Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic.”  ~Norman Cousins

“I have found that in the simple act of living with hope… the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious.” ~Elizabeth Edwards

Candle for hope

Greg Anderson, a cancer survivor writes, “You may have been told, ‘Get your affairs in order, you have a short time to live’ or a favorite of the medical community, ‘Your illness is terminal.’ Don’t believe it. Refuse to give in to that despair. Only God knows how long a person has to live…So decide to live! Embrace hope. Hope heals. It is a decision that always leads to better days and perhaps more of them as well.”

In her recent book Seeds: A MemoirDr. Sasha Vukelja, a local oncologist tells the story of her childhood spent moving from village to village and country to country with her mother, a political refugee from Yugoslavia.  She writes of the hardships as well as the many people along the way who reached out to help them.  After they were able to immigrate to America and not knowing a word of English, Sasha was determined to become a doctor.  Fast forward to today and Dr. Vukelja is one of the most respected oncologists in America.

She tells a story in her book which illustrates “hope.”  One of her cancer patients was sent home to die as there was no more treatment available.  As they were putting him in an ambulance for the journey, he spoke up and said he could not die because he had not yet seen the birth of his grandson.  When asked, “When is your grandson due?” he responded that his daughter wasn’t pregnant yet, nor was she dating anyone at the time.

One day many years later, an older burly man came by to see Dr. Vukelja.  She couldn’t remember him until he told her who he was.  He was the patient sent home to die years earlier.  His hope and determination to see his grandson arrive was so strong that he lived to see it happen.

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© 2010 Melinda Coker

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