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Posted 2017-10-31T02:32:00Z

A Time To Rest

For most of us time flies.  How is it already Halloween and a month until Thanksgiving?  But it doesn’t fly when you are undergoing cancer treatments.  It seems to us, and especially Kelly, it was a lifetime ago when she turned 21 and twelve days later her tumor was discovered.  Plans for the future were replaced by dealing with the present.  Since May, time has crawled by!  

But now, Kelly has come to the end of the scheduled therapies.  She couldn’t be more ready!  At the Proton Center, completing treatments calls for a special ritual.  A large, heavy brass gong is suspended at the back of the atrium and when rung, is capable of a startling deep, robust clang (perhaps you’ve heard it if you were within a 10 mile radius).  The ceremony begins with a strike of the gong by the one who has completed Radiation.  The doctors, nurses, techs and waiting room patients cease what they are doing to join the claps and smiles in recognition of this momentous event.  A poem is read (see below) and the patient makes a short speech.  Most get chocked up as they recount their journeys and it is a touching reminder that there an end to all this.  Hugs, good-byes and pictures follow the heartfelt words.  Some patients have quite a sizable support group who have come for this memorable occasion.  Kelly, who avoids attention at all costs, had stated from the beginning she will not strike the gong nor make any speeches.  To ensure we don’t persuade her or try to take a picture, she planned to drive herself that day.   When Friday came, there were mechanical issues causing her 3:30pm appointment to move to 5:50pm.   As luck would have it, she seemed to be the last one scheduled, and at 7:15pm when her treatment was completed, the waiting room was empty and she slipped out the exit before anyone could notice.   Kelly needs no fanfare or ritual to mark this day as significant.  

Most side effects will linger for the next 1-2 weeks although the fatigue will persist much longer, but now Kelly can REST!  Rest from the daily trips to proton therapy.   Rest to allow her body, mind, and spirit to recover from the weakened state caused by harsh treatments and endless appointments.   Watching her journey has been heartbreaking for her parents, her siblings, Blake, extended families and all those who love her.   None of us can know the agony of actually enduring it, but all of us can rejoice that rest, recovery and a renewed optimism will now be her main focus. Thanks be to God!  

This week Kelly will see her oncologist at Medical City, who will schedule her PET scan and explain what is next on the horizon.

Exodus 33:14, The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)

Poem read at the end of treatments:
Ring this bell, Three times well
It’s toll to clearly say,
My Treatment’s done
This course is run
And I am on my way!

by Irve Le Moyne

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Comments (11)

  • Tracy Praestholm
    Tracy Praestholm

    This is truly fantastic news!!! So glad to hear this stage is now over!!

    2 years ago · Reply
    • Lydia McMahan
      Lydia McMahan

      Thanks. We are all rejoicing with her!

      2 years ago · Reply
  • Jill Fortenbaugh
    Jill Fortenbaugh

    Well, as you have said in Moms group at Chuch, Kelly needs no celebration.... ( I am glad however you shared this event that people celebrate).... I sure hope Kelly can get the rest she needs, I hope her body van recover and rejuvinate. I continue to wear the green bracelet....for Kelly and your family. I dont know her, but feel I have become to know her through all the stories.... (I hope the good Lord lays extra Love on Kelly)... yhank you for sharing the poem after the gong was played. Glad she is home now and resting.

    2 years ago · Reply
    • Lydia McMahan
      Lydia McMahan

      Thanks for following along. I'm amazed so many people care and still read.

      2 years ago · Reply
  • Sally switzer
    Sally switzer

    I don’t know if you remember a song in youth choir I heard the voice— this reminded me of some of the lyrics — I heard the voice of Jesus say come unto me and rest— loved that song and love you too!! Prayers of rest and healing for Kelly!

    2 years ago · Reply
    • Lydia McMahan
      Lydia McMahan

      Of course I remember that song!! I loved it too and perfect for this post. Wish I had thought of it and used the lyrics. Thanks for the reminder of it.

      2 years ago · Reply
  • Leslie Brede
    Leslie Brede

    Kelly, I’m so glad this is behind you. Although you didn’t participate in the celebration, (anyone who knows you would have known that) we are all celebrating with you in our hearts. Rest and enjoy your freedom from schedules and appointments.

    2 years ago · Reply
    • Lydia McMahan
      Lydia McMahan

      I'm not sure she could have done this without Blake by her side. He is a truly amazing young man!

      2 years ago · Reply
  • Debbie Pomponio
    Debbie Pomponio

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us. God is so good and so happy to read that the bell has “rung” in our hearts. Prayers continue for rest!

    2 years ago · Reply
  • Charlotte Balke
    Charlotte Balke

    Rest and renew sweet Kelly. We all love you and are keeping you in our prayers for a full and complete recovery. I’m so proud to know you and support you.

    2 years ago · Reply
  • Lesli Lyon
    Lesli Lyon

    OMGeeee!!! KeeeelllllYYYY!!!!! Let’s sneak down down there and just ring the daylights out of that bell when nobody’s there one night! I’ll do it and you can just hide somewhere and laugh! 😜 I feel like you need your chance! I love you, sweet girl! Rest up! 😘

    2 years ago · Reply