Monday, 1 March 2010I have hope on my mind today. I also have it on my hand. I would show you a picture, but I chose a fairly rubbish felt tip pen to do it with, and it's rather faded at this point.
But why? Well I got 'invited' on Facebook to what apparently is the 'Day of Hope' today. I won't cut and paste the info from the event, because I found some of the phrasing awkward, and I didn't quite agree with everything that was suggested. However, what I did agree with was the hope. All the people there are hoping for a cure.
When I met with my consultant a few months after DX, he said to me, 'I thoroughly believe that there will be a cure whilst I am still practising, and probably within the next ten years.' And I really wanted to believe him. But the thing that stopped me was that I knew oh, so well, the stories of my new friends who had all heard the same thing before. A cure in five years, a cure in ten. So whilst I wanted to believe him, I didn't want to put too much stock in something that might never materialise.
There was recently a lot of publicity over the announcement of the artificial pancreas project, which JDRF are involved with. I recall that being asked about it when I'd read an article on the BBC, and what I thought. I thought it was amazing. But I wasn't jumping up and down. And surely I should have been? Well, maybe. I didn't want to feel desensitised to hope 'before my time', not even being a year old yet, in diabetes terms. But the truth was that I didn't want to get too excited over something that might not come to fruition, not matter how much I might want it to. But more than the artificial pancreas, what I wanted was a cure. I wanted this to be over.
And that made me think again. It made me think of all my new friends, and if this was how I felt with not even a year of diabetes-life under my belt, how did they feel with five, ten, twenty, thirty or more years under theirs? Do they still hope, after hearing promises of a cure that turned out to be empty, time after time?
One of the Bible verse I hold closest to my heart is all about hope. I have it stuck on my wardrobe, so it's always there when I need it in my lowest moments:
We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience, and patience produces character, and character produces HOPE. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out His love to fill our hearts. He gave us His love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given us. - Romans 5: 3-5
I'm not saying that having hope is easy. It's not. But I thoroughly believe that everything I go through teaches me more patience. And as that verse says, it makes me a better person day by day. The troubles give me hope. I believe that there will BE a cure. I don't know whether it'll be in the next ten years, or I won't live to see it. I don't know which generation will know the joy that is brought around by the end of this disease. But I know I want to be part of the generation that is part of the change in the world. I want to, and will do all that I can. On the days that I can't quite manage hope, I will settle for faith, as I don't see them as quite the same. On the good days, they'll walk hand in hand.
But I'm not ready to give up on either yet. And if you have, whilst I can, I'll take your share and hope for you.