Thursday, April 23, 2009

Looking Forward

A while back I wrote a post about hope, and what hope can bring. I recently began reading a book by Jerome Gropeman, MD titled, The Anatomy of Hope. Early in the book he writes,

"Hope can arrive only when you recognize that there are real options and that you have genuine choices. Hope can flourish only when you believe that what you do can make a difference, that your actions can bring a future different from the present. To have hope, then, is to aquire a belief in your ability to have some control over your circumstances. You are no longer entirely at the mercy of forces outside yourself."

This passage sums up alot of what I have come to believe since being diagnosed in 2007. Hope, choices, keeping a sense of control and bringing a future different from the present. This road into a new way of life has many curves and detours but hope can provide direction that cannot end in a road block.

I recently met with my doctor to go over blood work since undergoing a round of Rituxan treatment. In his words, "if someone brought me these values, I couldn't diagnose you with Leukemia." These words instill a sense of hope, not that this disease will be gone forever, but that I had made a good choice to start this treatment. This choice came after seeking another medical opinion and the opinion of others who had undergone similar treatment. This choice came after hours of reading, searching, studying and taking control over things that I once had let go untouched. I had made the choice that I don't want to hand control over to others but be an active participant in my health care.

The loss of control is something that many people face when dealing with a serious disease such as cancer. As Dr. Groopman writes, to acquire a belief in your ability to have some control... The control may come in small or large ways, but there needs to be some level of control that we as patient's must have.

I look forward to days of feeling good, having energy and living life.

1 comment:

Brian Koffman said...

Hello from the CLL-PAG conference in Niagara Falls.

I think what we always keep control of is not the disease, but how we react to what the disease is doing.

Is that enough for hope?

I hope so