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Let's Discuss...Hope


Hope is the feeling of wanting something to happen. Some people find it easy to be hopeful – it helps them cope with the hard things happening right now. You might find it hard to find hope during difficult times. And that’s OK. You don’t have to pretend to feel a certain way if you don’t.

Discussion Questions:

  • What was your experience with hope when you were diagnosed with cancer/ when your loved one was diagnosed?

  • What are your hopes for the future?

41 Replies
Runner Girl
2730 Posts
Lacey_Moderator

I hoped that all the treatment I was having was going to eradicate the cancer from me.

I hope that the cancer does not come back.

My favorite quote that I discovered during treatment is: Never stop believing in HOPE, because MIRACLES happen every day.

Runner Girl
XYZ123
23 Posts
When my husband was first diagnosed my biggest hope was that it wasn't terminal. When we heard it was stage 3 the hope was that it was caught in time. Now we hope for good results from each scan and for the chemo to do what it has to do.

We hope that we will have a long and happy life together. We hope that we will see grandchildren together. We hope that my husband will see our eldest graduate from university and our youngest graduate high school. I hope that the pain he still has from surgery will go away. I hope that he won't have to live with his ostomy forever and the the reversal will be a success. I hope for a normal life for him, where he can do what makes him happy, free of pain and fear of it returning. I hope it isn't genetic. I hope we can carry out all the plans we've made for our lives once the kids leave home...we've made so many.

But I AM hopeful. I refuse not to be. I won't live this time in doubt or fear. Any scenario other than OK is unacceptable. If things turn out otherwise then I'll deal with it then, but this marathon is too long a journey to be spent without hope.
fabhabfan
25 Posts
Tbh, my hope was pretty low after a call back about my mammo last November.
Six months, 2 biopsies including lymph nodes and a mastectomy later, i hope that it never comes back. Not in my other breast or anywhere else in my body. Ive had enough for a lifetime!
Trillium
2008 Posts
When my son was first diagnosed I had hoped that once he had the surgery it was all finished with him being stage one. When he was further diagnosed by the oncologist it was stage 3. We hoped that the chemotherapy would get rid of the cancer and as of today it has. I hope that he never has to deal with cancer again and I feel strongly that he won’t but if he does then I hope it is as least complicated as possible.

My daughter has finally seen the gynaecologist for worrying symptoms. I had hoped that she would be screened for cancer so we would not have to worry about a later diagnosis. She will have a biopsy next week for uterine cancer and I hope it is not cancer but I hope that we continue to have the strength to live as best we can with another cancer diagnosis.

Hoping that we can live the best life we can is the hope I hang onto the most.
Jax1
2 Posts
For a while I was so shocked and afraid that I was not going to live.
Hope was hearing from my oncologist that treatment would start right away and surgery would go well.

So happy for my family and Friends who gave me so much Hope for the future 💓
Brighty
8442 Posts
When my fiance was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer there was a bit of hope.....he had the surgery ....the surgeon got out all the cancer and infected lymph nodes. He was able to eat agsin and we were thinking we'd reschedule our wedding. That was not to be. His addictions took over once again and that was that.
Lillee
137 Posts
I had a very abusive childhood. I lived on hope. Often it was all I had. I could do nothing to change my family or my life. But there was hope.

Getting a diagnosis of cancer (colon) rocked me. But it wasn't time for me to lose hope. I had developed a strong connection with it: The Ace up my sleeve.

But hope isn't enough. Hope can make you sit back and wait for something to happen that will change your future. So hope has to go with action. I have to be proactive in my treatment. That means diet, rest, excercise, support,... whatever it takes.

My chemo did not go well and I had top stop early. I was back to hope... that I got enough to do the job.

