Possibilities / Poshopeilities

The most exciting thing about life to me has always been its endless possibilities: I saw the future as some kind of great wide open, like a Montana sky (which I’ve never actually seen in person, but which itself frequently registered amongst those happy swirling possibilities in my mind).

I was fed by, and led by these possibilities.  They allowed me, and gave me reason, to breath.

But in the last few days I found myself reduced to a state of stuffy claustrophobia brought on by the harrowing narrowing down of all those limitless outcomes into one single option:   You Are Going To Die Of Brain Cancer.

Of course I know that this is not an inevitability, and even if it is inevitable I know it’s not the one single truth of my life that now exists to the utter exclusion of all others.

But it is ({very} probably) true.

And it is (very definitely) a difficult obstacle to look around.  To say the least.

Oddly enough I did find myself somewhat recently able to not just look around this infinitely opaque Wall of BrainChance, but to actually stand on top of it and look over it, past it, again out into that Great Wide Open I’ve always loved so much.  That thing, whatever it is, that exists or will exist beyond: I could see it again.  Suddenly I didn’t care that the dark wall was there– it certainly shaped and colored the paths that led out from beneath my feet, and had some serious say in how I would walk them, but somehow I’d made it so that it no more blocked my way.  Rather than an obstacle, it had become like my shoes or the paths themselves: something that could lead me.  Something I could stand on.  Walk on.  Move on from.

And then the wall suddenly and very unexpectedly retracted into the ground, quietly and ominously slid a few paces forward, and rocketed up out of the earth in front of me to block my way once again.  Hard and fast.  It happened so fast it almost shaved off the front of my nose.

And it occurred to me that the thing that had changed, the thing I had lost, was the thing that draws life from possibility.  The thing that transforms possibility in to life.  It is the thing that I have spent the last three months thinking about and building and fostering and keeping lit and carrying on.

It is hope.

And I’d lost sight of it.

It had been taken away from me.  But I’m taking it back.

The power of hope to create life, real life –life worth living and laughing and sharing– in the face of certain impending doom– it’s one of the most remarkable and powerful things I’ve ever experienced.  Hope not only makes the difference between giving up and going on; it makes going on fun.  It makes those possibilities sparkle with potential again, where before there was only the grey haze of fear.

But it’s not always easy to maintain your grip on hope, and this is one way– one concrete way– where we can help each other.

Where hope is lacking, give it.  Where it is fading, foster it.  Where it has disappeared, rekindle it and watch as the smiles reemerge, warmed by a feeling they’ve known before, a feeling they know how to hold onto if the wind doesn’t blow too hard.

And if it does, help them shelter the ember until the storm has passed.

For if we have hope, we have possibility.  And if we have these two things, we have everything.

A lot of people have given me hope.  And it’s keeping me alive.

14 thoughts on “Possibilities / Poshopeilities

  1. Eloquently said and just in your putting it out in the world, my hope is renewed in not only myself but all people striving to live a fulfilling life. Thank you for sharing and I hope for continued positive progress in your fight!

  2. As I wake up this morning, about to head up to NIH with my daughter for her MRI to see what has gone on in that lovely brain of hers in the last month with no treatment, I am greeted by your beautiful words. Thank you, I needed to be reminded of this very thing…hope. Bless you. My hope was somewhat lacking, and you gave it.

  3. This is the most inspiring post, thank you Chad. I couldn’t agree more, hope and love are everything. Sending you so much hope and love. Everything will be fine. Xxx

  4. You make me proud, you make me so sure you are going to beat this with that positive attitude. You have always pulled on my heart strings with your laughter, your joy, your love and your inspiration. You give true meaning to the word “hope”. Love you so,

  5. I so love your posts…..you give me the courage to continue with hope for my son with your wisdom and your hope….. I pray for you and my son daily…. you are in my heart everyday….. a friend to you and your mom……connie

  6. So glad you refound hope, !!!! It is so important in your battle. my son has the hope, 8 years and 7 months after he was diagnosed with a grade 4 gbm. He still has the hope!!! Embrace it,indure it, live with it, love it, please don’t lose it again!!!!

  7. big virtual squeeze from north of the 45th parallel.

    i’m about to send you some colorful socks because i know how fuckin’ cold it gets down in la on this long winter evenings.

    love you bro

  8. happy to have found your blog, as i am (fairly recently) going through the whole brain tumor ordeal myself. hope is an amazing thing. it is a life float and such an important component in the healing process. i try to stay away from the doom and gloom news surrounding brain cancer as much as possible and focus on the positive news and research out there. which there is a lot of! here’s some resources that are giving me hope lately:
    *Dr. Wallace, an expert on nutrion and brain cancer (http://www.nutritional-solutions.net/index.php/about-us)
    *Dr. Budwig findings and testimonies (http://www.budwigcenter.com/testimonials.php)

  9. Hope can be the rock onto which you lash your ship in a violent storm. It can be the foundation onto which you build your house. It can be a gleaming Oz, or an imminent Tony Luke’s broccoli rob.

    I’m glad to know you’re becoming reacquainted with the Great Heroine. She’s a bonny lass.

  10. When i was in 4th grade we read the story of Pandora’s Box out loud in class. I got to be the character Hope, which was the only thing Pandora was able to keep in the box after all the evils had left the box and into the world. At first i was a bit miffed that the character had only one line and at the very end of the story, but after reading it I realized i had the best and most important character. I never forgot that story, it is what gets us through the hardships! Stay Gold!

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