Hope is a word often used in the context of disease and illness. Chronic disease with no available cure requires a different set of tools for coping than those with an actual cure in the form of a treatment or surgical procedure. Remission may require yet another strategy for dealing with ongoing concern over recurring illness.
Hope is Powerful
There is one consistent and overarching theme, and that is hope. As someone who has had my share of disease and illness, chronic incurable, curable, surgically corrected and what feels like a laundry list of health challenges, the one thing I can point to that has kept me going was hope. Don’t get me wrong, it was no party and there were times it felt like there really was no hope at all, I always came back to that same place eventually.
One of the things that helped me the most was believing that it could get better, and usually, things would improve. Sometimes the improvement would be short-lived, and even as brief as moments of relief, but when you feel bad enough you will take what you get. With hep C, it was one roller coaster ride from hell. Like many of you reading this, you know what I mean when I say that. The ups and downs may not be entirely unique to hep C but as I said about my own history with some other chronic illness it was sure unique in my experience. As I have written and said many times, I do not believe there is a system in our body that is not impacted by living with chronic hep C. The emotional impact and the physical manifestations were all very strange. They would come and go and appear to be any number of other conditions which made my own diagnosis and that of millions more, elusive to say the least.
This was before the CDC and others recognized that certain demographic groups were more at risk for hep C. What kept me afloat during those years was hope. Hope in finding the cause, and addressing it with the best available means.
Hope for a Better Quality of Life
Without any doubt, you have experience with hope and the power it has for you and all of us. Some of us with a more cynical view may dismiss hope as meaningless but is it that they simply use a different word or see it in a different lens. I am not suggesting that we dismiss evidence and accept false hope when the reality is unavoidable, and sometimes it is, or it will be eventually because none of us live forever. The most important thing I hope for is not just a cure or perfect solution, but is more about quality of life. How we define quality of life varies from person to person just like everything else. For me it is summed up as being able to do the things that make this life good, and I do believe that this life is worth living as well as we can despite our pain or suffering. This is what I hope for all of us, that we should live our life free of disease and despair, and if we do face these things we have the power of hope working for us. It is a very powerful force.