Summary of our weekly group discussion ~ 3rd January 2017
WHAT DO WE HOPE FROM THE NEW YEAR?
The beginning of a new year is a time for reflection, and as women living with a diagnosis of breast cancer, thinking about the year ahead can remind us of our vulnerability, though our fears may be unspoken and we also find ourselves wondering what we can aspire to, our dreams, our hopes and what we want to achieve in the coming year.
For some of us, the future is anxiety-provoking and when we try to be hopeful and think of all the amazing things that could happen, the picture before us becomes blurred and we find ourselves wondering whether we dare to dream. For those of us living with secondary breast cancer, the over-riding hope is for stability in our health, for treatments which continue to keep disease in check, and a sense that the here-and-now is what matters most to us. Some of us shared our dreams to make career-changes, travel, celebrate significant milestones, support our loved ones, take up new interests and give something back to our communities.
For women living beyond the most active phases of treatment (surgery/chemotherapy/radiotherapy), there can be a huge impetus to treat cancer as an event we can put behind us. Naz told us that the past prepares us for the future and gives us the solid foundation in which we can build resilience, a spring board to fly from. To forget the past is to break that foundation, but if we can use it to our advantage, we can make the future an achievement.
Our debate highlighted our rich and varied hopes and reflected our individual interests and aspirations, but what we had in common was our wish to live our lives meaningfully, according to our values, and yes, for some of us our steps forward are faltering and uncertain, but forwards we must go, with curiosity, with love and with hope.
Many thanks to Sally for allowing us to use this photograph.