What may help

Talk to your Doctor

Your doctor or specialist may be able to assure you that there are still things you can do to cope with your illness physically. They may refer you to a mental health worker who can help you find hope emotionally.
You may find it difficult to communicate with your doctor about loss of hope. You can complete the hope assessment guide to help you talk about loss of hope.

Set goals

Setting small goals and making plans for the near future can help build a sense of optimism and give you something to work towards each day.

Be inspired

Talking to someone who has experienced similar feelings may help you work through the despair. The Cancer Council’s Cancer Connect network 13 11 20 can put you in touch with groups and individuals you may seek inspiration from. People in these groups may also have suggestions about books or articles that have helped them.

Rethink your expectations

Hope does not have to be an all-encompassing emotion. Relatively small things – such as days when you feel good, looking forward to activities you enjoy and watching those around you thrive – can provide hope in smaller, but effective, doses. Some people find comfort and hope in their faith or religious beliefs.

Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015