I think the hardest part of coming to terms with my metastatic breast cancer (MBC) diagnosis these past few months has been the struggle to believe in hope.
Hope is a word I’d never much cared for, until now. It felt desperate, fictional even, imagined. For other people in hopeless situations, but not for me.
The thing I’ve been struggling the most with these past few months has not been the chemotherapy side effects or the endless hospital appointment mill. It has been winning the war in my mind.
The war against what the “mainstream” media seems to constantly be telling me – that there is no hope for me because I’m “metastatic”, “Stage 3” or “Stage 4”, or because I have the “deadly triple negative” breast cancer. Such difficult words to read, over and over, when you are in this position.
Seeing that this view has also seeped into the minds of some of my friends, slipping out in certain questions or comments, unwittingly of course, but nevertheless slowly filling me with dread.
And then, in my dark moments, it seeped into mine.
For awhile, this ‘no hope’ mentality really pulled me down. “Why try, if there is no hope?” A little, horrible voice kept taunting me.
Until slowly, slowly, I’ve come to realise, there are also so many others that say there is hope:
- Reading accounts of radical remissions in this book started to give me hope, right at the beginning of my new journey.
- Then listening to these thriving stage 4 breast cancer girls (one of whom is No Evidence of Disease status now after 9 years with MBC) gave me hope.
And then, hope was everywhere.
- Accepting help and love and prayers from friends and family gave me more.
- Re-reading Chris’s remarkable story and adopting his #nevergiveup motto gave me more.
- Re-reading Gerry Hussey’s inspiring words in this piece gave me more.
- Searching for new cancer drug trials coming on-stream gives me more.
- Miracle recovery stories shared by friends and family gives me more.
- Combining complementary and alternative therapies with my conventional chemotherapy gives me more.
- Opening my heart to possibility gives me more.
- Focusing on getting well and looking for the joy in every day, gives me more.
Hope is real. It’s there.
Actually, there is so much hope.
And this is why now, I am choosing hope only.
I believe in hope.
There is hope to heal my body.
There is hope to both slow down and overcome my cancer.
I choose to see this hope and grow it. My family chooses to see this hope and grow it. So many of my friends see this hope and grow it with me too.
Please join me with some hope, if you too believe.
Don’t give up on me. I will never give up on myself.
Please don’t give up on yourself.
By Happy Magazine Editor, Holly Kennedy.