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Nicholas praises influence of 'end of treatment bell'

06 September 2017

Health Care

Surrounded by family, friends, staff and fellow cancer patients, Nicholas Wyre from Southend-on-Sea, defiantly and proudly rang the ‘end of treatment’ bell in the Radiotherapy Department. This signalled the end of six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Nicholas was diagnosed with tongue cancer around Easter time and embarked on the long and arduous road to recovery with the support of his loved ones and dedicated staff at the hospital. Nicholas was quick to praise the positive influence of having the end of treatment bell as a goal to strive for.

Nicholas said: "Ringing this bell is something to look forward to. It's the goal for the end of treatment and gives you closure.  It's an achievement to get here. It has been a long, long, long, long journey - emotionally, mentally, physically and by ringing that bell, it says you've achieved something - it's wonderful. Being positive is the only way you can be. My consultant said to me this treatment is my friend and as every week goes by, I get stronger.  I'd like to thank all the departments that helped me. Everyone has been absolutely wonderful, I can't fault it."

There are several of these bells now installed in the hospital and The Look previously reported on brave Conall Riley, aged 9, who was the first to ring the bell on our Neptune Children's Ward.  Nicholas is one of many adults who will also ring the bell as they successfully complete their treatments.

These rituals are also important to staff because they can either witness the bell ringing in person or they can hear the clanging of the bell from afar which signals another cancer treatment success story.

Sarah Walsh, Expert Advanced Practitioner (Treatment) and Deputy to the Radiotherapy Services Manager, said: "All staff enjoy hearing the bell ring and the sound of other patients applauding; you feel that you've helped them through the treatment. The patients themselves look forward to getting to that point so they can say 'I did it, I got through this treatment'."