A particular kind of hope

September 23rd, 2013 § 26 comments

IMG_2042It takes a leap of faith every day.

Not one of religion– no that’s not in my play book.
But there is a leap that comes when you think to yourself each night,
“The world will be here tomorrow, and I in it.”
Statistically it is likely to be so.

But what about the day after, and the day after that?

How many days do you think ahead?
Have you bought plane tickets for next year?
Planted bulbs for Spring?
Bought an extended warranty on the washing machine?

Three years ago, without even a thought, I took a three year car lease.
Nine months later I received my diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer.
Fifteen months from now that lease will come due.

Will I take another?
I have a car in mind I would love to have…
But can I think of my life in fifteen months,
What it will be,
What will I be?

No, I cannot.

I talk of taking trips in Spring. I have a friend down South I want to visit.

I do believe I will be alive.
But what will my quality of life be?
What chemo or radiation or surgeries will I need by then?
What regimen will I be on and how will I feel from it?

Just being alive is not always enough.

I don’t buy those tickets,
But I do still think the thoughts.
I don’t make promises because I don’t want to cancel.
I say, “Let’s play it by ear,”
“Let’s see how it goes,”
Because to plan, to get hopes up,
To think it could come true…
And then to have them dashed
Would be too hard for me.
I know not everyone shares this view.

The thing with incurable cancer is I don’t have a particular kind of hope anymore:
I can’t have the confidence the suffering will end because it is temporary.
It is not temporary.

I do keep pressing forward though, in my own way:
With strength, with dignity, and yes, still with great hope for more time.

Many days that is one of the hardest things about it all:
I can’t just mark the time and get through
Knowing the hardest parts will soon be over.
Because I know the hardest parts are yet to come.

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§ 26 Responses to A particular kind of hope"

  • Diana says:

    Again, I recognise every word you write.

    After having been stage IV for almost four years, my advice would be to continue planning, just not too far ahead. The main question is if you could adjust your plans in case of side effects. I have just finished a targeted therapy (afinitor) with many side effects. Well, you know all about that. In the past I had some mild chemotherapies (Xeloda and to a certain extent CMF), which I found easier than afinitor.

    Keep on planning. It is important to have upcoming events.

    • Midge says:

      Got it! Thanks a lot again for helpnig me out!

    • they want. If you don’t want that, then why are you arguing with me? I guess you didn’t like my answer to your previous question, and now you have a new one. I would bother answering it if I thought it would make any difference. And if it had anything to do with what we were talking about. Nice talking to you.

    • September 18, 2009 – 7:00 am Good article, Matt.IMHO, if your company just barely qualifies for a Wikipedia article, it would probably be more hassle than it’s worth. You’ll have people who resent your company being included and the disgruntled will come out of the woodwork.And, given the 10:1 theory of satisfied:unsatisfied with commenting online, you might have trouble having enough people to defend you when negative things are posted.

    • http://www./ says:

      Anonymous:President Obama is not the first president to send his children to private schools. You do understand that thing called security right? Smh!You want to blame President Obama for our failing schools, when they were already failing before he even came on the scene. Smh!

    • http://www./ says:

      I am absolutely appalled at this heinous act committed on an innocent sentient being…..this is shameful to the extreme….I feel sick to my heart that anyone could do such an evil act on a poor innocent dog…I hope taht whoever did this is caught an severely punishe. Have some respect for animals !!!!! I am in no doubt that the good people of Turkey as as horrified as we are in UK. Dogs are God’s creatures and shoul be respected as so.

  • I wish you world enough and time. Especially time. xo

  • Ann says:

    Lisa, this speaks to me on such a deeply personal level. I do the same. Hold off on plans or hesitate, because I just don’t know what that next moment will involve. Know that I love you and either you’ll make it south or I’ll make it north.

  • jenn says:

    I hear you and my heart aches.

  • Rebecca says:

    I am sorry you have to balance like this. I hope you can get the car you want. Maybe see if you can trade in the car you have now so you could get it sooner? Just because you deserve it.