I had my one year colonoscopy and they said the cancer does not seem to be back. I still need blood tests and a CT scan but so far so good.
Barney
36 Posts
A poet said :" Hope springs eternal in the human breast" . I find this to be true, but I also believe that it helps to have faith in something. Faith need not require belief in a divine being. It may be based on human sources of support and guidance. When we were small we believed in the unending support of parents or guardians, but as we grew older we realized the such people were mortal and even when alive hey had limited resources. That is why a community of supportive people is so important. I am sure that every member of this community feels the strength of such support. But there are times when events bring so much stress and anxiety that we start to despair. When this happens we must try to find within ourselves a source of hope.But we must be realistic about hope. It is not the same as a wish list. It is a feeling that whatwill be will be, and that, with the support of those we trust, we will have the strength to see it through.
Barney
MBen
18 Posts
For me being an innately optimistic and bouyant person hope comes easy to me, I know that it isn't the case for everyone and I am very grateful to be able to access that. For me when I think of hope the saying Gritty faith Gritty facts comes to mind as does the book Man's Search for Meaning both describe the ability to see the situation your in for what it is but still have hope that you will get through it, both of those accounts related the observation that the people who could not accept their reality but still hoped to get out of it seemed to be the people most broken by their experiences. I know that it is a lot easier said than done but for me I had to dig deep to find my hope, it was worth any uncomfortableness I faced in looking. But having hope and than having that dashed is painful,I was part of a clinical trial and never having been allergic to anything in my life found myself being allergic to Paclitaxel, which was specifically teamed up with the study drug, my oncologist with input from myself tried everything to mitigate that allergic reaction but nothing worked, that third & last time in the chemo ward trying to make it work and having it fail...ooph in that moment I realized how much hope I had wrapped up in this working and having to let that hope go was painful I cried, tears of utility my counselor called them, didn't matter that I was in the chemo ward I couldn't stop them and I'm glad I didn't nor did any of the nurses try and stop the process. They allowed me to cry it was so cathartic and allowed that loss to pass, after I had a couple of days to have some space from that day I realized that I had loss hope for that potential help in overcoming my prognosis but it was not the loss of all hope for my ongoing experience. The fellow ladies in the ward receiving their treatment were so supportive very grateful for them, they let me know I was not alone the solidarity and support really eased the pain of the moment. #hope #Resilience
Whitelilies
2272 Posts
Lacey_Moderator
True Story:
I was quite nervous for my first appointment, with my Surgical Oncologist....I was fidgety in the waiting room......I found a pen and yellow sticky-note-pad.......I wrote something.....stuck it on my T-Shirt......I was called in........Dr saw my note, and read it aloud: (it said):

PLEASE GIVE ME HOPE

Hope for the future??? To simply, find a cure. Period.

Regards
Whitelilies
Littlebeth
143 Posts
I went for a routine mammogram and was called back a week later for an ultrasound. Having dense breasts made this a regular occurrence, so I hoped we could get it over with quickly and I could go shopping. Hope went dramatically downhill from there. I waited 6 weeks for my biopsy (COVID lockdown was just about to start) and while everyone around me tried to fill me with hope, I knew I had cancer - I saw their faces when they looked at my results. I did have many hopes but they were dashed at each appointment. It wasn’t until my tumour shrank dramatically after my first chemo that hope became more tangible. Then I lost it completely for a while when it looked like the cancer had spread to my brain. But it hadn’t, and once again hope came back and carried me through the rest of my chemo, surgery and radiation.


My hopes for the future?
That I will never have to go through cancer treatment again
That the post-chemo pain I am experiencing all over my body will soon go away
That we can all just get on with our lives without fear of cancer or COVID
Raintwist
32 Posts
I hope I am strong enough to carry the burden of fear I see in the faces of my family and friends.
My surgery is 2 weeks past, I see the oncology team next week, and begin treatment, then, hopefully this journey will end.
..And then I will see relief and renewed hope in the faces of my family and friends.
When I am in the sunshine I feel hope.
When I breathe deep, I inhale hope.
In the past, when things were tough, I would tell myself to act in a way that would make me proud 5 years down the road. With this cancer, I am striving to act in a way I will be proud of, five years down the road. That road is paved with hope.
OreTimber
51 Posts
Hope, that was a non starter for me during my cancer fight. I decided to do what I could and battle it out letting the chips fall where they may. I tried not to get too depressed but when my beloved dog died in my lap at the peak of 35 radiation session I felt severe loss. After that I ended up in intensive care because I could no longer eat. Cancer of the throat is especially rough.
I had an intense experience in the hospital that brought me back to Christ our father. I've been in his hands ever since. When close to it one changes ones perspective forever. Today I live for each and every day. I live, love and pray. I care not about the ties of security anymore. I do what is necessary. I hope for continued health today. Life is great and appreciated more as we get older. Prayers for all those who are suffering, have suffered or loves someone who suffers from cancer.

