It's odd - I get asked this a lot.
Some people seem to think that having been through the illness I have I should have some kind of quest for deeper meaning and hope that I didn't have before. Being raised in a religious family certainly gave me some starting points, but I will admit to a lot of screaming and ranting at the sky while ill, and that in the end I have not found any sort of faith or meaning that I didn't have before and I have relied on knowledge to carry my through the worst of it all. My mum had a very strong faith and it sustained her while she was ill and I would never have tried to take that from her - but for me that wasn't how it worked. It's not like I didn't think about dying - and truly I'm not scared to die anymore. With me, now I just have so much to do that I don't want to have to stop before I finish it all. To me clutching to a belief I do not have simply because I was dying and thought it might be a good idea to hedge my bets against an eternity and unknown conclusion is not a valid reason for faith. Maybe I'm weird that way...but faith is faith and belief is belief...regardless of where you are in life...or death. I am committed to a lifetime of learning.
In the end, I currently get by with the love and support of my partner and family, a little help from my friends and a lot of knowledge from wherever I can find it. The line in this cartoon sums it up completely for me - "I find my courage where I can, but I take my weapons from science."
And yes...2 years later I'm still doing science and I'm still alive :)