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[Lindsay] It's something that you walk by every single time you're here.

If you just think about all the people who have touched this rope and all how much hope they had.

I was like, "Well, I'm going to ring the crap out of that bell someday."

[solemn music]

So, we're headed to my work. It's where I go every day to work as an oncology nurse.

Something about today is I'm also going to get my chemo treatment, and it's actually my last chemo treatment.

[light music]

I told my family that I was going to be a nurse when I was five years old, and I never changed my mind.

I don't know if it was so much of a choice as it was just me, and I recognized it early on.

[light music]

It is hard because the people that I work with are the ones that are treating me too.

[Lindsay] Hi. Is this arm okay?

[Patient] Absolutely.

[Lindsay] Something I used to tell my patients is, like, oh, this is just gonna to be a phase in your life, and I would try to use that to be encouraging.

Now I worry that that was just trivializing it all.

It's way more than a phase. It's kind of like a part of you now.

You've been stamped with a "C" stamp or something.

Your mind immediately goes to your children after being diagnosed with cancer.

You wonder, "Am I going to be able to lift my daughter up after surgery? Am I going to be able to cook them dinner, and get them up in the morning?" 

So you just kind of, you know, make it a positive experience.

I think birthdays are a lot more special now. It means I'm not the age I was diagnosed at anymore.

It's on to the next year. You just have, you know, so much hope.

I had my second child in April and was following up on some symptoms after pregnancy.

She was about five months old when I was diagnosed. So, rectal cancer. It's definitely an eye opener from the start.

[Lindsay's Husband] One of the first things she said to me after we learned of her diagnosis was, "You didn't sign up for this," and that ripped my heart out.

[solemn music]

[Lindsay] This is the big chair where I get my special medicine.

[Lindsay's Son] I don't see your special medicine.

[Lindsay] They're going to bring it in.

[Husband] It's her very last one.

[Son] Yay!

[Lindsay] I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. But regardless, today is going to be a celebration.

[light music]

[Husband] Mom needs to sit there for about a half hour.

[Son] Is it your last medicine?

[Lindsay] It is my last medicine. Hey, what do I get to do since it's my last medicine? Ring the bell? Yes.

[Son] Are they going to get the bell?

[Lindsay] Well, the bell's out front. I'll show it to you in a minute.

[Nurse] You see this little blue button right here?

[Son] Yeah.

[Nurse] Okay, we're going to hit that, okay? Can you reach it?

[Son] Yeah.

[Nurse] Okay, and go.

[Lindsay] No matter what my future holds, this signifies accomplishing this first battle, and hopefully it only takes one battle to win the war. [light music] Yay!

[Husband] Mama chemo over.

[Lindsay] Oh, yay! Can you say thank you, everybody?

[Son] Thank you.

[Lindsay] Thank you, everybody, for coming.

Let's ring the bell, you and I.

Ready? One, two, three.

[bell ringing] [cheering]

I mean, I feel like I'm on a really good path now.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I do feel like I'm miles away from when I was first diagnosed.

But I don't know if I'll ever feel like I've conquered it. I want the end of my story to be a good one.

[light music]

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Lindsay's story: Facing cancer as an oncology nurse and a mom

It takes a special person to care for others with cancer, whether it's providing treatment or simply being there to listen.

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