Thursday, February 18, 2010
Ring the Bell for Barry
Untitled as of yet, 6 inch by 6 inch collage by Leslie Avon Miller.
Sometimes I am drawn to different blogs for a variety of reasons. One blog I love is An Explorers View of Life, the blog of Barry Fraser. Barry and I both look at the world from the point of view of an explorer.
Barry writes beautifully and tells a good story. So I’ve been following Barry for a good while now. Then one day Barry and my husband had the very same medical procedure on the very same day, but clear across the North American continent from each other.
My husband Kurt’s results were fine, he just needed some treatment. Barry’s results were, frankly, shocking. Barry was diagnosed with cancer. But Barry is a special guy. Throughout all of his treatment, the ups and downs, and life style changes (would you call it a life style change Barry?) Barry has shared on his blog.
Not only have we read about the progress of his medical treatment and the new things he has explored and learned such as meditation and vegetarianism, we have laughed and cried with Barry and his family. And beyond that, I have learned from Barry how to really, really live in the face of cancer. How to embrace the days. And it’s a gift I shall always cherish. Live today, live it fully. Stay curious. See the humor. Cry. Love.
This is what Barry plans:
High on the wall next to the exit from the Chemo Day Care Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital a bell is waiting for me. As I mentioned in my post a week ago Friday, there is a ritual at PMH that those patients completing their last treatment of chemotherapy, ring the bell as they leave.
And whenever it rings the nurses and volunteers and other chemo patients pause for a moment and applaud.
When I finish my last injection of chemo, on Thursday February 18th at about 2pm Eastern Standard Time, I'm also ringing that damn bell!
As loud and as long as I can!
My cancer may not be cured. I may find myself back there again sometime, but for now, at least, I'm declaring victory. After all, you don't have to win the whole war before celebrating victory in battle.
Today Barry completes his chemotherapy. And on his way out the door of the hospital he is ringing the bell. And in his honor, I am ringing my bell for him. God speed my friend. Thank you Barry, for being you.