skip to main content

Hopeful Quotes

Spring, 2015
Read the latest issue of THRIVE - a magazine published for and about people living with cancer.

Always remember that
your present situation is not
your final destination
The best is yet to come.

If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together...
there is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart...
I'll always be with you."

~A.A. Milne

Our patients become our heroes.
~Lisa Newman, M.D., director of the University of Michigan Breast Care Center
Learn more about one of Dr. Newman's heroes: Flora Migyanka, in Sharing the Light.

Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.

Life is like the ocean.
It can be calm or still,
and rough or rigid,
but in the end,
it is always beautiful

I encourage patients and families to continually look for the miracle but don't try to define it. In other words, if the only miracle we are looking for is the big one -- the one where there is a miraculous cure -- then we will most likely miss the other miracles that are unfolding before our very eyes, each and every day.
~Deacon Wayne Charlton, Cancer Center Chaplain

Learn more about Deacon Charlton by reading Spiritual Care for Patients and Families in the Winter, 2015 issue of Thrive

I am not this hair,
I am not this skin,
I am the soul that lives within.

Life is so much brighter when we focus on what matters

The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it
flow with it . . .
and join the dance.
~Alan Watts

Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid.
~Frederick Buechner

Courage is being scared to death . . .
and saddling up anyway.
~John Wayne

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
It's about learning how to

Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always

Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand like stone: friendship in another's trials and courage in your own."
~ the late Princess Diana

This too shall pass

I want men to know that things really do get better -- and they get better fairly rapidly. Don't get discouraged.
~George Campbell, prostate cancer survivor. Read his story, Laws of Survivorship

Don't get hung up on the hard times, the challenges. Tell your story by highlighting the victories. Because it's your victories that will inspire, motivate, encourage other people to live their stories in grander ways.
~Iyanla Vanzant

What we would say to cancer if we could

word cloud

What we say to one another

word cloud

The wish for healing has always been half of health.
~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

"It's about focusing on the fight and not the fright."
~Robin Roberts

"Don't miss your life."
~Valerie Harper

"Cancer didn't bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet."
~Michael Douglas

More than 10 million Americans are living with cancer, and they demonstrate the ever-increasing possibility of living beyond cancer."
~Sheryl Crow

It is difficult to say what is impossible,
for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today
and the reality of tomorrow.
~Robert H. Goddard

Never give up
Life IS worth living
There is life after cancer.

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass -- but go out and play in the rain!
Thank God for everything -- never, never, never forget you are loved.

You're OK even if your skin doesn't fit the way it used to!

Hope is a reality to keep the faith that you will survive and be alive!!!

Hope is living with courage and confidence, not fear!

Believe in yourself
Love yourself.

Never give up HOPE!

We asked our 2012 Survivors' Day Planning committee to share their thoughts about why they volunteered and/or what going through cancer meant to them.

"You go through loss, anger, depression and eventually you discover hope. To share this discovery that's the best thing. It puts value and meaning to the diagnosis."

"You have to figure out your own way to deal with this diagnosis. You learn about yourself, what you are made of. This can be extraordinary and you want to share this, help others who go through the same thing."

"Cancer puts you to the test and it also brings out the best in you."

"A cancer diagnosis changes you forever. You always remember the moment it came.

"Survivors Day helps me suck up the positives from others."

You're not dying from cancer -- you're living with it!


Don't lose hope.
When the sun goes down, the stars come out.

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
~~Franklin D. Roosevelt

When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters - one represents danger, the other represents opportunity.
~~John F. Kennedy

Faith is daring to go beyond what the eyes can see.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.
~~Abraham Lincoln

Marian Bryant, cancer survivor, offers a message of hope and love.


What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.
~~Author unknown

So far, I have decided to take whatever my disease can throw at me, and to stay combative even while taking the measure of my inevitable decline. I repeat, this is no more than what a healthy person has to do in slower motion.

Managing Emotions and Coping-Christopher Hitchens, from January 2012 Vanity Fair

"Cancer changes your life, often for the better. You learn what's important, you learn to prioritize, and you learn not to waste your time. You tell people you love them. My friend Gilda Radner (who died of ovarian cancer in 1989 at age 42) used to say, 'If it wasn't for the downside, having cancer would be the best thing and everyone would want it.' That's true. If it wasn't for the downside."

-Excerpted from PEOPLE Weekly's August 6, 2001 issue. - Joel Siegel, Good Morning America movie critic

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

- Mark Twain, American writer

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

- Thomas Edison, inventor

"The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man."

- Euripides

Martha Anderson, cancer survivor, describes how she used humor to get through her cancer treatment.


"Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance."

- Brian Tracy

"Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some."

- Robert Fulghum, "All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony."

- Thomas Merton, French monk, poet

"I always try to balance the light with the heavy - a few tears of human spirit in with the sequins and the fringes."

- Bette Midler, American singer, actress

"Man always travels along precipices. His truest obligation is to keep his balance."

- Pope John Paul II

"My private measure of success is daily. If this were to be the last day of my life would I be content with it? To live in a harmonious balance of commitments and pleasures is what I strive for."

- Jane Rule, American novelist, critic

"Unfortunately, the balance of nature decrees that a super-abundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares."

- Peter Ustinov, English actor, author, producer, director

"Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting."

- Karl Wallenda, world famous tightrope walker

"You can't smooth out the surf, but you can learn to ride the waves."

- Author unknown

Mark Colter, cancer survivor, offers a story of hope to others dealing with cancer.


"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're probably right"

- Henry Ford

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step."

- Chinese proverb

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well."

- Robert Louis Stevenson

"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship."

- Louisa May Alcott

"Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out."

- Barbara Johnson

"None of us can be free of conflict and woe. Even the greatest men have had to accept disappointments as their daily bread - the art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them."

- Bernard M. Baruch

"Always do what you are afraid to do."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Never, never, never give up"

- Winston Churchill

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."

- Dale Carnegie

"Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."

- John Wooden

"At the timberline where the storms strike with the most fury, the sturdiest trees are found."

- Anonymous

"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

- Abraham Lincoln

"The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart."

- Helen Keller

"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness."

- Seneca

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."

- Buddha

"Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."

- Chinese Proverb

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things you think you cannot do."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom."

- Marilyn Ferguson

"Dealing with it is the operative word.
I found myself at seven years not battling it.
Not struggling with it.
Not suffering from it.
Not breaking under the burden of it, but dealing with it."

- Michael J. Fox referring to his Parkinson's Disease
Barbara Walters interview, 20/20 December 4, 1998

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."

- John Wayne

"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow."

- Orison Swett Marden

"Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible."

- Anonymous

"The important thing is not that we can live on hope alone, but that life is not worth living without it."

- Harvey Milk

"Look to this day, for it is life. For yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope."

- Sanskrit Proverb

"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts - it's what you do with what you have left."

- Hubert Humphrey, after cancer surgery in 1978

"The worst thing in you life may contain the seeds of the best."

- Joe Kogel, 21-year melanoma survivor, writer and actor

"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars..."

- Charles A. Beard

"Cancer is a journey, but you walk the road alone. There are many places to stop along the way and get nourishment - you just have to be willing to take it."

- Emily Hollenberg, cancer survivor

Return to top