A few more thoughts, because I'm not sure I actually answered the question of what gives me hope, I just demonstrated that I have hope. I guess what gives me hope is experience. The sun has always risen in the morning. Illness has always passed. My dog's tummy has always gotten better. My hair grew back after chemo. Since cancer, I've had to climb an uphill battle for optimism and hope, because I have complications from my surgery that will be lifelong. But I see, both from my own experiences, and from examples of other people, that we can cope with our problems, whether physical or emotional. I look to other people's experiences if I haven't got any of my own, and I look for people who have overcome, or learned to deal with their problems. I then have hope that I can do whatever it is that they did.
This is interesting for me to think about, because I don't know that I've ever asked myself this question before. And I don't tend to look at life in terms of hope. I tend to look at it in terms of more present moment concepts like joy, beauty, love, compassion. Hope is about the future. I'm trying to enjoy my "now."