Article by Sanya Sachdeva, Volunteer
Once you choose hope, anything’s possible
There is a story about a girl with terminal illness who tried to relate her life to the leaves on the tree which were her hope. Each day a leaf used to shed from the tree, and she said to her father that when the last leaf sheds, it will be the day she dies. So, what her father did was that he taped the last leaf on the tree. Let’s see the magic of love and hope in the life of this little girl.
Love is like a delightful medicine at death’s door. In the story, her dad’s act of taping the last leaf and keeping her hope alive was his deep affection for the little girl. A person fighting cancer is fragile but when they feel affection from their family and friends, it gives them hope to live and motivates them to fight the terror of cancer. It gives them good vibes and strength to continue fighting this illness. The warm feeling of “love” makes them choose hope never give up on our loved ones. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness and their families. It will provide an extra layer of support to not only help manage one’s pain and symptoms but also, caregivers or family members who undergo a lot of stress and fear.
Fear is the unpleasant emotion caused by cancer. The fear of dying or losing a loved one destroys person’s mental health, ultimately weakening the physical state of the body. People live in self-made prisons of their own fear. It is important to remove fear from our lives and instead be filled with hope and love.
Hope is aspiration to overcome the fear. It gives the strength to wake up and fight each day. In the story, the leaf gave hope to the little girl and made her fight the disease. It’s difficult to keep hope when suffering from a illness like cancer as it drains all the energy and makes them feel lifeless and fearful. It also makes them feel like a burden on their own family due to huge amount of money and time spent on the treatment. But what gives them hope is support from their family and being around people who understand them so they can open up their heart. Palliative care facilitates one to share the deep anguish of their life and supports them to go through this “rough” stage of life. This process brings courage and removes their fears, which is a huge act of kindness by doctors and counselors providing palliative care.
This is an act of bringing hope which is like lighting up the dark night.