Tuula
1 Posts
When I went through my second surgery last year, I was given 60% hope that I might not require treatment beyond the surgery. Unfortunately I fell in that 40% that required both chemotherapy and radiation for Stage 3 cancer. I think that all along, much of my hope came from focusing on what I could do and what I could control.

I embarked researching cancer fighting foods. As I was eating heads of organic broccoli with hommus for lunch, I would feel that I was feeding my body with something healthy and was taking control over the destiny in my cancer journey. As I cut off sugar, I focused on starving the cancer cells and as I was hooked onto chemotherapy, I focused on little packmen of chemo gobbling down the cancer cells.

I also surrounded myself initially with a great naturopath (it became too expensive to continue) who gave me a lot of wisdom. I then met a great acupuncturist who was able to bring me relief and control of side-effects. A fantastic masssage therapist was able to get me through adverse effects of chemo and help increase my mobility.

My endurance, balance and strength were horrifically poor after my treatment was over. A blood transfusion game me hope that I could feel better. As I pushed myself to walk when I could barely make half a block and had humbling experiences of hanging onto street signs and fire hydrants for rest and support, my goal was to walk just one km. I set myself other goals of walking longer, overcoming debilitating hip and back pain, I gave me goals to focus on and as I was reaching them, it renewed more hope. I was able to get into an exercise program designed for cancer patients. As I progress through and make gains, it gives me hope to do more. I have now walked 3.6 km so know that it can be done. My journey is far from over, but all along the way, I am meeting little milestones that give me hope.
MNbOK
29 Posts
I have been afraid to hope. I have tried to be brave, stoic, realistic while keeping it real. Passing storms of sadness, fear, and tears. My journey was abnormal routine mammogram, suspicious focussed mammogram, core biopsy (a very scary prospect but easy) with IDC diagnosis, and a surgical consultation (mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy or lumpectomy + radiation). I chose the first option. I had surgery on April 16 and have been waiting and dreading the results - hoping for the best (?) and fearing the worst. Telling myself that, whatever happens, I can do this. Today was my follow-up with the surgeon. She received the pathology results (breast, chest wall, lymph node) just before I arrived. They are all clear. I am cancer-free. Each time I allow myself to reach out and touch that news, I cry tears of relief. I really didn't dare hope for such wonderful news. This journey isn't over as I now know for sure that scary stuff lurks in the shadows but I feel like I"m walking in sunshine and can breathe again. That proves to me that it can be safe to be hopeful.
Brock C
92 Posts

Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

- Emily Dickinson

DanC
38 Posts
I'm new. I tried posting twice to this thread but it wouldn't go through. Were my posts censored because they also contained future spiritual hopes?

Could someone tell me if I violated atheistic posting rules or direct to where one can find which words are not permitted on this website? Thanks.
CentralAB
1246 Posts
DanC:
I'm new. I tried posting twice to this thread but it wouldn't go through. Were my posts censored because they also contained future spiritual hopes?

Could someone tell me if I violated atheistic posting rules or direct to where one can find which words are not permitted on this website? Thanks.

Hello DanC‍ Thank you for visiting us here. CCC is a place where you can have spiritual discussions at https://cancerconnection.ca/groups/home/53

I dont know if you did anything wrong but I am sure the forum admin here would let you know. Generally a very brief note on faith or scripture is permitted if appropriate in other places too. Hope this helps.

CentralAB
1246 Posts
This is my 1000th Post here at the Canadian Cancer Connection; and I have been waiting for something just right/write to come along that i could make this post count a little more. When Lacey sent the request out for members to write about hope, I couldn't have been more delighted to respond to that for my 1000th!

For me, Hope is when I know I am on the right path. Hope informs me that my journey is not finished; but I have come a long way. Hope tells me "yes, life can still be good. Hope does not tell me this easily or blindly, or even conditionally. Its not a matter of "yes, if my health holds out," or "Yes, if our relationship works," or "yes, if what I want comes true."

Hope, is a matter of saying "YES." Just "YES." No strings attached. Living that YES, means I believe that if today is not the way I need or want it to be; that YES, tomorrow can be another story. The complete opposite. Something new, different, better could happen another time. That difference might be in the situation, in others, or perhaps, in myself. It really doesn't matter in my mind.

