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Three times well: emotional video captures Berwick resident's end of chemo celebration


KENTVILLE - Tears rolled down Carol Boylan-Hartling’s rosy cheeks as she approached her destination.

Staff in the busy hospital unit stopped to watch their patient, her face beaming under a Toronto Blue Jays’ ball cap, clutch a string dangling from a cowbell mounted on a wall in Kentville’s Valley Regional. The bell is attached to a plaque inscribed with a commonplace saying for people undergoing treatments for cancer:

“Ring the bell three times well, it’s toll to clearly say: my treatment’s done, the course is run and I am on my way.”

For Boylan-Hartling, that bell’s toll marked the end of an intense 18-week chemotherapy session.

“It’s just such a good feeling to be finished the chemo,” she said. “We were all bawling.”

The Berwick resident was the first patient to ring the bell, which seems fitting considering she did the groundwork to have it installed.

“My reason for doing it was just so other people can share that exhilarating experience of ringing the bell when they’re done chemo,” she said.

The family of the late Stuart Johnstone of Waterville – a longtime volunteer firefighter, village commissioner and community correspondent for the Kings County Register - donated the bell after learning Boylan-Hartling wanted to do something to inspire fellow cancer patients.

“For me it was about leaving something there for other people so that they could get the same satisfaction,” said Boylan-Hartling, who ensured the plaque’s inscription thanked the hospital staff involved with her treatment.

“They’re just like family… I was so glad to be finishing the chemo but yet so sad to be leaving them.”

Boylan-Hartling’s daughter, Mary Belliveau, used her smartphone to broadcast a live video of her mother, a beloved community leader, town employee and volunteer in Berwick, ringing the bell three times well on social media. That video, posted June 2, has since been viewed more than 4,300 times.

Click here to see the full video.

“They did so much for me and she wanted other people to see it,” said Boylan-Hartling.

With chemo out of the way, the next step is 16 sessions of radiation in Halifax starting June 22.

“I have the outlook now that there’s always someone worse off, yet cancer is a terrible thing. It kills people every day and it’s a terrible disease but there’s good that comes out of the bad,” says Boylan-Hartling, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2015.

“For me, it was realizing how much love and support I have in this community.”

With husband Dale Hartling, two daughters and a generous community in her corner, Boylan-Hartling is focusing on living in the moment as she continues her fight.

She’s thrilled to report doctors are pleased with her progress, and she’ll be paying close attention to the little things that matter most in the days that come.

“I’ve just learned to appreciate life, to appreciate every minute I have.”

 

 

Staff in the busy hospital unit stopped to watch their patient, her face beaming under a Toronto Blue Jays’ ball cap, clutch a string dangling from a cowbell mounted on a wall in Kentville’s Valley Regional. The bell is attached to a plaque inscribed with a commonplace saying for people undergoing treatments for cancer:

“Ring the bell three times well, it’s toll to clearly say: my treatment’s done, the course is run and I am on my way.”

For Boylan-Hartling, that bell’s toll marked the end of an intense 18-week chemotherapy session.

“It’s just such a good feeling to be finished the chemo,” she said. “We were all bawling.”

The Berwick resident was the first patient to ring the bell, which seems fitting considering she did the groundwork to have it installed.

“My reason for doing it was just so other people can share that exhilarating experience of ringing the bell when they’re done chemo,” she said.

The family of the late Stuart Johnstone of Waterville – a longtime volunteer firefighter, village commissioner and community correspondent for the Kings County Register - donated the bell after learning Boylan-Hartling wanted to do something to inspire fellow cancer patients.

“For me it was about leaving something there for other people so that they could get the same satisfaction,” said Boylan-Hartling, who ensured the plaque’s inscription thanked the hospital staff involved with her treatment.

“They’re just like family… I was so glad to be finishing the chemo but yet so sad to be leaving them.”

Boylan-Hartling’s daughter, Mary Belliveau, used her smartphone to broadcast a live video of her mother, a beloved community leader, town employee and volunteer in Berwick, ringing the bell three times well on social media. That video, posted June 2, has since been viewed more than 4,300 times.

Click here to see the full video.

“They did so much for me and she wanted other people to see it,” said Boylan-Hartling.

With chemo out of the way, the next step is 16 sessions of radiation in Halifax starting June 22.

“I have the outlook now that there’s always someone worse off, yet cancer is a terrible thing. It kills people every day and it’s a terrible disease but there’s good that comes out of the bad,” says Boylan-Hartling, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2015.

“For me, it was realizing how much love and support I have in this community.”

With husband Dale Hartling, two daughters and a generous community in her corner, Boylan-Hartling is focusing on living in the moment as she continues her fight.

She’s thrilled to report doctors are pleased with her progress, and she’ll be paying close attention to the little things that matter most in the days that come.

“I’ve just learned to appreciate life, to appreciate every minute I have.”

 

 

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