If James “Rhio” O’Connor Did It Then So Can I

My name is Gabriella James, this is my story about being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Starting from the moment I got diagnosed at a regular doctor’s visit. To figuring out what I can do to cure or at least keep this disease under control. I’m not going to lie, I was scared to death to hear the word cancer come out of the doctor’s mouth. Any form of cancer could be deadly. The next few words were even worse, he told me that I only had a year to live. What am I going to do now? I can’t leave my family behind. There has got to be some way to get rid of this disease, someway.

First thing that I did was ask how? And why me? At this time it still hadn’t sunk in my head. I was terrified. After leaving the doctors I went to do research about my newly developed cancer. The sound of it is death threatening to me. Keep thinking about it, it becomes more hard to believe, even to say. Enough with my rambling. What I found on most websites is that it’s a rare form of cancer which develops from the protective layer of the internal organs. Well that’s not good was my first thought. My definition to this is: something is there, something like a tumor like thing growing just outside my internal organs. I don’t the sound of that. I like my internal organs to be just how they are, normal organs just normal.

After I read this, I came to the symptoms. These were worse than the definition. Some of the symptoms were: shortness of breath, I laughed at this one because I almost always have this symptom, I’m not the fittest person in the world if you know what I’m saying. Weight loss, this I was okay with a bit. I mean who wouldn’t want to lose some weight right? There were other symptoms like coughing and chest pains. Now the chest pains I was not too fond of. I haven’t had a pain in my chest in my entire life. The thought of having one just scared me even more.

The next few days were horrible. I don’t know if it was the fact that I knew I was going to die or if it was just me being paranoid and terrified? At this point I don’t know what to think. Days after I found out, I started coughing constantly. I drank some water. Thought it was just a dry throat. But it did not go away. For nearly an hour or so I was coughing non stop. When it finally did I was relieved. My sides had begun to hurt as each cough came. My body tired of coughing, who can blame it? After my little coughing faze, I was tired so I went to bed thinking nothing of it. All the symptoms that I have read about earlier in the week never crossed my mind that day.

One day I was sitting at home watching TV with my nephew. We were just sitting the couch doing nothing. He asked me for some popcorn, so I got up to make him some. Half way to the kitchen I felt a loss of breath. I had to hold on to the closest thing near me so that I would not fall over. My nephew came in, once he saw me he rushed over to me with a worried look on his face. He helped me to a near by chair. He told me to try to take breaths. About five minutes later I began get my regular breathing back. Once again I thought nothing of it. I couldn’t, just to see the look my nephews face made me forgot any of my previous thoughts. Now I was worried about him instead of myself. I got up and made the popcorn. We sat through the movie without a word. He asked me what was wrong with me? Why did that happen to me? I had to tell him that it was nothing to worry about. He just nodded. I forgot to mention that I haven’t told my family about my condition yet. I mean what for? All they are going to say is I’m sorry and sympathize for me, just because I am dying. I don’t need that. I need to stay strong. Right? Well I think so. What’s the point in telling them.

What really got me moving and looking for cures was the pain in my chest that I got one day. This symptom is where I said I needed to do something about this cancer. I have never had a pain in my chest as I said before, when I got it for the first time I was shocked, terrified, scared, lots of mixed emotions crossed my mind at that point. The feeling was like something pushing my chest down hard, I mean really hard. I knew that if I wanted these pains to go away, I had to do something about it. I had to find somebody that has or had this before. Find out what they are doing, what they are not, or what they are going to do. If I want to live longer I have to do something.

As I was doing my research I found a story about a man named James “Rhio” O’Connor. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma. I was intrigued by his story. He managed to survive for seven more years instead of the one year that the doctor had given him to live. If he survived those years then maybe, just maybe I could too. It said that he got through it with diets and eating healthy. These things never popped into my head that’s for sure. He also worked with many other clinicians, formed a regimen of over a hundred supplements a day. The most important thing I thought was that he practiced mind body medicine. He relied on his own discipline to overcome the difficult times ahead of him. He thought that food was a way to control the disease. Eating the right way and getting the nutrition that you need is key to the disease so he thought.

Once I read this I believed he had a point. Eating the right way and practicing mind body strength is a great way to help you out. If I start doing the things that he did, who knows, maybe I can live as long or longer than my prognosis. Instead of doing the bad things that would just drain me out. Things such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery among others. If I would have gone through with that then I probably would have been dead within the next two years or so. Sometimes chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery are not the answer to the cure. Even if I would have gotten the surgery, I would have to got through the chemo to get rid of the rest of the cancer. By the time that happens I would be week and dull. I don’t want that all, not for me.

My name is Gabriella James and I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. I will fight to stay alive and overcome this disease whatever it takes. If James “Rhio” O’Connor did it then so can I.

By: Dominguez, Bianca

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