What matters to me is that there can be a difference; and that difference is real. Because HOPE is the difference, and hope is real.

Hope, in my life and experience, locates itself in the very territory of where sometimes; I didn't/don't actually know whats going to happen next. BUT in the space of that uncertainty, there always seems to be room to act. Something I can do. Some choice I can make. As I have said before, "there is always a little light," or "there is Light in every cloud."

5 Pillars Of Hope I Have Used:

1) Live simply
2) Dream big
3) Be grateful
4) Give love
5) Laugh lots

I draw some of my ideas on hope from my faith traditions. There is one verse, for example, that says the following:

"Under hopeless circumstances he hopefully believed" (Rom 4:18). (Weymouth)

As a Caregiver for my late wife who had cancer; Hope is all that we had, even when she died in my arms, we both had hopes of heaven, and so there was still a future, even under such a hopeless circumstance of losing the one I loved so much.

By being a Caregiver for a person who has cancer, I learned that Hope was what kept both my wife and I going. Hope kept us smiling, albeit sometimes very briefly because of pain or other troubles. Hope kept us praying. Hope kept us fighting. Hope kept us eating and sleeping some days! As her Caregiver; I had HOPE every day that I would see her smile, just one more time. ❤


tee77
2 Posts
My experience was when diagnosed, was disbelief. I was so overwhelmed with emotion I couldn't think straight! Getting my car out of the paid parking lot took two
attempts; I was that stunned! I came straight home and spent the rest of that day in an absolute fog.

The next two weeks between scans, biopsy, and numerous Doctor appointments I pretty much slept every opportunity I could, my great escape. Despite the uncertainty I finally grabbed onto reality. The Doctors and Nurses gave me the hope and encouragement to get through this. I put all my faith in them. The fantastic medical care and professionals didn't disappoint and I am truly grateful to get a second chance. I owe my life to them! They were and are the 'brave' onces going to battle against this insidious disease!

My hope for the future would be that I never go through this again and I now embrace every single day with a more positive outlook and appreciation for living!

I wish everyone going through the journey of "c" the very best! Remember the medical teams have your back!
T


klay
84 Posts
I had to think hard about what hope meant to me and my cancer diagnosis.
From the first time I heard I had cancer I told the doctor I was going to beat it. It was the first thing out of my mouth. Then the tears but I assured her " I've got this".' Fight or flight...I chose fight.
My hopes were that if I didn't make it that I would leave the world a better place, that my husband, kids, family, friends would know that I loved and appreciated them more than anything.
My hope was that I would stay positive...even in my why me moments...so I looked to people that inspired me.
When my dad was dying from his cancer he held my hand and begged me to live before I die, which at the time I didn't understand. I do now. I saw his strength and his unselfish way of always smiling even though I'm sure I now know how he was feeling inside. My dad never gave up hope. I still miss him everyday but I have such wonderful memories.
When my mom was dying I saw her strength and her letting us all know that everything would be ok...the tears would happen but to keep going. I miss her everyday and I smile thinking about her awesomeness...is that a word?
I think about my sweet mother in law who when dying of cancer lived her best lifeand worried about everyone but herself. Her hope was that her kids were loved beyond measure and they are. She had hope.
So hope is the belief that things will work out when it seems impossible. It keeps us going.
I wake up in the morning thankful for another day, thankful for everyone who supports me along the way and thankful to live in such a beautiful country.
Never be discouraged when your hope fades...tomorrow is a new day.
My hope is that everyone knows there is strength in numbers and we are a family here at cancer connections and there is always someone here that will understand.
Much love Karen ❤
Roy L.
506 Posts
HOPE.....Hope is like a wallet. When you have it, it is always there. Might not be full but there is always something in it. It helps you get the things you need at that time. However if you lose it, you feel lost. You panic. You can't get anything. You search for it and pray it returns. It has nothing to do with money, its your life. We keep our lives in our wallet and we keep our lives with hope. I have lost both and I have found both, I never want to lose either again. Cheers

Roy
Peace Love Cure.
OreTimber
51 Posts
Forever changed with a new outlook, certainly did for me. 👍
Hello DanC

Nothing you posted has been deleted. I think the post you may be referring to is in the Spirituality and Cancer group.
The link to the discussion thread, with your post, is here: https://cancerconnection.ca/groups/forums/viewtopic/53/6284/68119?post_id=349290#p349290

If this is not what you are referring to, please let me know and I will look into it further.

