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You Are Not Alone A Practical Guide for Maintaining Your Quality of Life While Living with Cancer You're Not Alone

Hope - III. Psychological And Emotional Support

Attitudes That Can Help

Positive Thinking
Support Groups

Realistic, Achievable Goals

Spirituality, Faith and Religion
End-of-Life Care
Leaving Instructions to Loved Ones

There is no medicine like hope No incentive so great
And no tonic so powerful
As the expectation
Of something better tomorrow
- Orison Swett Marden

Hope is a force that sustains and regenerates your will to live. Even if there is only a remote chance for a successful outcome, hope can still empower the spirit to fight for life. Hope can also motivate people to make positive changes in their lifestyles that engender better health.

Hope is fragile. It can ebb and flow depending on the success or failure of therapy. For newly diagnosed cancer patients and their relatives and friends, hope is usually focused on treatment and the potential for a cure or remission. With advanced cases of cancer, patients and their families frequently hope for pain control, an end to suffering, and a peaceful death. Another form of hope lies in spirituality, including a belief in transcendence, or the continuation of the soul after death.

Hope can be nourished in many ways, including accomplishing a goal, having control over your life, feeling appreciated and useful, experiencing religious faith/spirituality, and spending quality time with family and friends. Recent advances in cancer therapy are also a cause for hope. There are over two hundred new drugs, vaccines, and antigrowth factors currently being tested in clinical research. Because of these and other advances in cancer research, it is wise not to focus on the statistics concerning your illness. Statistics can give you a general idea of the odds for getting better or having a recurrence of disease, but they only represent averages. You are not 40 percent of anything!

Anything is possible. You can be told you have a 90 percent, or a one percent chance. But as long as you take that chance and believe in yourself and are a brave person, and then want to be better than before... I'm living proof that you get a second chance, and the second time around is better than the first.
Lance Armstrong, Cancer Survivor
Winner of the Tour de France

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