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What Does Hope Look Like?

What does HOPE look like?

It looks like a young husband and wife walking on either side of their seven-year-old son down a long hallway of the Mayo clinic.

Hope looks like my daughter, seven months pregnant, straightening up in her chair and looking expectantly at the door of the doctor’s office when it opens after nearly an hour of waiting. It looks like my daughter, who answers a litany of questions that demonstrates she has lived with the reality of a child’s serious illness for more than two years.

Hope arrives in the form of a young female doctor who explains the clinical trial that has yet to be proven to be effective on Wilms tumor, and when asked the difference between this chemotherapy drug and the one recommended at the University of Iowa, says “That one would have been given simply for palliative care, this one we hope will do more. Hope.

Hope is a seven-year-old boy who climbs up on the table when the doctor asks, curling up with a giggle when her cold hands touch his thin abdomen, a boy who looks sadly down at the floor when he is informed his cancer has returned, and then simply asks if it means he has to go to the hospital. He smiles when his mother tells him most of the treatment will be at home.

Hope is a thin doctor in a long skirt, whose face radiates kindness even while her soft voice informs us that they aren’t looking at a cure right now, but she has seen miracles.

If the results of his blood tests are favorable tomorrow, Jacob will begin a Phase II clinical trial study on Friday, taking a twice-daily chemotherapy drug and heading to Mayo with his mother once a week for tests.  As we enter this phase we hold onto these two words; Hope and Miracles.


Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

5 thoughts on “What Does Hope Look Like?

  1. just stumbled upon your website. you’re such an sweetheart, and my prayers are out to you and your family. God and his angels are with you.

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