Why are people so insistent that if a person is realistic about a diagnosis it means that they have no hope? Hope can take many forms. Just because I accept that I’m most likely going to die young doesn’t mean I don’t have hope.

I hope that I see my daughter go to her first day of kindergarten. I hope I am witness to my son reading his first book. I hope I can create a meaningful legacy for my family, friends and community. Hope doesn’t have to be that I’ll live to be an old lady. It is not losing hope to be realistic. I am not giving up because I choose to accept and face the situation I am in. Realism frees you to embrace what is. Hope can be as simple as living long enough to be remembered by your children. Hope can be about creating meaningful memories and relationships. It can be about making an impact. It can be about creating awareness and change in that awareness. It can be about quality of life not quantity of life. Let’s look at how we define hope.

7 replies »

  1. Hi Anna,

    This is such a great post and so to the point. I always consider myself to be a realist too. I guess we all have a somewhat different ‘relationship’ with hope. You’re so right when you say that being a realist does not mean we have no hope. I don’t get when people think that either.

    “Realism frees you to embrace what is.” Love that. Thanks for writing this.

  2. A terrific post and very well-said. I am also a realist, and even when I discuss or think about disturbing things, I still have hope. Unfortunately, some feel I’m just a pessimist, when the truth is I’m a realist. And I hope you get to see your children grow up and hit so many of their future milestones.

  3. Thank you for articulating this. It’s so helpful to read your words. I’ve realized that most people have a narrative about the cancer journey that’s like the length (and depth) of a half hour sitcom. So much more complex than that. I will hold onto the hope that you can continue to experience your children and they experience you in a beautiful and lasting way..

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