How can I find hope as a cancer survivor?

Deciding what role hope will play as you manage changes and uncertainties can help you find ongoing sources of strength and positive thinking.

Some survivors find hope by talking with other people. Your healthcare team can help you understand and make treatment and follow-up choices that will help you feel more confident and hopeful about your future. Loved ones, friends, coworkers, and others can also provide support and bring hope to your situation. Sharing your story with other survivors, and learning about the challenges and joys they experience in their survivorship, can be an important source of hope.

Survivors often find hope by looking forward to planned events, like a child’s graduation from high school, a wedding, or another type of gathering with friends and loved ones. Some work projects or hobbies may capture your attention, give you a sense of purpose, and help you look to the future when they will be completed.

Many find hope through spirituality, religion, or philosophy. Those survivors who use this type of foundation for hope often believe that a higher power is helping them through the ups and downs of the cancer journey. For some, there can be a great help and comfort in learning how others have viewed challenges, talking with a faith-based leader, or by attending spiritual support groups.
Some survivors prefer to use a scientific or evidence-based method to find facts and hope. They may search for research information about treatment and other cancer topics. They may also seek opinions from medical personnel or spend time learning about specific cancer topics, treatment options, and survivorship recommendations through health care journals or online.

In most cases, survivors will use some combination of the above approaches to find hope. There is no right or wrong way to hope. Talk with your loved ones and healthcare team if you find that it becomes difficult to hold onto hope or that you are feeling depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed.
Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine
You can find hope as a cancer survivor by consciously focusing on living your life to the fullest and/or reaching out to other cancer patients, one day at a time.  Life consists of how you live out your vision, moment by moment, purposefully, peacefully, thoughtfully, consistently, joyfully, gracefully and gratefully.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.