We all want to live in hope. Sometimes hopes for survival are dashed if the cancer has spread too far. Can there be any hope then? Not in the narrow sense of the word maybe but there are still many things we can hope for. We might have years; we might be able to live with the cancer.
We can hope for good days, for good care, for a chance to make peace with life, to achieve a goal or fulfil a dream. We can hope for those few more good months or years where we can fulfill what we see as our role in life as a member of society, a parent or grandparent.
We hear of people with Stage 4 head and neck cancer who proceed bravely through treatment because of the very realistic hope that surgery and chemo-radiation or just the latter will cure them.
Doctors can give us reasonable hope. It pays not to deceive patients but give them a small hope at the very least to cling to when the prognosis is poor. There are always people who fall into the good side of the statistics: a 10 - 20% chance of five year survival can bring hope.
We can live in the now: a very good place to be. Who knows what the future will bring for any of us?
And last of all we hope for better treatment, for earlier detection, for prevention, we hope for a cure for those who come after us.
I think that hope is often elusive; it's a feathery, fluttery thing, a state of mind - expressed so well in Emily Dickinson's poem. But Dickinson is also "reminding us of hope's inherent power--it is always there, requires no maintenance, and is strong enough to see us through our troubles." (https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/analysis-poem-hope-thing-with-feathers-by-emily-297521)
What do you think?