Category Archives: Hope

Oh yes you can

When it comes to life, I am not adverse to dreaming on a large scale (go big or go home). And yet I remain ineffably grounded in reality. Words such as scaleable and practical come to mind. And, my all time favorite, doable.

I like doable because it is a word that neither dashes hope nor over-promises. Doable simply says, this thing could be done. Put another way, it is possible. And that leaves a lot of latitude.

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And the phonetic rendering is absolutely charming…

When I first learned I had cancer and specifically, lung cancer–I knew I was heading into some stiff winds. However the little voice in my head said, ‘This is going to be hard but I can do this.’

That can-do attitude has served me extraordinarily well, and the word can’t has been pretty much excised from my vocabulary.

The truth is, some words just aren’t particularly useful. Take cure; that word is absolute bullshit. First of all, the meaning is nebulous: ‘relieve (a person or animal) of the symptoms of a disease or condition’. Secondly, the impact of a word like cure is potentially nefarious.

Everyone with cancer wants to be cured. Far too many of us have been told we never will be, that our cancer is ‘incurable’. The distinction/distance between these two supposed states–cured and incurable–is one of immense emotional devastation.

It you are incurable, than what can you possibly hope for?

Well, how about being healed. Whereas cure may be a technical impossibility, (and do remember, these are words, all words, not necessarily realities), healing is actually incredibly doable. The definition of healing is ‘to become sound or healthy again’.

So do it. Reframe the way you regard yourself. Discard that which is unhelpful and even hurtful. Embrace where you are at at right now. Heal yourself.


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I’m alive and…well…

Grateful. Every damn day.

David and I had an appointment with the counselor this morning. Her name is Heather, she’s been working with us for over a year, and she is a melanoma survivor with an intimate understanding of the stressors cancer puts upon a family.

Today one of our topics was how to approach the future with realism but also hope and gratitude; one day at a time. I shared the fact that first thing every morning I say to myself, ‘I’m alive’—three times for greater emphasis.

Heather asked if we had ever heard the Kenny Chesney tune (with Dave Matthews) “I’m Alive”. Dave thought he had, but I hadn’t—if it’s not Patsy Cline or Lyle Lovett, I’m not much for country music. But, I am open minded, so Heather played it for us. I must say, it made me smile and cry at the same time and I understand why Heather described it as a treasure. And now I’m thinking I ought to share it with you: