My beloved Heidi died of her metastatic breast cancer(Stage 4) on September 24, 2012. My (Joe) bladder cancer is in remission and my prostate cancer was surgically removed, with ongoing PSA monitoring for potential metastasis.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
How do you keep Hope? - by Heidi
A gift from our dear friend, Alex
Sometimes when Joe and I hit a wall, we can see that hopelessness and despair is lying in wait. And to be completely truthful, sometimes we would usher them in and indulge. "Why me?" And yet it is true that hope is evidence of things unseen. And that means that within our materially based culture, we have to trust something that is unseen, something that cannot be touched or smelled or scientifically validated. That is hard for us as Americans.
As we have journeyed on, we have learned a lot about hope. Hope really IS the evidence of things unseen, Hope really IS about anticipating a future... even if your medical team does not think you have much of one. I love my Oncologist who encourages me to plant Apple trees that will take 3 years to bear fruit, and chestnut trees that will take 10-20 years. When I walk around our backyard, I look at them and take hope.
When I finished all the treatments for my initial, Stage 2 breast cancer in 2004 and my oncologist (a different person than my current oncologist) told me that I was cured and the cancer was gone, I went right back to my stressed lifestyle and expectations about the future. I deeply wish I didn't have this stage 4 cancer but I am so grateful now as I am replacing expectations with hope. I greet each day with love and joy. I thank God for the relationships I have and the ones I am developing. I delight in my garden and the sun and the clouds (still working on delighting in the rain). I give thanks for Joe, my blessing of a husband. These are all present joys and have a HOPE of future joys in them as well.
I cant say that the journey from "I expect the future to be such and such" to " I hope the future is such and such" has been very easy. Lots of tears seemed to be needed to slide me from one to the other. And I am still not there... but I am a lot closer. And that gives me hope!
I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope. [Romans 15:13]