I was asked on Instagram how I was able to “beat the disease” in reference to a post stating being a 2-year glioblastoma survivor.  I have well out-lived average survival.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share the keys to my survival. Here is my response:
(Please note: though I am in remission, according to science I have not “beat” this disease.  That said, the following is what I give credit to for beating the odds and surviving and thriving thus far!)
HOPE.  Believe in hope.  Search for hope with all your might.  When you find hope, cling to it tightly!  And remember hope can always be found.
I received my glioblastoma diagnosis on a Friday afternoon.  My regular doctor was out of town so I saw a brand new fill-in doctor.  She was upfront that she wasn’t familiar with glioblastoma; but that average survival was 1 year.  Of course I was in shock hearing this.  My husband and I went home to process this information.  I did not touch the internet because I didn’t feel the information I would find would be helpful. 
I spend the weekend in a state of hopelessness and sorrow.  Monday my coworker, Jenn, stopped by and beamed with optimism.  With her demeanor and her words she stated that I could be a long-term survivor.  She told me to google “glioblastoma survivor”.  I did and found a story of a 16 year survivor.  Jenn breathed HOPEinto my diagnosis.  She told me she was sure I would beat this even though everything says this disease is unbeatable.  THAT is what I needed to hear. Thank you, Jenn!!!!
The next breath of HOPE I received was from actually speaking with an 8 year glioblastoma survivor.  He is a friend of my GP willing to share his story with me.  When I spoke with this fellow I learned that he had a 1 year old child!  He chose to have a child even with a glioblastoma diagnosis!  Furthermore, he shared the title of a book with me, Getting Well Again by O. Carl Simonton.  I’ve just begun to read it and have found it helpful.  The book discusses the power that an optimistic attitude and self-awareness can play in survival.  We can influence the state of our health through “positive attitudes, relaxation, visualization, goal setting, managing pain, exercise, and building an emotional support system.”  Disease does NOT render us powerless!   
Finally, I have found HOPE in believing in Jesus; this has been key.  Jesus has always been a part of my life; post-cancer He has become an absolutely essential part of my life and of my survival.  I’ve cracked open my bible again and as I read daily I meet a powerful, loving, healing Jesus who makes the impossible possible.  As I choose to trust in Jesus I am empowered to believe that my prayers and the attitudes of my heart are heard and seen.  This belief gives me the Hope that the God of the universe who loves me so deeply has my brain in His healing hands.  (I’ve evaluated the potential foolishness others may think in my believing this; however, my experience has been that believing in Jesus gives me the anchor I need during the storm of battling cancer and it gives me Hope both for today — that God is with me and surrounds me in love — and Hope for the future beyond this life.  So I choose not to care if anyone else thinks its foolishness because I have personally experienced it’s power and benefit!)
Here I will share a quote I just read from a beautiful book, Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors:
“Maybe courage is trusting when we don’t know what is next, leaning into the hard and knowing that it will be hard, but more, God will be near….Maybe bravery is just looking fear in the face and telling it that it does not win because we have known the Lord here…Though we tremble and feel uncertain courage means we press into a God who is certain, sure, steady.  He carries us; He lifts our heads.  And His unfailing love and comfort become our courage and our hope.”
Jesus gives me the courage I need to have hope and let me tell you, having Hope that you can hang on to is powerful!!! 
Also, having a support network which is hopeful alongside you— believing surviving and thriving is possible– is essential.  I am grateful for my husband who is naturally optimistic. I describe him as having optimistic optimism.  These are the kind of people we need to surround ourselves with in order to thrive. 
I personally choose to believe that I WILL be in the 5% of people who become 5-year survivors.  I also choose to plan optimistically for my future while at the same time being prudent about my present (I’ve created a will, written birthday letters to my children for their future, etc.).  Furthermore, I’ve processed fears surrounding death in a healthy way with the help of a counselor and continue to process on-going anxiety in this way.
Find HOPE, whatever it looks like for you, and cling to it!!!
I don’t know your faith but, I desire to leave you with a blessing so if you’re willing, please accept my prayer for you:  May God grant you wisdom and His supernatural peace as you journey these difficult roads ahead.  I pray God will grant you and your family Hope, healing and optimism. 
Blessings to you and your family.