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October 24, 2010

The Phoenix of Hope
Ernest H. Rosenbaum, MD

Hope is the empowerment for will to live
Ways hope results in trying to control our lives
Tools to support your efforts to court hope

Hope is the empowerment for will to live
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Hope helps build a foundation to enhance the quality of life. Hope helps strengthen and support the will to live and helps us to strive and to continue trying even when things are negative or life appears despairing.

Each day, we wake up and make plans on what we wish to do and hope that we can accomplish today's goals. Hope is like the phoenix which is reborn in the morning but hopefully doesn't die with the sunset. It does need to be strengthened and to be renewed and this is done by various acts that we do to help our survival.

When we are presented with a catastrophic problem, whether in our lives or with illness, we are in shock and we bravely try to reconstruct our life. We struggle even when we have no rational reason why we should continue to strive to recover or improve our current state.

We all can help control and change our fate because we do have that power and as long as we are active in the things we are doing to promote wellness through the hope of recovery, we can improve our quality of life.

Ways hope results in trying to control our lives
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1. It is sort of like a ride with both an up side and a down side -- sort of like a roller coaster as we go through the various problems such as feeling well and then feeling sick, having side effects such as vomiting, hair loss secondary to the treatments of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery.

2. We have to make choices many times a day and try to accept the bad and convert it into the good.

3. Life develops continually and as we understand more about the meaning of life, we find that deeper thoughts can occur which can have great significance.

4. Spirituality has an important role in the healing process.

5. There is an internal and an external energy source which we can utilize to strengthen our will to live. Part of this is created through hope.

6. There is a series of building blocks -- picture -- with various aspects of quality of life which would include support efforts.

7. Support efforts - Your foundation for will to live.

Tools to support your efforts to court hope
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1) Family.
2) Groups.
3) Pets.
4) Helping others
5) Spirituality.
6) Music/art/.
7) Exercise

Ways to help enjoy life more.
1) Love given by others or expressions of tenderness, a caress, kiss, or holding hands.
2) Humor - being able to laugh or enjoy life.

- You climb a mountain, edging slowly upwards.
Rock by Rock
Step by Step one at a time.
From one point to another up the mountain.
From one height achieved to another.
To live with hope is a reflection on our attitude and perspective of life,
to rebuild our foundation of hope by how we live and what we do with our lives.


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