Having Hope

What does it mean to have hope? To expect something positive, meaningful, and affirming. Is everyday hope different from the hope we feel when faced with serious illness or disability? In the year before my son was diagnosed with leukemia, I did a research study asking thirty-two adult patients with cancer what gave them hope. It was a qualitative study—my team interviewed patients four times over eighteen months, and then we analyzed all of the interviews to extract themes and commonalities. We found five themes, as shown in the figure. The men and women, who were at various stages of treatment and survivorship, found hope by living in the moment, relying on their own inner resources [...]