air yesterday!!! OH SO HAPPY for you...what a moment for you...we are all celebrating here with you and for you and will continue to be here supporting you through your days to look radiant and beautiful my dear daily...always through the good and the bad...much love light and blessings~

Jan said...

Never in a million years would I have wished this on you but look at you! Making the best and sweetest lemonade ever! You are such an inspiration. What a classy lady you are and who else could have pulled off wearing that fabulous dress and shoes! Bald is indeed beautiful. Love you, girl. So glad you have Gary by your side and that you were led to Dr. Salter!

Angela Recada said...

Congratulations Anne!!!!! I know this was a rough time for you. (I've been through it with my mom twice.) But look at you! I love your gorgeous smile, your fabulous attitude and your amazing style. What a terrific way to end this part of your treatment. I'm ringing a bell for you here, too, Anne. Wishing you all the very best, always.

Those photos are priceless!

martinealison said...

Toutes mes félicitations ma chère...
Les mots qui me sont venus lorsque j'ai aperçu vos photos sont : "vous êtes belle".
J'ai accompagné durant des années ma meilleure amie ma soeur à la chimio...
Je vous envoie de gros bisous et en route pour de nouvelles aventures...

Robin said...

What an amazing and inspiring post! But of was written by an amazing and inspiring woman!!! You are truly awesome and your joy in this post is almost palpable!!! Wishing you continued joy and strength on the road ahead!!

Deborah said...

OOooooooooo Anne!!! You are even hotter bald than blonde!!! I want to rub your head and pet you!!! Your chairs are way nicer then Ironwood's. Not telling my Gary that. Isn't it just amazing to see LIFE going on inside a cancer clinic. You are in my prayers every day. I know you still have big work ahead of you. I hope to find your phone number soon, when I get my belongings back. We are set to close on the 31st and get the keys on April 1st. And I do not care if it is a Sunday and Fool's Day, I AM MOVING! I miss you ever so much. **blows kisses** Deb

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Deb, those chairs recline and have the footrest that comes about a wonderful, cushy snoozing place! :-)
Just rub my head on the computer screen....for good luck! LOL!
Best wishes with the move~~life will be GOOD!!!


Cameron said...

OH my Gosh!! Look at you!! I'm so happy for you!! What an awesome way to end this chapter....dressed up and ready for a celebration!!
You are an inspiration!

Mary Fox of Fox On The Run said...

Anne...Our hearts in Jewell, Oregon and Long Beach Peninsula, WA are with you. We are praying for you. You have been such an inspiration to us. You Go, Girl!!!! Love, Mary

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Dear dear Anne this is my third try to comment don't know why I couldn't. Anyway you are beautiful. What a heroine you are. Only you would think to turn your PIC line into a piece of art. Go girl.

Amalia K said...

Oh, Anne, Anne, Anne..... I am speechless. You're truly one of the most inspiring women I've met. :) OXX

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey All,

I got swamped with comments, and apologize for not replying individually like I usually do. (I also needed a little REST this afternoon--okay, more than a little....)
Thank you Thank you ALL for the support and prayers and white light. You have been my cheering section and I *♥* you all!


yoborobo said...

Hey Anne! Ring that bell, sista! And I hope you are taking a much needed and deserved REST. :)) We'll talk soon! xoxox

Robin said...

Reading this while at work, I nearly let out a "Woo-Hoo" myself! There are not enough adjectives to add to those already written here..your smile, your BOOTS (ah,I am lovin' them, *FBBBFF*..and your Doctor...what a wonderful, caring man! (I read a few of his posts...will read more later..)

You are our SHINING STAR - and one great Bell Ringer!!!

Love and Love and more Love,

♥ Robin ♥

Dolly Smith said...

Bald is the new black. or something. You look slamming- dress, shoes, attitude- everything goes together in a whirl of YOU-ness :)

Mucho love from Western WA-


Laura said...

Smiles for you my dear one...yes love all the way around.

Laura said...

Oh I'm celebrating with you Anne! You look gorgeous and so very very happy...and shining like the forsythias, absolutely!!!!

NuminosityBeads said...

Wow, I'm so happy that you got to ring that bell. Your joy is splashed all over my monitor and I think some spilled over and got all over me.
You rang that bell in style. Woohooo is right! Congratulations on your wonderful attitude.
xoxo Kim

Doris said...

What joy and celebration! Cheers to that new door opening!

Bunny said...

How beautiful you are. Congratulations you are an inspiration to everyone that passes you in our journey. I feel blessed to be your cyber friend.
Hugs Bunny

Stitchwhiz said...

Dear Anne,
I have followed this journey of yours on the margins and now am so happy to see this post of you ringing that bell! You look marvelous. Thanks for all the inspiration. You are truly remarkable. Hugs from Texas,

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I definitely feel teary with joy for you and I can so hear that bell ringing out in celebration of this milestone. You deserve to ring all the bells you want (and door kicking is okay too, provided you protect your toes). Bless you Anne!

marianne said...

what a lovely tradition, and how nice to see you looking so good! spring bringing new beginnings- looking forward to the next chapter!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Sobbing...........sobbing.......... Oh Praise the Lord. How great is our God. Healer of the sick and a great deliver is He. I am so happy and glad to see these magnificent pictures of you my sister and friend! How awesome is God!!!! You are wearing that outfit Ms. Thang!! I ain't mad at you! I love you so much and bless the Lord for you and your healing. God is awesome to us and I thank Him.

Sarah Ann Smith said...

You are beautiful, inside and out! I have rubbed your bald head on the screen, received my power surge and am sending it back, to you and everyone at the clinic. And I'm doin' the tunas-in-tutus happy stomp dance....WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I think I can hear that bell reverberating all the way to Maine! Hugs, Sarah

Grumble...stooopid doesn't want to recognize my website via OpenID...trying again

studio lolo said...

My eyes and my heart welled up reading this post. What a heartfelt tradition they have established! And man oh man did you ever ring that bell in grand style!!!

I'm so glad one part of this long journey is behind you. You are grace personified, and I agree with everything you said regarding L-O-V-E and faith.

Keep on keepin' on girlfriend! I'm by your side from here :)


Silke said...

Love you lots!! This post is going to be inspiration to MANY!!! Love, Silke

Terra said...

You are so powerful and joyful as you ring the bell. Well done, lady, you are a grand inspiration and rockin' that black and white style.
Thinking of you and 3 John 2.

BumbleVee said...

I've been out of the loop for a long time it seems....

good for you Anne.... proud to' know' a lady like you.

hugs, V.

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