(Photo credit: Randy Ells Photography @LUNGevityFoundation)
Hope. It’s a word we use all the time. “I hope I pass this test.” “I hope I’m accepted to _______University/College.” “I hope he/she calls me.” What exactly does “hope” mean?According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of hope is: to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true. For me, right now, I identify with the second half of that definition: to want something to happen or be true. All of us who are affected by lung cancer “want” to live. To accomplish that, we “want” more research to be done so that more treatments can be available in hopes of extending our lives. We “want” this horrid cancer to become a chronic condition that can be managed. We “want” less side effects. We “want” a cure to be found. We “want” to continue to live, but having “hope” is easier said than done. I feel there are degrees of hope where sometimes it feels that hope is lost, and sometimes it feels as if hope springs eternal. I’ve had varying degrees of hope throughout these past 14 years. Sometimes it has been strong and sometimes it was just a flicker, but it was there.
During the 14 years I’ve been in treatment, I’ve had many types of chemotherapy, then targeted therapies came along and I can tell you, the early targeted therapies were “dirty” and highly toxic. Then along came immunotherapy. Now there are various combinations of two to three different agents. In my experience, therapies have become a lot less toxic and much more effective.
So we continue to hope. We hope for a much needed increase in funding. We hope for new treatments to keep us going. We ultimately hope for a cure.
Don’t ever ever give up hope!