Take care
Lianne
law1
698 Posts
Lacey_Moderator‍ , when I was diagnosed with cancer, I had no previous experience tolerating 'hope'. I always thought it to be a very passive term and did not imply any action items.
However, as my cancer radiation recovery pain increased, I began to 'hope' that each day would bring the pain closer to an end. I still believe hope is the same as a 'wish', but there is no better word for it in the English language.
My hopes for the future pertain to maintaining my physical and mental health .... and hoping I never become homeless. Being homeless with an illness or a disease seems totally discouraging and terrifying.
law
pc876

Thank you for trusting us with all that is going on in your world and how your diagnosis is affecting you and your family. I understand sometimes things don't feel so hopeful.
I read somewhere that hope doesn't have to mean looking on the bright side or pretending that everything will be fine but about having a realistic expectation that something, anything good will happen and we often have some control over. Sometimes we have to look beyond our immediate surroundings to see that and then we can bring that closer to us.
Having said that, I think most of us have had a point in time , or two, where we didn't see hope. Getting there may come from an outside source, a friend or a professional like a dr or a counselor.

Seeking professional help may not be for everyone - I personally shrugged it off until I did it and realized how much I really needed it. You may want to check with your cancer centre to see what is available to you in that regard, or even our Cancer Information Helpline at 1-888-939-3333 will be able to point you in the right direction of a good fit for you.

You definitely have a lot on your plate rightnow and for you and others on the site who are having similar feelings, this community is here to lift you up as best we can.

I am going to send you a private message too if you want to keep an eye out for it.

Lianne

I will leave this here for everyone too - I don't have a name to credit but I like the sentiment:

Hope is heavy at times and other times it becomes your wings and lifts you up. That's the thing about hope; sometimes you carry it and sometimes it carries you
Nicky01
278 Posts
Lacey_Moderator

HOPE

When I was first diagnosed with cancer HOPE was no where in sight, all I could feel was fear of that C word that nobody wants to hear but after the initial shock Hope started creeping up to the surface. Cancer is not my first battle health wise and it probably won’t be my last but somehow Hope has always gotten me through.

To me the word Hope means I am trusting that in the end it will all be okay no matter the outcome….I will be okay because I believe that if the day ever comes that I was to loose Hope then for me all would be lost.

I had devastating news three weeks ago, my daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer and she is having a double mastectomy on Monday…..hope along with faith will get both of us through that one too!!

H= Happiness…for all the good things I’ve had and still have in my life!

O= Optimism…for everyday I get to enjoy and live my life!

P= Positiveness…having faith and believing that yes…I’ve got this and so does my daughter!

E= Endurance…to keep going no matter what, to never give up!

My hopes for the future are that one day a cure is found for this dreadful disease that keeps robbing so many families of their loved ones and I also hope that soon we will all find some kind of normalcy and go back to be able to visit family and friends and start living our lives again the way we were meant to live...socializing!!

Resilience…today is a brand new day and I will make the most of it!

Nicky

Nyabg
1 Posts
I don't know if I know what hope is. I know that it doesn't leave me alone, even when I desperately want it to. But my hope or lack thereof is not directly related to cancer. I was diagnosed in 2019 had a lumpectomy and radiation and now it's 2021. I've been a patient all my life so getting a cancer diagnosis did not phase me or make me feel un-hopeful about recovery. That's not an issue. Instead it makes me wonder where my life is going and whether I'll figure things out. Getting cancer, I believe, was just a way to grab my attention and force me to figure out my life. But that hasn't happened yet, two years later. I'm hopeful I will figure it out before cancer comes back.

hi Roy, I am new to the Forum. I was recommended to check in with you for experience. I found out from my recent blood test my PSA level is 97.4! I am in a big panic but dont know much about what this PSA reading really means in terms of me having prostate cancer or no. My urologist appointment is not until a month from now. I searched online and could not get anything clear on the PSA level in relation to cancer, except that they say anything above 10 means a 50% chance. Would appreciate if you can offer some experience. thanks

Brighty
8442 Posts
Hi Roy L.‍ ...I wanted to make sure you got in touch with worryingdad‍ .thsnk you!!!
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