Last Chemo Session

'Last chemo session! Ring the bell three times!'

Said the sign on the wall beside the big, metal hub.


I had hesitated, but a smiling attendant

A gentleman, a very gentle man from front desk

Hopped it to the kitchen

And returned with two, huge, metal spoons.

He pressed them into my hand. 'Go for it!'

And I struck the silver gong three times:


The clanging rang through the whole ward

Alerting patients ranged in 'therapy' chairs,

Past cubby-hole rooms and private offices.

Bright, thrilling reverberations

Jangling your very backbone.


And the staff poured into the hallway.

So many familiar faces smiling

With genuine delight shining in their eyes.

'Good-bye. Good-bye! Good luck!'

I wanted to hug them for their care -

Their kindness - their patience -

Like friends, almost family!

But – you know – 'germ-y stuff'!

And I refrained, but I so wanted to.

Maybe they knew. I hope they knew.


They were wonderful

The people who cared for me, every single one.

May God bless them wholly -

Nurses – therapists -consultants - techicians -

Surgeons – anaesthetists - pharmacists -

Switchboard operators -ambulance drivers

Cleaners – cooks - volunteers – EVERYBODY.

'Thank you' hardly seems adequate.

But I have nothing else to offer.

Except - MY LIFE!

Cynthia Buell Thomas, April, 2019


◄ Red-winged Blackbird

Chemo Session 4 ►


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Lisa C Bassignani

Thu 18th Apr 2019 22:03

I have also been there and rang that proverbial bell.
Good luck with you life.
I hope everything goes well❤

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Mae Foreman

Thu 18th Apr 2019 13:30

Wolfgar I loved your poem, and I have to say this touches me deeply. I've been there and it was exactly as you described it! After it was all over I wrote a long "thank you" and posted it on a certain social medium (that was because it wasn't poetic contrary to your piece and plus it was the only way they'd get my message!) and I thanked each and every one of them personally, without mentioning names. All of my comrades, benefactors, kin and friends, fellow sufferers and professionals and then I took a virtual bow and left the virtual building and started writing on Write Out Loud. They all knew who they were and in fact many sent me private messages pretty much telling me " You're welcome!"
Thank you for this lovely piece Wolfgar and excuse the ranting ?

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Binte Afroz

Thu 18th Apr 2019 12:53

This left me tearful, Cynthia. Tears of hope and joy! Loved each word of it.

Stay blessed.

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Jason Bayliss

Wed 17th Apr 2019 18:03

My friends Mum got to do this at Leeds hospital not long ago, he filmed it. It is such a lovely sight, I just found myself smiling from ear to ear, as I am now. Thank you so much.?

J. x

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keith jeffries

Wed 17th Apr 2019 16:53


What a fabulous tribute of gratitude. It left me feeling quite enervated.
Thank you

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Stu Buck

Wed 17th Apr 2019 16:35

i am having a very hard time lately and this has cheered me beyond belief. so happy for you! sending my love

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 17th Apr 2019 16:32

Oh, Laura, I was just thinking of you yesterday! How splendid to hear from you.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 17th Apr 2019 16:30

Hey Cynth, long time no see. If this is true, which I suspect it is, then I am very glad indeed you got to ring that bell. The older I get, the more people I know who do this, and some who sadly don't.

Great poem, life-affirming. Literally.

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