I have realized in my short time living that it does not matter if it is the college student who cannot afford a second quarter, a parent who cannot afford clothes for their children or a child who struggles with ADHD, or a man faced with deadly disease, everyone faces it at least once every day of their lives – the feeling of taking on the impossible. It is in these times that people find themselves faced with the choices of weather to succumb or to overcome. James O’ Connor, overcame cancer and would not rest until he found the solution to the impossible situation he was faced with. Through searching, asking questions, heart, and faith he was one of the ones who over came, and through that extended a hand of hope to others facing his similar situation. I would like to think that I would be that strong facing similar situations, however all that I can do is to speculate and judge myself on how I have responded to tough situations in the past.
I know that I would not rest for even a minute had I been diagnosed with a terminal illness until I had exhausted every option available – including options that I may have thought up. Had it been cancer, I would have researched my type of cancer and looked into how it worked. I would search what other cancers are like it and how they operated too. I would specifically look into the traits they had in common and the treatments used against them. I would ask my doctors why these treatments were chosen and how effective they were.
I would consult a herbalist, research foods, what parts of the body they affected, and how they could help prevent cancer. It has been a known fact for centuries that many foods heal the body, keep it healthy, and some food that help treat illnesses. There should be some type of vegetable, herb, or fruit – maybe a combination of foods – something that would help my condition. If I could, I would try them all. However, I realize that time is not on my side and I need to use it to my full advantage so I could not waste time trying everything. I need to search which herbs are commonly used and the effect on the user’s condition.
Physical fitness is not beyond something I would look into. I realize that there are many types of workouts that target different parts of the body and even builds up individual body parts health, why not try it? I would research and ask trainers, other cancer survivors about what works or helps deal with cancer. Despite the fact that physical fitness and exercise may not seem to be a likely source to target cancer – it must be looked into – an unasked question could be a lost solution.
After researching and gathering opinions of common everyday people, the opinions of doctors, trainers, and survivors of my particular kind of cancer, I would then begin to sort through it. I would sort the information gathered going from trust worthy sources to unlikely sources of information. Within those categories, I would group together information that was repeated, and especially pay attention to information that contradicted each other. I would make sure to keep track of what treatments people used that worked and then look at why it worked for them. After organizing the information, I would then be ready to sit down with a few doctors and ask them to help me with a program or treatment that would tie in each effective treatment I found.
Doctors, although they are trusted to help heal the sick, are humans too – they cannot think of everything. The information I provide them may be new information that needs to be checked because it could be a dangerous treatment or could affect the other treatments rendering their affects useless, they would know where to double check what information I have found. While they may not have thought of an alternate solution when I first visited them, being given information on alternative methods could be what the doctor needs to jog their memory or figure out a way to combine the information into an effective treatment.
However, it would be foolish to not utilize all of my resources. Through all of my researching and testing the methods out, I realize I would not succeed without this crucial tool. Faith – it is crucial to believe that at some point I will find the perfect treatment. The faith to keep searching the internet even though it is four in the morning and I have not slept for more than an hour over the last three days. It is the faith that not all the hard work I put in will be for nothing. I would spend just as much time praying to find a solution, as I put into searching. How foolish would I be to turn my back on my religion now when it has been for me throughout the rest of my life?
I would like to believe that would be me, if I had been diagnosed with cancer. I realize that I would have times of weakness – I would cry, I would curse, I would be angry, and I would ask why me? Then I would realize that through it all, had it not been me, had it not been someone, then those who this does happen to, or people who need inspiration would not have it. These times of difficulty and of weakness, where we are realizing the shortness of our own lives that we realize the importance of what all our hard ships have to offer. If I was diagnosed with cancer, and did research to try to save my life, one thing I would definitely do is to leave behind a story of what I experienced going through it. I would let them know that while cancer is scary there is hope you can fight to overcome the disease. Most importantly, the time you have left is not an hourglass going out but simply time to appreciate and take in the beauty of life that many die without ever seeing.