Q. Can you tell me about hope? How can you be hopeful when you don’t yet have a diagnosis and because of that, no one believes you?

Frannie Rose: I learned my most significant lesson about hope from my doctor, who I affectionately call “The Boss”. I asked him about it one day when my life was way beyond my capabilities, and I felt myself drowning in the medical system. I hoped for an answer, a cure. He told me that hope is “elusive”. And I have thought about that comment on a daily basis since that very day.

Yes, hope is elusive in that it is hard to catch, hard to grasp and hard to hold on to. And that is the most important task we with chronic illness have to do. We have to fish for hope every single day, and once we find even a tiny semblance of it, we need to hold on to it and never let go.

Finding the right doctor was hope for me as it may be for some of you. Having my doctor see me as a human being with unique needs and personality meant more to me than any fact I could obtain from the most knowledgeable scientist. Sharing with my doctor who I am, and what I want, as well as what I need, made it easier for him to help me. It made it easier for us to work as a team together, to find the answers that we were both looking for. This in turn opened me up to a new life of infinite possibilities. The treatments he has come up with because of his perseverance have made a difference in the quality of my life. This was the hope that I had dreamed about for all those years I spent searching for answers.

It may take time to find the right healers. Why should the first doctor you meet be the exact match for you and your chronic illness? Common sense tells us that we need time to realize all that we need from a doctor, and how to ask for it. It also tells us that a doctor needs time to get to know us and to establish mutual trust with the same goals in mind. Doctors are not Gods, they are people just like you and I.

I assure you, you will find your hope. And when you do, hold on to it like you would hold on to the string of a kite. You never know what the next gust of wind will bring. Believe in yourself, that you are worth saving, and others will believe in you. Let your newfound hope bring you the power to fly high.

(c) 2005 – Frannie Rose