Journalist Jeffrey Weiss offers testimony to the benefits of "hopeful acceptance"--accepting a poor prognosis while hoping for the best possible outcome. In "How I'm Happy Despite My Brain Cancer Diagnosis," Weiss shares his personal path to Healthy Survivorship:
Last month, doctors discovered I had a brain tumor that is likely to kill me in a year or so. But in spite of the glioblastoma, I’ve been in a better mood every day post-surgery than I’ve been in years....My doctors are a bit, um, confused. More often than not, I’m told, patients new to glioblastoma need medication to help them deal with depression. And visits to a psych expert.
Why not me? Partly it could be where my tumor was.... Maybe the [post-op] re-wiring left me oddly happy?
But I think it’s more about what I realize post-op....Judaism generally backs doing the right thing in the here and now, no matter what theology one believes. I’m for all of that! So I have some goals.
...living three years is lottery-ticket odds. Some people do win the lottery, however. So it’s possible I may get a few years. It’s also possible that new treatments now in clinical trials may work better. If I last long enough, I may get to try some of that.
But I can’t act as if that’s likely, I think. Hope is not bad.... But even hope, to provide what it can and should, needs to be tied to reality.