Are You a Survivor?

Are you a survivor? Do you know a survivor? We are all survivors of something. Illness is a universal human condition, and most of us have survived some acute or chronic ailment. Or we are a caregiver—surviving together—for someone living with a serious illness such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, liver or lung disease, mental illness, addiction, paralysis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease, or other chronic inflammatory, autoimmune or immune pathologies. And, of course, we can be a survivor of other adverse life events, such as trauma, abuse, violence, war, imprisonment. The list seems endless, and adverse life events can happen at any time in one’s life. My oldest son is a childhood [...]

2019-07-08T17:36:57-04:00July 7th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

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 [...]

2019-07-08T17:37:25-04:00July 6th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|
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