Hope in the Face of Serious Illness

Hope in the Face of Serious Illness

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all”       Emily Dickinson

Hope is defined in many ways. An optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes or an intrinsic inborn trait centered on individual goals like quality of life or search for meaning.  However defined, it is a powerful entity that gets us through difficult times.

Hope is a dynamic state and changes over the course of one’s illness.  In the beginning, those who are seriously will typically experience focused hope. It concentrates on the tangible goals of cure and recovery. What happens to hope when treatments are ineffective, and recovery is not possible? Focused hope must be released. If not, it becomes dysfunctional and gets in the way of intrinsic hope. Letting go is painful but does not have to be done alone.

Hope does not have to become hopeless. Hope can be managed. Practitioners who specialize in palliative care are uniquely qualified to help patients and families reframe hope through empathy, patience, compassion and the relieving of pain and other symptoms.

Please call Ardent Supportive Care (469-348-0670), our palliative care division, and let us discuss how we may help.

Karen Pearson, MSN-GNP, ACHPN

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope

https://hbr.org/2019/05/managing-the-hopes-of-seriously-ill-patients

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