Rachel Punneo, a fourth-grade teacher at Independence Intermediate School in Oklahoma, completed her final chemotherapy treatment in March

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 13, 2021 03:58 PM
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An elementary teacher from Oklahoma recently sported a pair of boxing gloves to her last round of chemotherapy, calling the experience a "great mix of feelings."

Rachel Punneo wore light blue boxing gloves as she celebrated ringing the bell at her last treatment of chemotherapy in March, Yukon Public Schools shared in a Facebook post. The fourth-grade teacher at Independence Intermediate School in Oklahoma also marked six months free of ovarian cancer.

"Mrs. Punneo, 4th grade teacher at Independence, finished her last round of chemotherapy treatment last month," Yukon Public Schools wrote on social media.

"After six months, she finally rang the bell in honor of being cancer-free, even wearing boxing gloves for her special moment," they added.

In the post, the district said Punneo called the moment "a great mix of feelings."

Rachel Punneo
Credit: Ykon Public Schools/Facebook

"She described it as 'victory, relief, pride, a bit of somberness for all who haven't had that opportunity and such pure happiness!'" the district wrote.

Celebrating the milestone, a few members of the school even made an appearance outside Punneo's home.

"To make the day even more special, some of the Independence Intermediate staff surprised her at her house to celebrate the last treatment," the district's social media post reads. "Congratulations Mrs. Punneo!"

On her Facebook page, Punneo thanked everyone who came out to celebrate with her.

"Today is a good day to have a good day. Leaving for chemo today I had the best cowbell ringers to teach me how to properly ring a bell," she wrote. "This is coming from the best teachers the world has to offer! What a fantastic surprise of support!"

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"I'm telling ya, I love these guys!! The day only filled with more treasures," Punneo added. "Look through to see some of the good in this world!"

Punneo said even though she will have "many appointments to come," she can now look forward to life without treatment.

"This present that is cancer is about to get wrapped up in petty paper, a cute bow, and be punted to the curb with much enthusiasm!" she wrote in a previous social media post. "I will be done."