Choosing hope: when the s#*@t just doesn't stop hitting the fan

Choosing hope: when the s#*@t just doesn't stop hitting the fan

Hope. "To want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true". Webster's definition.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies". Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption.

Hope, hope, hope. I live for it. I hold onto it as though it is the only thing in the world. Yet, I feel as though lately is is slipping through my hands. That it is getting harder and harder to remain positive; that feeling hopeful is a complete waste of time and energy. That is not my personality though - it has never been my "M.O." (modus operandi for those wondering).

Last June when I was diagnosed with my second case of breast cancer in ten years, I found myself questioning the purpose of hope. I quickly shook that off and knew that attitude would get me nowhere. It takes strength and a sound mind to think positive in those situations. I had treatments to get through - losing my hair, losing my breasts.

So I maintained my hope. I prayed. I hoped upon hope that I would get through the whole ordeal. And I did. There were times it wasn't easy, times that I wanted to just toss in the towel. But that has never done me any good, hope has always been the best of things for me.

Until now.

Two weeks ago I received a phone call that rocked my world. It was my brother. His words were this:"Dad has a brain tumor". (My Dad is the author of the Chicagonow blog Chicago Then, and recently wrote about the discovery of his tumor)

Ever have a moment when time completely stands still? When you are 100% certain you are asleep and about to wake up from the nightmare? The kind when right after you get bad news you can shake yourself awake? There was no waking from this one. This was not a dream - this was real. And a reality I am still struggling to believe.

I pray every night for the health and well being of my family. Every day is filled with hope that my prayers will be answered. And then this news. How does one continue to maintain faith and hope in light of these devastating events?

YOU JUST DO. My father was diagnosed with a glioblastoma after his surgery. If you click on the link and read about it, you might say that there is no hope. But that's not true. It says that without treatment one will go within months but with treatment, it could be up to 1.5 years. But that's MEDIAN survival rates. There are shorter, there are longer. So what do I do? I choose to believe his life will be on the longer end. I am choosing hope.

This isn't an easy task. But I look at the glass as half full and remember that I myself have survived twice. Who knows if prayer and hope aren't the reasons. If the constant outreach to the man upstairs and a positive attitude aren't key in all of this. I understand that my father is 81 and his type of cancer is much, much more serious. I have accepted that.

However, he had brain surgery and came out with all his faculties intact. He is talking about what his next blog should be but believe me, this news has been as devastating to him as anything could be and his level of hope right now is tenuous. So I feel as his hope wains, mine should be over the top to make up for it.

People have said to me that they can't believe this is happening after the year I had with my own cancer battle. I can't argue, I can't believe it myself. My mantra is "It is what it is". There are things in this life I cannot control. But what I can control is my hope. I can continue to pray and hope and hope and hope that he will live longer than the median says. That he will have some quality of life beyond treatment.

A fellow blogger, Mary Tyler Mom who lost her mother and four year old daughter to brain tumors has really taught me that there is no other way of life than to choose hope. If someone who has lost their child to cancer can hold onto hope, then so can I.

But please no more s#*t at the fan. I have my limits.

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