I was asked recently: how do I find hope?
Some days, to be honest, I simply don't. Some days I simply feel done over by life and that I'm not prepared to hope because I tried that after my first round of treatment and got kicked in shins when it came back. It was totally devastating because I'd started to believe that maybe I would be one of the people who came out the other side.
I suppose in some ways it's a fact that I don't know what to hope *for* anymore....I can't hope to 'get better'; I can hope to live as long as I can and to be productive and able for as much of that time as possible. But even that is difficult to contemplate - because I don't know what to aim for - a year? 5 years? 10 years? I have no idea and I don't think anyone *knows* - they can guess, but I don't want to know that because it won't be long enough. And anyway, I feel so cheated, even if I live for years(!) I have to live a half-life; a life that revolves around the treatment necessary to give me that time.
A life where I don't get to have children; and I keep unearthing just how much I wanted that. Somewhere out there, in potential-land, is a little girl who was supposed to be my daughter and she was going to be called Anna, after my Great Grandmother and sometimes I can feel her, I can feel myself holding her as if she were already here. But she never will be. Not with me, not mine.
And it's not just about me - it's about the fact that I wanted to see the Dear Other as a father - cancer hasn't just cheated me; it's cheated him too.
I want to give you words of hope - I want you to hope. I feel better when other people are feeling hope for themselves - because I want them, I want you, I want someone out there to make it. If I can't be the person who beats cancer then I want you to be that person.