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  • Anna

Courage, Bravery, Hope

My three month scan came and went (finally) and my lung nodules are still stable! What was crazy to me this time is that because of all the insurance craziness leading up to the scan, I wasn't in a rush to get the results. Typically I am texting my doctor by the end of the day but this time, I waited until my appointment 2 days later to hear. My cancer has officially been stable for 2 years (next month) so now my scans move to every 6 months or if I have any symptoms. After the appointment my husband and I took a long walk and we passed the door above. I love old doors, I'm not sure why. I made him stop and take a pic and decided that the door represented a new beginning to me. I didn't know what was on the other side of it but it didn't matter. I don't know what the next 6 months will bring and it doesn't matter because for now, I still have life and it's a beautiful thing.

There are three words that have become synonymous with cancer fighters/survivors or really anyone who has or is fighting some type of battle externally or internally...COURAGE, BRAVERY, HOPE. I have been called courageous for fighting something I didn't choose. What do these words mean?

Bravery and courage are sometimes used interchangeably but have very different origins and meanings. Today's definition of brave means possessing or exhibiting courage, courageous endurance. From Middle French it means splendid, valiant. 'Cor' is the Latin word for heart, and originally courage meant to speak one's mind by telling one's heart. Today it means acting heroic. Social researcher Brene' Brown says "Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line." WOW. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. In old English it is wish, expect, look forward to; root word 'hop'-leaping in expectation.

Interesting. Can you have any one of these three words without the other? Can you have hope without bravery? Can you have bravery without courage (vulnerability)? We need all three. If you go back to the definition of bravery and consider courageous endurance, it takes on new meaning. Being brave requires ongoing vulnerability, enduring the road are on valiantly.

All of us face battles every single day. Some internal, like illness, depression, cancer...battles with our bodies, others are external; jobs, relationships, conflict. The only aspects in our control we really have with both are our attitudes and our actions. Because of my faith I always have hope, and since the three words go together... I guess I am brave and courageous too. Pressing on...

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