  • Melissa says:

    I had hoped my friend, who died from GBM brain cancer, had spent some time writing. I know he tried (I found them on his computer) but never got past addressing his children. Not being here for them was too much for him to bear.
    Best to you

  • Marie-Claude says:

    Just to let you know you’re not alone feeling this way! I share the exact same view disease, feelings, thoughts, suffering, pain…
    F*** cancer!!!!

    May I share your post on my profile page? This would help family and friends understand more how I feel about planning ahead!

    • Lisa Bonchek Adams says:

      Sure, you can share the link… I’m glad it can express something you are feeling. I’m sorry that you have these emotions too.

  • Susan Zager says:

    Lisa, there’s so much unknown that you have to have circling your mind. I wish this wasn’t so. All I can do is hope that your treatments work and your side effects are minimal so you can take that trip. I also know that treatments change and that can be so frustrating if something works and stops working. I wish there was more I could do. Meanwhile I hope you get whatever car makes you happy today and whatever plan for the car you you choose, just pick what might make you happy. You deserve joy through this crazy maze. xoxo – Susan

  • Marie-Claude says:

    Thanks! 🙂

  • Pam says:

    I’m ever grateful that you are so articulate, ever saddened and enraged that you have to deal with these realities, these choices, these unknowns.

    Here with you, the way I can be, reading and trying to understand. xo

  • kathy says:

    I thought of this very same detail all the time when living with cancer through my mother. It haunted me. Time takes on an entirely different meaning when such a disease is involved. It is such a heart wrenching and painful rephrasing of time.

  • luna says:

    my mother is 4.5 years into a terminal diagnosis and she has been traveling and planning and doing what she can. until now. tonight she’s in my guest room for the last time. she just told me this will be her last visit, that travel has become too much. I know for her, having something to look forward to has helped immensely. I fear how that loss of hope will impact her psychologically. it is what it is though. and it sucks.
    sending love to you and yours.

  • I send you love, and a hope that is realistic for you. I don’t sugar-coat cancer either. I’ve seen it, I’ve watched it, I have it. But something changed this past weekend. I decided finally, I will make plans. Even if I need to buy trip insurance, I’ll make plans.

    Much love,

    PS. And I want you to come to the South:) I’ll drive overf!

  • Kim C says:

    I’m sorry you’re living with so much uncertainty. I think of you often and I’m hoping for the very best – good news from your tests and less side effects from your meds. All you give and all you have accomplished while dealing with this wretched disease just blows me away. You are amazing!
    Take care,

  • Gail says:

    I can only echo the eloquent sentiments already posted here. And tell you, again, how much you are teaching and influencing everyone who reads your posts.

  • Wendy Harrell says:

    Lisa, this so well explains an aspect of living with stage 4 that I have thought about so often, yet never tried to put into words. Thank you for your eloquence and for sharing your experience. Sending healing thoughts, peace and light to all of us.

  • brenda says:

    thank gosh for people like you who put words like this to the page so they can be read and heard

  • […] cancer shared recently that she no longer has “a particular kind of hope.” She said, “I can’t just mark the time and get through knowing the hardest parts will soon be over. Becaus… Unlike the she-ro, her reality is heavy and complicated. Her personal will, no matter how […]

  • cliff craft says:

    I was notified about being stage 4 just after my surgery on april 1 2016. I dont know if it was a blessing or not to have not known about my breast cancer very long, only two weeks from finding the lump to surgery, maybe I could have found it earlier, except for diabetic neuropathy, where your hands go numb. After the surgery, I went home and took a month off for temporary disability. Sitting in the basement watching tv, with hoses coming o9ut for drains, I was feeling pretty sorry for my self, and even contemplated doing away with it all. My daughter came down the stairs and said “mommys going to kill me”. I asked her why, and after a bit of round about, she said “I am pregnant” I said “you have been married 4 years, and now your going to give us our first grandkid? shes not going to kill you”.. and mommy didn’t. but it gave me a great incentive to go on, now I have a beautiful granddaughter, a real life saver. and incentive to stick around a long time to properly spoil that kid.
    sometimes the darkness before the dawn is just a passing cloud.

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