Hope is a word that I never used to associate with lung cancer because in my experience there wasn’t any, but being in a room with over 100 lung cancer survivors, plus caregivers, really opened my eyes and my mind to hope. I looked around the room in awe as I listened to survivors tell their stories, I watched the interaction among survivors and caregivers, I heard about the latest advancements in research, I felt the virtual (and often real) hugs and I embraced the support — I experienced hope for the first time. Hope had a whole new meaning to me.

Hope is a powerful force.  Hope means different things to different people at different points in their journey.  The hope I saw transpire in that room was real. It wasn’t about wishing for a miracle or dreaming of a cure. It was hope that lights the way during dark times. Hope that means being realistic but not giving up. Hope that means having faith and believing that nothing, even cancer, can defeat the human spirit. Hope that provides the strength to get up every morning and face each day. It may not sound like much, but after what we have all gone through, it is a lot – Hope is everything!

The hope I have is real because I can now recognize that hope is relative. I now think, and believe, that hope means so much more than simply a ‘cure’ for lung cancer!      – Jill Feldman