- Hope found in new memories created with Allyson and Anna-Lee – everyday happenings like running errands or cooking dinner together, playful shenanigans we would never share with others and special memories like college and high school graduations.
- Hope found with family who help me lovingly keep my life managed and moving forward with their extra hands, especially those days when energy is not on my side.
- Hope found in friends and neighbors who stop by for a visit, who wrap me in love and good wishes, but who also help me keep my sense of humor with funny jokes about my baldheaded condition, my many headdresses or my “FALL RISK” status.
- Hope found in colleagues who continue to respect my mind and contributions, who keep me engaged in the challenge of work and community service.
- Hope found spending the day in the kitchen cooking an elaborate meal, even when I have no appetite. As one friend said, “You have cancer. Why are you cooking for the rest of us?” Well, when I feel like it, cooking makes me feel good.
- Hope found in looking through old photo albums, reconnecting with family and long-ago friends, listening to stories of times gone by.
- Hope found in friends who pray with me, or send a lovely card or letter, stop by with dinner or a delicious loaf of bread, who deliver anti-oxidant foods for my health, who sneak banana popsicles into the hospital, plant my garden, find hats and scarves to help me feel pretty, feed my birds, or crochet for me a beautiful patchwork blanket or knit a prayer shawl.
- Hope found in the physicians who are trained to care for my physical body, but who also feed my soul, give me a smile, share stories of survivors and encourage my spiritual battle.
- Hope found in God, who says to me and you, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
A friend recently told me about her mother’s three-year battle with cancer. What a challenging time this must be for her, and I’m hopeful that my own battle will not have such a long duration, or even longer. But my friend is also concerned that her mother has quit living, has ceased to enjoy everyday life, instead spending her waking hours only focused on cancer. I can understand that concern. According to survival statistics, there are some cancers that provide very few rays of hope. I remember my own doctor instructing me NOT to Google “Inflammatory Breast Cancer.” She said, “you won’t find much good news on the Internet.” A life focused on cancer might not look so hopeful.