Just ring the bell…pansy

Posted by Joel on July 15th, 2008 filed in General stuff

The title of this post is a  “cleaned up” quote from one of my all time favorite movies “Old School”.  For those of you who are fans you probably got it…I just wanted to let those who didn’t in on the joke. 

Hey all…we have officially finished our science experiment.  Today was a good day.  I spoke to my doctor and had actually asked her if she thought more radiation would help as I’m willing to do it.  My thought was that as long as I felt up to it…if more radiation would mean even a 5% increase in ultimately getting to the operation table later that I would be up for it and ready to continue on.  I pretty much feel normal and never really experienced much in the way of discomfort at least not as much as I witnessed from other patients and what the doctors and nurses had led me to expect.  She assured me that there is no statistical evidence to support any more radiation at this time.  Furthermore, that I have received the maximum prescribed and any more would not do me any good but just tear my body down.  I’m comfortable with her response and my curiosity has been answered.  I also asked her specifically if she thought that we have done all that we can from a science perspective and she confirms that we have.  I never really doubted but I like things to be clear…crystal.  So now we enter the waiting period.  My body stays radioactive for a few more weeks as the treatments continue to work their will.  This prevents any accurate measurement of the tumor.  Therefore we’ll wait and in about a month we’ll get our first look at any success we might have.  Not much to worry about between now and then as we have done all we can within our power at this point.  I’ve never been one to worry about that which I can’t control.

So IU Med Center has this bell hanging on the wall.  It is almost identical to the ones in all of the Long John Silver Restaurants that their customers ring on their way out.  I had seen the bell and noticed the inscription on a plaque that patients were to ring the bell 3 times as they finished their treatments signifying a succesful conclusion to their journey.  In all the time that I have been going there, I never actually witnessed a patient ring the bell so I wasn’t even really sure if it was just decoration or functional.  Sure enough, the nurses and my doctor all had reminded me that I was to ring the bell today.  On my way out, I grabbed and gave 3 pulls.  To my surprise, all in earshot stopped what they were doing and applauded, patients, nurses, doctors alike.  I never would have guessed that ringing a bell could be such a moving experience, but it was.

The emotions are high today.  We’ve finished our first part of what is necessary to be succesful in our fight.   I believe that long term success can be defined many ways, and ultimately don’t place too much emphasis on any one path.  I am reminded that where the science ends is where God has to take over.  I’m confident that we have covered our bases on all fronts in this battle.  My spirit remains unbroken.  My heart is strong.  My mind is clear.  Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, I’ll continue the fight as will we all.  Talk to you soon.  Great day.


25 Responses to “Just ring the bell…pansy”

  1. Pilar Peigh Says:

    Hi Joel,

    Josh and I check in on you everyday, even though we aren’t there. You’ve had me laughing and crying, all at the same time. I’m glad you are asking all the questions and making sure all bases are covered…otherwise we’d be asking them for/with you! Now that you know, scientifically, that you’ve done the most…now it’s all of our turns to do our most. We are praying for a full recovery Joel. Everynight, Josh, Abbie and I pray for you and your family. We will do our most for you…prayer. Keep up the awesome attitude and fight. Through this all, you are a true inspiration.


  2. Molly Edson Kerr Says:

    Congrats Joel!

    I’m sure it feels great to have the “science experiment” completed! You’re right…scientifically you’ve done all you can. Now it is certainly our job to keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. My family (like so many others out there) continues to pray for a full recovery for you Joel. I can’t think of anyone more deserving. You truly are an inspiration to us all! Keep your spirits high my friend!

    Love and Prayers,

  3. Damon Peigh Says:

    Good morning Joel!

    How does it feel to NOT have to go to the IU Med Center this morning? As difficult as it been to travel each day for treatment, the next month may be more difficult as we await the report of your progress. Truely it is out of your control. This is where a faith based philosophy comes into play. Mom and I eagerly await a positive progress report and believe you are in control of the factors affecting your attitude. Your strong constitution and attitude have made you a persistent competitor all of your life. These times are no different.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of your friends who have responded to your blog as well as all of those who daily or weekly take time to read your comments. I know this means a lot to you as you have stated. Friends and associates are important in this world. We all need to take time to smell the roses. Continued dialog and a strong faith will continue to be part of your therapy which we all want to share.

    Hang in there.


  4. Paula Cooprider Says:

    Joel, Congratulations on completing this phase of the treatment! It was not possible to read your entry dry-eyed. I will view Long John Silver’s Bells from your vantage point from now forward. The last 3 or 4 sentences were especially touching. You’re right, we’ll continue to pray as the fight continues. Paula

  5. Karen Allen Says:

    I am so thankful for you Joel. Your spirit is a witness to us all. I will never look at a bell the same way.

