Adams, Charlotte – Surviving Mesothelioma

Adams, Charlotte

Individuals such as James “Rhio” O’Connor are truly amazing. I have been fortunate enough to never have had a serious medical issue in my life, but I have considered what I would do if I was ever put into that situation. I believe at first that I would be scared. That’s natural, and very much expected. But I would hope that I would not allow that fear to take hold of my life and cripple me, so to speak. I would hope that I would take some time at the beginning to deal with the situation and come to terms with it, but not dwell on it all the time. That is a hard thing to do. Oftentimes we dwell on things that are not even that important at all, so the struggle there is obvious. However, I hope that I would not act this way in that situation. People like Mr. O’Connor greatly inspire me. I love to hear stories of people who overcome their internal battles, even if not always their medical battles. If I was put in that situation I hope that I would continue to live my life and not be overcome by fear and worry. I would hope that I would do all of the things that I still wanted to do and not let the possible outcome of the future prohibit me in the present. And truly, we should live that way all the time, not just when we are faced with life-threatening illness. Why does it take something huge to get our attention? Why does it take something huge for us to tell people how much we really care about them? Why does it take something huge for us to do the things we want to do? It shouldn’t. Of course, that doesn’t mean go out and do crazy things all the time. But if your life-long dream is to go sky diving, then go sky diving! It doesn’t have to be something like that, it could be as simple as seeing a city or monument you’ve always wanted to see. Or it could be even as simple as helping out a person in need. Oftentimes we lose sight of our purpose in life.  Don’t wait until you’ve been given a ‘number of days’ left to live. The fact of the matter is, all of our days are numbered. Most of the time we just don’t think about it until a doctor comes in and tells us the news.

If I was told I had a terminal illness I would research all of the things I could do myself to help. I am a Christian, so I believe that ultimately, God controls what happens and He knows the exact number of our days. But that doesn’t mean that I think you shouldn’t do what you can to improve your situation. God doesn’t expect us to just sit around waiting on something to happen. Sometimes you have to get out there and see for yourself. But as far as treatment, I would pray about what I should do and then proceed from there. I would change my diet to go along what I found in the research and just change my overall lifestyle.

People like Mr. O’Connor inspire me. Those that fight for their lives and do not allow the fear to keep them down are a great encouragement to me. One of our family friends, Tiffany, was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. When she got the diagnosis, it did not look good at all. The cancer was spreading and it was spreading quickly. She is a young wife with two small children, and at first she was afraid. But she dealt with it, accepted it, and moved back to living her life. Sure, she has had many struggles along the way, but she didn’t give up. She was proactive about her illness and looked for the ways that she could help the situation herself along with the chemotherapy. Months later she went for a body scan to check the status of the cancer and it was gone. The cancer was completely gone. Her story encourages me every time I think of it. She and Mr. O’Connor both didn’t take the news “lying down.” They didn’t allow the sickness to take away their hope. Hope is what spurs us all on. Without hope, the outlook on life is pretty grim. And if anyone has a right to have a lack of hope it is people that receive a bad diagnosis. But amazingly enough, they are usually the people with the most hope. That is just incredible. And I can only hope that if I was put into that situation, I would live up to the standard Mr. O’Connor and Tiffany have set.

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