Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Acceptance and Hope...not mutually exclusive.

I've been exploring my acceptance of my diagnosis, and my plan to work on this recurrence of cancer. So many people seem to think that 'hope' means you must always be positive, every second of every day, that you will live through and beat cancer. It is inconceivable to them that you can accept the inevitability of your diagnosis and still conduct yourself with hope.

I heard something today, watching 'Oprah' which was a re-run of the Randy Pausch show. I'm not really much of a fan of Mehmet Oz, the cardiologist/MD that Oprah brings onto these shows, but he said something today about hope and about the physician's role in dealing with a terminal illness that makes so much sense, that allows hope and acceptance to co-exist peacefully. From the transcript of the show, which is available in the archives section at www.oprah.com:

"While they obviously want to heal their patients, in many cases, Dr. Oz says the physician's role is simply to help bring a sense of calm to the family. "The fascinating thing about the medical profession is the ancient healing rite was not to save lives. We couldn't do that that well until this century. It wasn't about doing a lot more than just bringing order to the situation," he says. ... "we have to offer hope, but hope's not about having a good outcome. Hope's about making sense of it all."

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