  6. Connie Matalon Says:

    Hi Joel,
    You truly are an inspiration to all of us who are following your progress. Stan and I are SO happy that you have finished your “science experiment” !! You and April both are amazing…
    Cousin Connie

  7. Erin Carr Says:

    I could tell by the sound of your voice yesterday that you had been energized with strength and determination at your last treatment session.

    You are right, “they couldn’t beat you”. And this is just the beginning…

    As Dad always says, “attitude makes the difference”. Your attitude continues to be a daily inspiration to me.

    Congratulations, I hope you slept in today.


  8. Mackenzie Carr Says:

    Dear Uncle Joel,
    I hope you feel better soon. I pray for you every day. You need to come over to Grandma’s soon.

  9. Amy Walker Says:


    Yahoo!! I am so thankful that you have tackled this part of your treatment! I am very thankful that you have remained yourself through it all! Julia Ransford and Riley have just finished turning in 4-H projects so things are pretty quiet right now. I was looking through photos the other day and found one of you messing around with Ransford with a fishing pole and a stuffed tiger. He thought that was a fun day at McCormick;s Creek. I think he was four. Ransford actually caught a 44.5 inch Muakie in Canada this year. Maybe it was because you taught him how to catch stuffed tigers!!

    Love you and in my prayers constantly!


  10. Joel Says:


    Thanks for the thought. Your note makes me feel better already. I’ll see you soon.

    Uncle Joel

  11. ginger grimes Says:

    hi Joel. Don’t know if u remeber me or not we went to high school together. Seen your name on our church prayer list (North United Methodiest) Just to let you know we’re praying for you and keep up the couragious battle!! Love the pictures u have a beautiful family. Take care. ginger

  12. Lucy and Warren Pigg Says:

    You’ve reached anotother milestone. Great! We’re watching and praying and keeping you on prayer lines. Love. L/W

  13. Mary-Caroline Peddie and Marc Miller Says:

    Joel, just thought I’d let you know that you were in our thoughts this evening. Wow…the bell, what a GREAT story…and a new beginning. Ring on!!! I promise you that every time I see a bell…you will cross my mind.
    Our best, always.
    Mary-Caroline and Marc

  14. Barry Gaines Says:

    Went to Long John Silvers tonight… Rang the bell 4 times, one for the cook, but 3 times for my homey…. They asked me to leave….

  15. Joel Says:


    Too funny

  16. John Lucht Says:

    BG sent me the link to this site today. I got you in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. Judy Smith Says:

    Joel & April

    Just to let you know you have been in our thoughts and prayers all along. I’ve kept in touch with your Mom about things. Will still keep praying for you and just the best to you. You are an inspiration to us all and admire your strength and wisdom. Take care.

  18. Ray Denning Says:


    Just recently heard about your situation. Hope all is well with you and your family. I will keep you in my thoughts. Stay strong and keep the same cheesie smile on your grill you had durin high school.


  19. Jodi Daniel(Grant) Says:

    Hi Joel- Not sure if you remember me from high school but I just wanted to say that you and your family are in our thoughts and we wish the best of luck for you.
    Take care

  20. Jamalyn Peigh Williamson Says:

    Hey Joel –
    I am getting caught up on your journey. I have loved walking through this and your humor is great. Thanks for continuing to share what’s on your heart. I imagine there are days it is harder to share than others, but it has been a blessing to all of us. Dave and I are huge fans of “Old School” so we had to laugh when we read the title. We have been continuing to pray for you by name at our church on Sunday mornings. Everyone is wanting updates — don’t you just love small towns? Sorry we can’t make it Saturday night for the Fish Fry. We have friends coming in from D.C. We will have to catch up soon — after the baby comes. I am as big as a house! Give April a hug and let us know if you need anything.

    Jamalyn, Dave and Margaret

  21. Tiffany Stoner Says:

    Congratulations. I think we could hear that bell ringing all the way to the East Coast while we were traveling on our road trip. Could not be happier to hear that your resolve remains strong.

  22. Paula Cooprider Says:

    Hey Joel, Guess what I’m watching on TV? Old School! It only has 15 min left. Do you think I can watch that much of it? See you. Paula

  23. Lucy Pigg Says:

    You are an inspiration to us all, Joel and we have never stopped praying for you.
    Prairieton has been deluged with water and then snow (at least a foot) and we can probably look forward to drought.
    You will be able to check it out this spring if it’s God’s will and that’s our prayer.
    Love always, Lucy and Warren Pigg

  24. Mary Ruth Says:

    Reading your latest news and praying that you get to ring that bell big time.

  25. Erin Says:

    I can hear his voice still… and just can’t believe this exciting day was two years ago today. I miss his voice so much.

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