Cancer is a notorious hope destroyer.
Big hope. Little hope. Far off hope. Right here hope.
Cancer can become a kind of road block between us and all the things we planned to do, hoped would happen and perhaps even took for granted.
What goes on here? Well, it’s the death thing. With cancer comes the very real possibility of our demise. This is often the first impact the cancer has – the realisation we may have just encountered what could turn out to be the cause of our death.
And when you think you might be going to die in the foreseeable future, it kind of puts a damper on things.
Big things. Little things. Far off things. Right here things.
But we’ve planned that trip for ten years.
But I thought I’d be here to see my daughter grow up.
But I just bought new shoes.
Take care of your body first. Find out what you need to do about the cancer, and begin. Then take care of your hope.
There’s more than one way for cancer to kill you. If cancer takes away your dreams, desires and your hopes for the future, it’s found a new way to do it. Don’t let it.
One way to not let cancer kill your hope is to buy a ticket.
Buy a ticket. Talk about your plans for how life will be when cancer is gone. You may not know when this part of your life will end, but you can still think about how things will look and the things you’ll do when it does.
Buy a ticket. A ticket to next week, next month or next year. Buy a ticket to your child’s wedding, to the birth of your grandchild. Buy a ticket to your 25th anniversary, to your 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th and 80th birthday. Buy a ticket to your graduation, or to your son or daughters graduation.
Buy a ticket. Make a dream poster on a large piece of cardboard pasted all over with magazine clippings of people, things and places which inspire you and excite you. Put it up where you can see it every day. Make your hope strong with daily exercise.
Buy a ticket. Literally. See the concert. Meet the author. Visit that place. See those sights. Definitely book the holiday.
Buy a ticket. For goodness sake, get the new shoes.
There is a difference between practicing hope however, and practicing denial. I once knew a woman diagnosed with late stage cancer who had all her energy focused on getting out of hospital and over to a clinic on the other side of the country which promised to cure her. That’s hope. However, she remained estranged from both her sons whom she refused to speak to, and also refused to hire a manager to run her business for her which was struggling since the day she left to go to the doctor on her lunch break, and never came back. She died leaving an argument between the sons over her will and a business which was forced to close down. That’s denial.
Buy a ticket. Create a stake in your future, in a currency which counts to you. Love travel? Plan the trip. All about family? See yourself with your grown children years from now. Imagine the outfit you’ll wear to your sons wedding. See the shoes you’ll wear. Write your speech.
I did. And stood up at my sons wedding and delivered it.
But what happens if that future never happens? What happens if cancer turns out to be the thing which ends your life?
The work we do on hope won’t be wasted. You’ll be all the time investing in people you care about and in your relationships, and just as importantly in yourself. You’ll leave a long, strong legacy of the evidence of who and what really mattered to you. And trust me, when you’re not here any more, this is all the people who love you will want to know.
Buy a ticket. A ticket to your future. You’re much, much more than what’s happening to you right now. Resist the fear. Invest yourself in ways real and unreal in a life far above and way beyond cancer.
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