Saturday, November 21, 2009

What does hope mean to you?

This summer, I talked to a woman who lost her beloved partner to sarcoma. Both had participated in the Ocean of Hope fundraising campaign. She talked about how hope has different meanings for different people at different times.

A newly diagnosed patient may hope that the sarcoma never comes back while someone living with metastatic disease may hope for a cure. A dying patient may have hope of a painless death or hope to live just a little bit longer. Even after a patient dies, family and friends may still harbor hope that life will be better for those who get sarcoma in the future.

Rosalie, a longtime survivor, recalls hoping to find the strength to keep learning what she needed to do to survive.

Erica Gero, a leiomyosarcoma (LMS) veteran, wrote about the multitude of hopes she has living with the disease.

I hope dinner tonight will be delicious.
I hope my husband's broken rib feels better soon.
I hope my friend's broken heart heals quickly.
I hope I never get LMS again.
I hope the rain ends by noon.
I hope I can lose 5 pounds by the end of October.
I hope my LMS never returns.

For me, hope is part of my whole life.

I've included a card depicting a tree, called "The Hope Within," painted by Tamara Maas, a sarcoma survivor who donates a portion of the sale of her prints to the Hope Lodge in Cleveland.
-- Suzie Siegel