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Voyage of Hope

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Tom Galli

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I am writing this from the pool deck of a cruise ship while on a transatlantic sojourn. Our fourth transatlantic and our favorite form of vacation, we cross then pick several countries and explore. This year, after docking at Barcelona, we fly to Ireland and tour the wild and unpopulated western coast, then spend a long weekend in Edinburgh, and fly home. The cruise and the touring after is wonderful. The flight back is a nightmare because my incision scars throb in pain in a pressurized aircraft. We need to make the return flight in two legs (overnighting in Boston) to recover from the pain. 

The national hope summit concluded, and missed for the second time because of our annual spring migrations, I tell you about our cruise as two examples of hope.

First, we undergo treatment and endure discomfort for a reason -- extended life. It is important to shelve the treatment and uncertainty mantle to do something enjoyable with this life extension. We enjoy these long (and reasonably priced) repositioning journeys on a cruise ship.  We step out of the mundane and into the lap of luxury and enjoy interactions with the international assortment of passengers we sail with. 

Second, to the essence of hope, if I can survive to do this, so can you.  

I will never go back to my lifestyle before lung cancer. But, I can have an enjoyable and meaningful life after lung cancer. And, my attitude dictates the amount of joy and meaning experienced. It is so important to realize this point. We endure treatments for a reason. Find your reason. Revel in your new normal. 

Life indeed is what you make it. Make yours. 

Stay the course. 

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