What Hope Means To Me

As time goes on in my cancer trajectory, I realize how a downward health spiral can easily affect how I feel, how I lead my life, and even the quality of my writing. Nonetheless, underlying it all, I can choose to remind myself of important factors. Throughout all the crises and passages in living life thus far, I always seem to find a way to return to the person I hope to be.

Instinctively I ask myself, "What, if anything, is there to learn from this circumstance? Am I handling things in the best way possible for me and my family?" Unfortunately, there are limitations. At times, I suddenly find my resources to cope and become downright slim. Believing in myself and my ability to bounce back used to come so easily. Now more than ever, I must remind myself that the skill to persevere and build resilience is a lifetime's work. I may need to be more gentle and patient, as fighting for my life takes considerable energy.

Honoring Who You Are and Who You Want to Be

Ovarian Cancer forces us to face many challenges. Because of our uniqueness, some changes occur that even our treatment team cannot predict. At these times, we must remind ourselves exactly who we are and what we can handle. If a situation presents itself and seems overwhelming, it is helpful to avoid other demands that may burden you with decisions or activities.

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Your Choice

Throughout it all, I choose to remain sensitive to my wounds and the wounds of others. There have been times when my sensitivity was criticized as too soft or emotional. Yet, I stay clear and now honor being sensitive as a strength. As so beautifully said by author Danielle Koepke:
"Wounds give us the awareness to recognize when other people are hurting and tools to offer support in ways less sensitive people may not be able to." Most of my wounds in life surround loss. The prior experiences were related to deaths or failure of relationships. But grief and mourning easily present themselves in losing a job or a dream of accomplishment. It can also be experienced when feeling misunderstood by someone significant in our lives.

Choose to Manage Those Things Within Your Control

Identify things in your life that feel out of control. Have you tried to stretch outside your limits only to feel a loss of control? We have many things within our control that can support our sense of mastery when other parts of our lives seem to be falling apart. I can choose to determine the following: Boundaries; This is where I begin and end. I can not pretend to have influence over others and their decision-making. I can, however, use my energy to support myself and the goals I set. Consensus; Not everyone needs to agree with me. I make my choices carefully based on an ability to cope from body, mind, and spiritual perspectives. Let yourself acknowledge the suggestions from others, but feel comfortable doing you. Managing thoughts and challenges: I encourage staying present and collecting all possible information before concluding the worst. So often, people become emotionally fragile when they develop a response to life challenges where they let their thoughts affect their feelings, thereby allowing emotions to influence their behavior. In essence, fear takes over, and we can become paralyzed.

Most importantly, consider this: Are you a 'Seeing is Believing' or 'Believing is Seeing Person'?
In my mind, communicating through our Advanced Ovarian Cancer network provides a person's accurate account of life with Cancer. Despite all the downsides, the primary intent is to give others opportunities to maintain hope. I address my stuff every day. I work diligently to clear the air so I don't impose my current state on others.

A great deal of what we face in treatment revolves around acceptance. To submit ourselves to the discomfort and sometimes pain through cancer treatment, it is essential to believe that all this effort will somehow fight Cancer and sustain the quality of your life. It epitomizes hope when you believe in what you may not always see. On this path, I wish all of us the strength, courage, and fortitude to continue. My very best to you on this day and all that will follow.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AdvancedOvarianCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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