Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bells Are Ringing, But Not For Meme

This week’s Theme Thursday struck very close to home for me. I will quote what started this process and you can read my take on this week’s theme “BELL”. Please go visit Barry for a little encouragement and the rest of the writers who contributed.
Quoted from Theme Thursday
Oh yes, we'd like for you to join in and ring the bell for Barry as he leaves hospital upon completion of his ( hopefully ) last chemotherapy treatment. Appears that this is a sort of tradition and similar to one we had in the Navy, as one crossed the gangway for the last time, ere being discharged from service. You can visit Barry's blogsite here, for further info and mayhaps leave a comment to join in...I see quite a few have already added on to Barry's side-bar.
She sat on the shower chair her eyes looking up at me and said “how much is coming out?” I stood with a handful of her thick hair in my hand and on the towel and replied “not much” besides you have a great shaped head. She drew in a hit off her oxygen and said “well there is that and the fact with a little more lipstick no one can tell, right?” I put my arms around her and said “Absolutely, the pinker the better.” I helped her up and got her dressed as she made her way back to her chair.

There she sat, scarf wrapped stylishly around her balding head, oxygen tube from her nose and dark circles under her eyes. “The cure is worse than the disease” she stated as she sorted through her plethora of pills and capsules. She held one up in between her thumb and forefinger and said “this one cost $2500 and is supposed to stop me from being sick from the chemo. This one is supposed to keep me from breaking any more bones.” She went through the cup of pills commenting on each one as she stuck it in her mouth and swallowed. “You know Gladys, this is my second round of chemo and I think that it will be my very last. I will not do this again.”

Gladys bit back the tears that were threatening to spill over “Momma, it WILL be your last because this is the time that will do it.” Gladys sat the little crystal bell down on the table next to the chair and said “I’m going to go put the clothes in the laundry and clean-up the bathroom. You ring that bell if you need anything. I have the monitor on and I’ll hear you ring no matter where I am.” She left her mother sitting in the chair and went to finish her chores.

Ting, ting, ting rang out from the speaker and Gladys stopped what she was doing and went to her mother’s side. She looked at her mother’s face and knew she was not breathing well. “Do you need your oxygen turned up?” Nurse Meme shook her head and said “I need to go to bed. I’m not doing well.” Gladys got her mother situated and elevated the bed. She checked her blood oxygen level and said “let’s do some breathing exercises.” They sat together holding each other’s hands and willed the oxygen into Nurse Meme’s lungs.

Gladys knew her mother would not admit to the pain she suffered nor would she acquiesce to a trip to the hospital so she instead went and called the home health nurse. She told her of her mother’s labored breathing and the edema in her feet. “Call me as soon as anything changes” Nurse Angel replied “we need to get her to the hospital if she gets any worse. I am afraid that that DVT (deep vein thrombosis) will break loose.” Gladys assured her she would and then went and told Trooper Bob to be prepared to get the ambulance.
It had barely been five minutes when the little bell dinged again. Gladys went running and checked the oxygen level once again. “Momma, let’s get you to the hospital, okay?” Nurse Meme looked up at Gladys with teary eyes and only nodded yes.

Nurse Meme was right. She never had to go through chemo again. She never got to ring that bell because the cure was worse than the disease.

Barry, I’ll be ringing Nurse Meme’s Bell for you!

7 comments:

Brian Miller said...

a stirring tale
ringing the bell!

Coffee Bean said...

Oh my goodness Gladys... Sniff. Ring Ring.

e said...

Wow...moving...Happy TT!

Jaime said...

this one hits pretty close to home for me too... my grandma gave my grandpa a bell just like that one beginning of last week. he was so afraid to be alone that he rang it every time she left the room. he rang it so often, she threatened to steal the bell.

she hasn't been able to bring herself to take it off the nightstand yet.

Magpie said...

Such a testiment to love.

Baino said...

So very sad. Reminds me of my Father who did one bout. Cured his bowel cancer but then he died from metastatic liver cancer. It's a shit of a disease frankly. If I get it, I'm not undergoing chemo. I'll just accept it . . .

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