Vickie Rings the Bell

Vickie, the Bell, her Certificate of Treatment Completion and I

A lovely brass bell sits near the entrance of the Moffitt Cancer Center Infusion Unit. When patients complete their course of chemotherapy treatments, they ring the bell to celebrate their bravery and their accomplishment.

Today is the day for which we have been waiting since Vickie discovered the lump near her groin at the beginning of July.

The final diagnosis of Stage three non-Hodgkins lymphoma came through in September, and from that day to this, the doctor’s words, “Treatable and curable,” have been the lifeline to which we have clung.

But no one said the journey to today would be easy, and Hurricane Ian certainly complicated things, but here we are.

If there is a symbol for Vickie’s journey, it is the Sanibel Strong necklace I gave her for Chanukah. Our friend Scot Congress of Congress Jewelers designed. It features the Sanibel lighthouse, a beacon of hope for all of us who live on the island.

Now she has completed the last (we hope and pray) of six chemotherapy infusions. We cannot say enough good things about her doctor in Fort Myers, and the staff here at Moffit Cancer Center.

The infusion time becomes seemingly shorter because Vickie plays Mah Jong with her close friends, Caren and Elissa.

Each of our three children interrupted his and her busy life to visit with us and help,out in different ways. We are also very grateful for the love and support we have felt everyday from our Bat Yam family and the loving , supportive messages that have come through on social media.

The unsung hero is Vickie’s smartphone! How did we ever exist before those things were invented. They keep Vickie connected to friends and family around the world and to innumerable sources of knowledge and entertainment.

When the treatment ended, her nurse for today, a lovely Indian woman named Sushila, gathered as many of the infusion center staff as she could collar and announced, Vickie is going to ring the bell.

The inscription under the bell stresses the importance of savoring every victory in the fight against cancer — big or small. 

For Vickie this was a big one.

With tears in her eyes and a huge smile on her face, Vickie gave that bell several resounding clangs!

She will have PET scan a month to tell us — we pray — what the last one a month ag ago revealed: no evidence of cancer. Then, of course, she will be monitored regularly, and if all goes well, she will need no further treatments.

Gradually, then, her strength will return, her hair will return, our house will become habitable and life will,go on as it did before cancer and before Hurricane Ian.

What a wonderful possibility to contemplate!

I welcome you to follow me on Twitter: @rabbifuchs6

13 thoughts on “Vickie Rings the Bell

  1. Dear Stephen, Vickie and Fuchs Family: A resounding both Mazal Tov! and Congratulations, with complementary Best Future Wishes ( ❤ ) ! …. Simply super Good News ( ! ) …. Best Wishes, always, Mark David Loveland


  2. What wonderful news! You have both been so brave and positive throughout your treatment Vickie as well as your upheaval to Tampa thanks to Ian.

    Onwards and upwards – with the love of your family and friends xxx


  3. So happy for your family. I am sure this is a resounding defeat of this horrible disease. May you go on to an incredible life after this trying journey. Love to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So happy for you, and especially your beloved. What a lot of challenges. May 2023 be a time of rebuilding. ??? ???? ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We thank and praise the Lord for all he has done in your healing Vicki. May you have continued health here on in. So happy that you and Rabbi have this pretty much behind you and that your body is healed 🙏you can concentrate on rebuilding your home on the Island. I wish you both all the very best in Health in the coming New Year.
    Love ❤️ and Blessings
    Linda Baer-Marks

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am filled with joy to hear that Vicky has completed her treatment! I pray that 2023 is the year of restoring, health, home and hope. Hugs to you both❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So happy for you and Vicky, so beautiful to see you both by the bell. KolhaKavod!!! Have a huge hug for you are blessed and certainly we will be here celebrating every step!’.
    Much love!


  8. Mazel tov, Vickie! May your bell resound throughout Sanibel for healing of the body, of the soul, and of our beloved island. We celebrate your strength, your beauty and your resilience.
    With all our love,
    Sally and Allan


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