Having hope means having a positive attitude and being optimistic about the outcomes that lay in the future. For people affected by cancer, this positivity can be difficult to hold on to. Knowing how to foster a sense of hope and live by it can help you with the strength and confidence you need to survive through cancer.
Throughout a cancerous cycle, people develop different hopes for the various stages in the cancer journey. For example, at the diagnosis stage, one hopes that the treatment goes successfully, and that cancer goes into remission. This is a grim stage whereby you rely on hope to cope with the changes that would happen in your life.
For people already diagnosed with cancer, a new set of concerns arises, as they wonder what life will be like after cancer. At this stage, you may ponder about how to deal with the changes due to treatment. Deciding on the role hope will play as you undergo changes and uncertainties in your life can help you find your source for strength, positive thinking, and hope. This article will focus on strategies to remain hopeful in these frightening times, as well as how to strengthen and hold on to your new found confidence.
Remaining hopeful in frightening times
The beauty of finding hope is that there is not just one designated path to it. For some, it’s easy to remain hopeful. For others, the unfolding uncertainties might outweigh the ability to keep holding on to the faith. If you get overwhelmed, anxious, hopeless, or depressed, make sure to try to talk about it with your loved ones and medical professionals. The following are some strategies you can employ to find hope:
Sharing brings hope
By talking to other people, one can cultivate a sense of hope. For instance, communicating with the healthcare team, one can be able to make more informed treatment and cancer management choices that will build up optimism and hope for the future. Similarly, loved ones, including family, friends, and colleagues, can support one through their journey and give them the much-needed hope. You can engage in group activities whereby you share your story and get to learn about the difficulties and joys that others in a similar situation experienced in their journey. This serves as a vital source of hope.
Adopting hopeful beliefs
Disciplines such as religion and philosophy enable you to connect with your spirituality and ultimately enable you to build upon your hope. This way, people believe that a superior power empowers them to weather through the ups and downs presented in the cancer journey. Spiritual support groups, often with the help of a faith-based leader, can help you feel more comfortable in the face of the worries that cancer brings.
Place your focus into the future
By looking forward to graduating from high school or college, a student remains hopeful of the future. Similarly, when in the face of cancer, people can find hope by looking forward to future events. You get to have a sense of purpose when you think about the work projects that you can accomplish in the future or the activities that may be in line with your hobbies. If working out is what drives you? Don’t stop, but keep going and get invested further in it. Try going and getting natural supplements that can help with your goals and keep you driven.
This is another way to encourage hope within yourself as you research and gather information about medical treatment and other cancer-based topics. You can spend time while researching information about various cancer topics or seeking opinions from experienced medical personnel in that area. The facts that you find regarding survivorship on credible health journals and expert recommendations can be a source of hope and make you believe that you will be a survivor as well.
How do you hold on to hope?
By sharing the newly found hopes with others
Express your hopes to your loved ones and with your health care team. Those close to you are the key to encouraging you to build on your faith. You can open up to them on what might make you hopeless so that they may help you to regain confidence. By letting others know that you want to remain positive, they can engage you in talks that will make you boost your hopes.
Keep a record of your thoughts and feelings in a journal
In such a journal, you can write down encouraging sayings, and keep track of your progress while noting down what your hopes are on different days. Put pen to paper about your relationships, feelings, treatment, survivorship, hopes and fears, and plans for the present and the future.
Channel other forms of creativity to express your hope
You can do this, for instance through art, in drawings or scrapbooks. Draw ideas from the well-wishing cards people send you, words people use to encourage and support you, and even inspirations that you compose yourself. Use a photo collage or a scrapbook to assemble them and express your hope.
Talk to survivors
Your health team professionals can connect you with a long term survivor of a similar diagnosis so you can speak with them. Meeting people who have been where you currently are allows you to be hopeful of the existence of a path that will lead you to success.
Find a support group
A support group gives you a safe environment where you can voice your experiences, get to learn new ways of handling situations, and even talk about emotions. Here, you will find various proven methods of coping with stress and the challenges that come with living with cancer. Ask for suggestions and directions from your health care team.
In conclusion, hove is flexible and subject to changes depending on the circumstances that face you. There is no right or wrong way to nurture hope within yourself, and so only you can decide what will suit you best. You may find resistance in your journey of finding hope such as lack of motivation or merely people who might try to bring you down. Even so, remember you have close friends and family that can help you with your situation.
As a cancer survivor, you might face difficult situations, and times might come when it’s hard to remain hopeful. Regardless, focus on the things that bring you a positive feeling, such as hobbies and small, achievable successes. Gather every little chance you get to remain hopeful and look forward to keeping the hope alive.