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COLUMN: No such thing as false hope

Kathy Golemiec
Kathy Golemiec

So how was your week? Health-wise mine was pretty good, no doctors no hospitals no tests, woohoo.

I want to talk about hope… you see it written on mugs and T-shirts, but what does it really mean? It means to me not giving up.

Hope is a crucial tool for people with cancer. It is our internal resource that permits us to cope with the stress that comes with the diagnosis or treatments. The loss of hope reduces one's ability to adjust to the situation.

There is always hope, it just changes, first you hope you don't have cancer then you hope that you have a cancer that is curable or at least treatable, then you hope for time, and finally you hope for a good going. If you lose hope, you give up.

Maintaining hope is a strategy that can help with anxiety, depression and fear. Hope means focusing on the present and what is going to happen next rather than what’s going to happen in the future or the past. Neither can be changed. It can help on the daily changes of the cancer treatments.

Hope can be affected by the behaviour of others, I remember when I was first diagnosed I would tell people and they would say, my aunt or my friend or a friend of a friend had that, and I'd say how are they doing now? Oh they died. Gee, thanks for telling me, that makes me feel great.

Be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. There is no such thing as false hope. Every day I hope for a miracle, but that doesn't stop me from going for my treatments. Nor would it stop me from accepting that my treatments are no longer working. I would say, OK, let’s find some other treatment to try. Hope is not based on false optimism, but it is on the belief that there are better days ahead.

Don't ever give up on your hope… it is always there with you in the back of your mind, bring it ahead and tell yourself better days are coming, no matter what anyone tells you, you have hope.

My granddaughter Vada went home to B.C. yesterday – I miss her already.

Her birthday is Aug. 10, and she turned 14. Woohoo, the time went flying by. Happy birthday Vada, have a great day, you will always be my cutie pie.

Janet's Birthday is Aug. 11. Happy birthday Janet, hope you have a great day.

I was talking to my friend Geraldine in Glace Bay tonight. One good thing is that we have known each other so long that we can talk about anything. Her vacation ends tonight – time goes quickly, don't sleep in on your first day back, ha.

Dad and Janet took Vada shopping at the Truro mall the other day – it is such a nice big mall.

It's hard to believe that in only a few weeks it’s back to school. The stores have all the school supplies out, and the Halloween stuff is also coming out at the same time.

I had a nice visit with Vada, we went camping with Mary and sure enough it rained. But she and enjoyed it and so did Mary and I, that was the main thing.

My pain level today is a 7, my bladder is acting up. I feel like two again running for the potty and trying to get my pants open on the way, ha.

Weight-wise – 135.8, woohoo

Have a great week folks… and yes, the dandelions are back, it’s a sure sign fall is coming.


Kathy Golemiec is undergoing cancer treatments and writes about her experiences each week.

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