Caregiver support, Health & Wellness, Survivor & Caregiver

Hope is in Our Soul

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By Dr. Shelby Terstriep

September 4, 2013

One of my dear friends was diagnosed with stage IV cancer this past week. She is one of those people who knows my weaknesses and insecurities, and loves me anyway. I find myself in a weird world of being a doctor and knowing too much, and being a friend who wants to and will do anything for her.

She already has had an outpouring of support from friends—because the type of friend she has been to me, she has been to so many people. I find myself in a situation that I hear from so many people whose loved ones are facing cancer — feeling totally helpless.

I want desperately to do and say just the right thing that will comfort and cheer her and give her strength and hope. I’m not sure I’ll ever find the words to say all that I want to, but I stumbled across a stanza from Emily Dickenson’s poem “Hope” the other day. I think this is a good place to start:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all…

I love that.  Hope is in our soul and never stops at all.

Such a simple, beautiful idea for anyone to keep in their heart, especially when facing a challenging time.

Have you struggled with finding the right thing to say or do for someone you love who’s been diagnosed with cancer?

If you’re a survivor — is there anything particularly meaningful that someone said or did for you? 


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