From the February 2007 issue of Harper’s Magazine.
I hate hope. It was hammered into me constantly a few years ago when I was being treated for breast cancer: Think positively! Don’t lose hope! Wear your pink ribbon with pride! A couple of years later, I discovered that the facility where I received my follow-up care was called The Hope Center. Hope? What about a cure? […] I got through my bout of cancer in a state of constant rage, directed chiefly at the constant positivity of American breast-cancer culture. I remain, although not absolutely, certifiably, cancer-free down to the last cell, at least hope-free. Do not mistake this condition for hopelessness, in the beaten or passive sense, or confuse it with unhappiness. The trick, as my teen hero Camus wrote, is to draw strength from the “refusal to hope, and the unyielding evidence of a life without consolation.” To be hope-free is to acknowledge the lion in the tall grass, the tumour in the CAT scan, and to plan one’s moves accordingly.