In my January 21st post, I shared a vignette that illustrates the notion that what you hope for affects whether your hope helps or hurts you.
Now let's look at the challenge of coping with the evaluation of a worrisome symptom. What can Healthy Survivors hope for?
From "Real Good News" (Oncology Times, September 25, 2011):
If you assume every patient hopes for “good” news, you'd be right most of the time. But not always. I, for one, don't spend time and energy hoping for good news.... The tension between hoping for good news and knowing I might get bad news was exhausting. Since I couldn't change how much cancer I had, sometimes I felt waves of helplessness while lying on the scanner's bed. And the longer I waited for the test results, the more helpless I often felt.
After subtle signs of early recurrence were missed early in my survivorship, I discovered the hope that has helped me more than hope for good news: Hope for accurate news.
This hope can both mobilize Healthy Survivors to change the things they can and thus contribute positively to their care. This hope can help patients accept the things they cannot change and thus avoid wasting time and energy on fruitless endeavors.
Patients and clinicians working together can take comfort in knowing that "hoping for accurate news now increases our chance of getting good news down the line.”
To read the article, click here.