As a result of being severely allergic to my chemotherapy drugs, I have spent many days and nights on the oncology floor of the hospital receiving a slow-drip protocol. Most of those times were in a semi-private room with a not-so-private curtain between me and my roommate. I had the privilege of sharing the same room for a second time, with a very intelligent and endearing 84 year old woman. Sadly, she was still there from the previous month and her cancer had worsened dramatically.
The Head of Palliative Care came to visit her and I had no choice but to overhear the following exchange:
Nurse:"What do you understand about your condition from the doctors?"
Patient:"I was told that there's no hope and we've decided to stop all treatment."
There was a brief silence and then in an extremely compassionate voice the palliative care nurse replied:
Nurse:"There is always hope. It just comes in different forms."
I will never forget those wise and inspirational words and have passed them on to many, many people.
"There is always hope. It just comes in different forms."
How easy it is to accept this journey when you remember that.
Hope starts the day of your diagnosis when instead of panicking that you have cancer; you realize that you've been given a second chance to live.
Hope continues when you wake up from your surgery and see all those smiling faces of people that love and support you.
Hope is being overwhelmed by someone telling you that they are praying for you.
Hope comes after they've staged your disease and quoted the statistics. It dawns on you that SOMEONE has to be the positive side of those numbers and you decide then and there that "that someone" will be you.
Hope comes by arming yourself with knowledge and information.
Hope is in changing your physical lifestyle so that you can maximize the benefits of treatment.
Hope is in the fact that there is chemotherapy and actually, in the fact that there are many different types of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. If one doesn't work, maybe another will.
Hope is in knowing that we have fabulous healthcare facilities and exceptional medical talent operating them.
Hope is in the breaking news - dozens of stories every day - where extremely intelligent men and women are working to find answers and solutions to ovarian cancer and its treatment.
Hope is in reading about the dozens of clinical trials which are underway.
Hope comes when you realize that a recurrence isn't a death sentence but just another bump in the road.
Hope is in truly knowing that more and more, ovarian cancer is being treated like a chronic disease and that there will be recurrences and that there will be good answers.
Hope is in realizing that you are a heck of a lot stronger than you thought.
Hope becomes part of you when you discover the universal light in your heart. It gives you love, happiness, compassion, forgiveness and most importantly serenity.
Lastly, hope is in trusting and accepting that our transition from this physical level of being to the next is the ultimate peaceful, natural and enlightening beginning we are each created for.
|8/29/11||Beer and Licorice|
|6/08/11||The Business of Hope|
|5/18/11||6 Impossible Things...|
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