Hope & Me
Posted April 28, 2010on:
With all the cultural icons that I’ve somehow worked into my blog about breast cancer, you might think this was where I mention Bob Hope. No, this is not a blog about a USO show either.
Instead, it is a piece about the concept of hope. I’ve never felt that there was no hope for me, despite a stage 3A diagnosis of breast cancer last summer.
I could at least convince myself that it wasn’t so bad as I was not stage 4 and that I wasn’t even stage 3B or C, which would have been more troubling than 3A. But the truth is cancer works in mysterious ways; none of us know if we will get it, how we will handle the treatments or if the nasty stuff will return (please don’t).
A friend whose breast cancer returned but was picked up at a very early stage sent me an article Tuesday that was in the New York Times about a stage 4 survivor who is 17 years out from diagnosis.
“The average life expectancy with the diagnosis is 30 months, so this is a little like saying I’m 172 years old: seemingly impossible. But it’s not. I first found I had the illness in 1988, and it was re-diagnosed as Stage 4 in 1993,” wrote Katherine Russell Rich.
“That’s 22 years all together, which is the reason I post each year on the anniversary of the day I learned my cancer was back: to let women know that it happens, that people do live with this for years,” she continued.
Rich went on to write that she does not believe there is such a thing as false hope. “All hope is valid, even for people like us, even when hope would no longer appear to be sensible. Life itself isn’t sensible, I say. No one can say with ultimate authority what will happen — with cancer, with a job that appears shaky, with all reversed fortunes — so you may as well seize all glimmers that appear.”
The complete article can be found at:
Rich is also the author of The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer—and Back.
The Red Devil refers to Adriamycin, a powerful IV drug that is called the red devil because of its color and its many side effects, short term and long term. I had four sessions with the red devil, but have recovered completely. And we hope that little devil took care of business.
Nothing is more inspiring and provides more hope than hearing or reading of long time survivors.