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And, what of hope?  What is the essence of it?

Words inspire me.  They lift my spirit and excite my soul.

Especially two simple words: faith and hope.

These words have a natural order. Indeed one must have faith before hope is possible.

So the question becomes, what is faith?

Faith is belief, conviction, an unshakable confidence, that something unseen, untouchable, or unknowable exists.

I have faith my chemotherapy treatments will arrest my cancer.  I cannot see them working, nor can I touch the chemicals.  I cannot know they are working but my belief is strong, resolute and unshakable. I have faith.

And because I have faith, hope is possible.  What is the essence of hope?

Hope is an expectation of a good outcome.  For those with lung cancer, we hope against hope. We cling to slim odds; we rejoice at possibility despite monumental probability. Indeed, we who suffer lung cancer are hopers.  And, "hope is a good thing"; "hope is maybe the best of things."

Hope gives us purpose. It stiffens resolve. It creates strength to endure.  Hope sustains.  Without doubt, hope lifts my spirit and excites my soul.

"Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be,

For my unconquerable soul."

I believe I shall live to enjoy the simple things, the little things, the important things. My faith in life is unshakable. I hope to live each day to find little pieces of joy. When found I shall rejoice. For the magic of life is joy. But the essence of life is faith and hope.

Stay the course.

*Previously posted as a blog response.

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