This I Believe

Darda - Burgaw, North Carolina
Entered on November 30, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: hope

I Believe In Hope

I believe that without hope there can be no tomorrow, for tomorrow is just what might be. I believe that hope can illuminate even the darkest of days. I believe that my hopes for the future lead me into each new day.

I lost hope, not only for tomorrow, but for the next hour that would pass. I was diagnosed with tongue cancer 6 years ago. The doctors told me my chance for survival was minute. I went home that day with little hope for the future. With each second that passed this disease took not only a part of my body but a small quantity of the optimism I have always managed to maintain. My hopes grew dimmer with each passing day.

My darkest days were yet to come. I started treatment in October of that year this is included chemotherapy and radiation. I would spend 1 week in the hospital and then have a 2 week break before spending another week hospitalized. I spent 2 hours each day, 5 days a week, in a radiation clinic. I was taken there by an ambulance while hospitalized. My daughter transported me during my time at home. During this time, my weariness grew daily between the nausea and weakness, I felt only defeat. I had many medical professionals telling me day after day that I needed to have courage, but from where was this courage to come? My hope in tomorrow was fading with each waking hour.

My last 2 weeks of chemotherapy happened

at home. These days were the darkest I would experience. Without medical assistance daily, I had to deal with the horrible nausea from the chemotherapy on my own. My children and husband would not only force feed me through a tube in my stomach but they would bathe me when I vomited on myself. I was too weak to walk without assistance or even to dress. The pain during these days was totally unbearable. Not only was it a physical pain but a deep emotional one as well. Some days, my daughter would have to call for help because I would beg her not to take me to the radiation treatments that made me so weak. These were the days that took away my hope.

My husband and children, realizing I had lost hope, proceeded to convince me, that with no hope there could be no future. They told me each and every hour that tomorrow could only come through my hope for a new day. There was no sudden awareness that they were right. It just seemed to come to me over time. Yet, time is what I thought did not exist for me. My understanding of hope came slowly but once it was within me, nothing could defeat it. I live each and every day while that hope continues to grow. I don’t live for just today. I live for all the tomorrows that remain.

I believe that each day we should not only look at today but we should hope for tomorrow. Without hope there is no tomorrow, without yesterday there would be no today, and without today there would have been no yesterday.