Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Hanging On For Hope

The diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness brings anxiety. It throws the individual and their family into a world of the unknown. It pokes and prods us to become vigilant in our search for hope. The hope is that there will be a treatment protocol that will cure or at least alleviate suffering. As I’ve discussed in the past, there is a difference between getting better and getting well. Cure is the hope, but it’s not always possible. So what is possible?

I’m always on the lookout for news about new treatments. I feel like an information and referral resource for friends and family. It’s a role I enjoy. I’m honored that people in my life trust me enough to share their experiences. My ears and eyes are always open for some information that I can pass on to ease the illness experience.

How vigilant am I in my search for hope and healing? I was watching Jeopardy last night and across the bottom of the screen there was message that said, “FDA approves new medication for MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). That sent me directly to the computer to see what the news flash was about. If you’ve been reading my posts you know my dog has been living with MRSA for the past 6+ years. I need hope.

Our lives have revolved around a cycle of diagnosis and treatment. After a while you feel like a hamster on a hamster wheel. The cycle is repetitive and each time a culture gets sent to the lab we hope and pray that there will be some medication that will tame the infection. As you know if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness, there’s no guarantee that treatments will work forever. We hope that someone in research and development will bring forth a new strategy while we still have time.

Hope also requires that we invite others into our lives. We can’t be everywhere and know all. Inviting others into your life, like others have invited me, giving you a personal research team always on the lookout for an interview, news article, or like yesterday, a message crossing the television screen.

Hope isn’t only about faith. There’s a practical side to hope based on technology, research, and organizations that lobby for money to bring forth new treatments. Whether the future holds a space for you where you get well or get better, remember that hope is a strategy. It needs to be part of your treatment regimen!

Diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness and looking for support, education, and inspiration?  Visit

Looking for Hope?  Explore how Art Heals!  Visit


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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