Maintaining and Fostering Hope


Hope is always viewing the cup as half full. After breast cancer many women have a loss of hope. Once treatment is over, many women feel a return of hope, while others keep feeling hopeless. Here are some tips to help you get back hope after breast cancer treatment.

  • Be aware that it is normal to feel sad or to wonder, “Why me?” Having hope does not mean sticking your head in the sand and pretending that you never had breast cancer. It is having an upbeat view of things to come despite your breast cancer.
  • Think about the things in your life that give you hope. What do you look forward to? They can be simple things or big life events.
  • Join a support group or talk with others who have been where you are. People acquire hope by talking with others who have been through the same thing survived. If you can’t get out of the house there are some on-line support groups. If you would like to be matched with a Peer Match who has been exactly where you are and understands, reach out to Forge’s Volunteer and Support Coordinator, Jinida Holt, for help finding support at (205) 990-5368 or [email protected].
  • Use art as therapy. It doesn’t matter if you think of yourself as artistic or not, art can be great therapy to get your mind off of your concerns. Here are some great Forge videos to give you some ideas!
  • Read a book that inspires you. Much like support groups, hearing how others came through a similar tough time can give hope.
  • Reflect on the meaning of life and death. Decide what means most in your life. You’ve been through a lot, finding meaning in your experiences helps you to accept them and put them in the past. You may want to talk with your minister, priest or spiritual leader and discuss your faith’s spiritual part of hope.
  • Share your story of survival with family, friends and others who need hope. Talking about your story helps give you feelings of success in survival.
  • Enjoy nature… go outside and sit in the sunshine, take a walk in a park, work in your garden, watch the birds or find some way to enjoy the beauty in nature. Here are some Forge videos about gardening and how it can help.
  • Treat yourself with a relaxing bubble bath, manicure or massage, listen to your favorite music or watch a sunset.
  • Take time for prayer and meditation, which can help you focus on your true priorities. Here are some Forge meditation & mindfulness videos that you can do at home.
  • Create a joy collage or memory book by cutting out pictures or poems in magazines that represent hope to you.
  • Learn more about breast cancer and its treatment. New and improved cancer treatments are helping more people to survive this disease. Knowing the facts makes facing the future easier.
  • Remember your past accomplishments and the inner qualities you possess that helped you get them. Think about how these qualities can help you to regain hope now as a breast cancer survivor.
  • Set realistic short term goals, as you achieve them you will gain confidence.
  • Laugh… cancer isn’t funny, but a lot of the things that have happened to you as a result of your cancer are. A good sense of humor can carry you a long way.
  • Journal: Write down all of your feelings of hope and despair in a journal or diary and track them. Include the things that give you hope as well as the things that discourage you.
  • Rest: regaining hope takes energy and is hard when you are tired or weary. Pass on chores to family and friends. Create a “Hope Box” or basket and place slips of paper in it with tasks others can do for you written on them. When others ask what they can do to help, let them look through the basket and choose something.
  • Find ways to feel needed, valued and cared for in relationships.
  • Talk to your family and friends. They have a lot of the same feelings and fears that you do. Encourage, but do not force, one another to talk. Listen carefully to each other’s feelings. Provide comfort and support. Talk about your current situation; remember past illness and losses to help make sense of the situation.
  • Try deep breathing and relaxation exercises several times a day.  Here are some Forge meditation & mindfulness videos that you can do at home.
  • Volunteer in a breast cancer support group, as a breast cancer supporter, or for another cause you feel strongly about. Having a sense of purpose gives you hope. If you would like to Volunteer With Forge as a Peer Match to support someone else on this journey, contact our Volunteer and Support Coordinator, Jinida Holt, at (205) 990-5368 or [email protected].


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Forge’s Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205) 990-5367 or [email protected]. Si hablas español y quieres más información, por favor contacta a Yadira Robayna, al (205) 990-5375 O al [email protected].

Useful websites:
Good Reads:  Quotes about Hope
National Cancer Institute: Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment