This is the fifth New Year that I’ve celebrated since my cancer diagnosis, and each one brings with it a mixture of hope, fear and uncertainty. For many cancer survivors watching everyone plan for the future is difficult, it can produce mixed emotions and make the dawn of a new year extremely challenging.
That’s why I’m not going to use this blog to give a lecture about New Year’s resolutions or to suggest that you make elaborate promises to yourself. I realize that living with cancer often renders such gestures trivial and that your life is probably being planned week-by-week or month-by-month. Instead I’ve chosen to share some of my favorite motivational quotations, may these compelling words make the beginning of another year a little less daunting for you and may the theme of infinite hope provide you with strength and inspiration for your cancer journey.
“Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
— Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am.”
— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.”
— Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
— Barack Obama
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
— Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
— Stuart Scott
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
— Maya Angelou
“I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.”
— Terry Fox