The A – Z of Becoming. H is for Hope

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Heroes Not Zombies

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In the A to Z of Becoming, H is for Hope.

I don’t know how people live without hope.

Despair and hopelessness are killers. I think one of the worst things a doctor can do is tell a patient they have “x months” to live. Nobody can accurately predict the course of an illness, and nobody can accurately predict how long an individual lifetime will be. (I often think of Stephen Hawking and his “motor neurone disease” or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, a disease with an estimated life expectancy of 2 to 5 years, where his diagnosis was made over 40 years ago).

The truth is that with any diagnosis there are three possible future pathways – the patient gets better, they develop a fairly stable chronic illness, or they get worse. The proportions of a population with the same diagnosis experiencing each of these paths varies depending on a host…

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