Beyer, Katie – Surviving Mesothelioma

Beyer, Katie

Well to start out, all that I can say is wow. Mr. O’Connor really had a lot of pride. To think that all he thought he was going to do was pass on within a year. Can you imagine someone telling you that? I could never imagine that. I could never imagine someone telling one of my family members that. His family must have been so proud of him for not giving up. Cancer is not something to mess around with. He really had a lot of courage to take it on. But he outsmarted it for six years. What was he doing that was so different then what doctors are doing now days to help cancer patients. The truth is I do not think that they care enough to get motivated enough as Mr. O’Connor. That is sad to say.

Mesothelioma is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and spread or divide without control. They can cause problems by invading and damaging organs and tissues. In most mesothelioma cases, the cancer starts in the pleura or peritoneum. Although mesothelioma can occur in both genders at any age, it mainly occurs in older males. Asbestos is a huge factor in this type of cancer. It is not the only way to contract it, but it plays a huge factor in getting mesothelioma. Symptoms often appear as shortness in breath or pain in the chest. Treatment for this cancer depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patients age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes these treatments are combined. Standard treatment for all but localized mesothelioma is not generally curative.(National Cancer Institute). Mr. O’Connor inspires me in so many ways. If he can strive and live to be six years more than intended, then I think that more people can if they put their mind to it. The one thing that would make me strive to do better and fly pass the doctors limits is my son. I would do anything for my son. If that meant researching everyday for the next fifty years about something that was going to kill me, then I would. It would be totally worth it for my son. Mr. O’Connor must have had something really good inspiring him. I am sure he had a wife and kids. That right there is enough to inspire someone, family. I just love that fact that he did not give up and he, in my opinion, outsmarted the doctors. They underestimated him and his body tremendously. Pain and swelling in your abdomens are another sign of this rare cancer. He had to have been in a lot of pain during those six years. That is one reason that they probably thought that he was not going to be able to fight it for very long. And on top of that the radiation and chemo should have slowed him way down. That is what makes this story so interesting, through all that he managed to hold on and not give up. That is very inspiring and I think anyone who is given a certain amount of time to live should read Mr. O’Connor’s story.

If I faced the same challenges as Mr. O’Connor, I think that I would think about family, friends, coworkers, enemies and most of all the odds. I would want to prove the doctors, my enemies, and the odds wrong. I would never give up. I would think about my options and maybe even explore different ones. I would hope that the love and support that I would get, would be enough to get me by. I wouldn’t hope for a miracle because you can not always rely on them. I think that family is the best inspiration that someone could get to help them out in any situation.

If I was given a cancer prognosis, I would live life to the fullest, even more than I do now. You never know when your life might come to an end. I would have so many things that I would want to do if I had a week to live. I would not even know where to begin. I know that I would spend every last second with family but there would also be issues that I would want to take care of that might help other people out. One thing that I would like to do is get the unemployment laws fixed. There are so many rules and regulations that can terminate your benefits when they should not be. Also another thing that I would do is start a huge campaign for all the abused and suffered animals. I am a huge animal lover and I can not stand hearing about animals being abused and neglected. I would also want harsher punishments for the people that think that they can get away with hurting animals.

After typing all of this, it makes me want to hug my child so tights and love him like there is no tomorrow. I also just want to start living life to the fullest and not worry so much about the smaller things like what to wear and more of the bigger things like how I am going to pay my bills. Last, I hope that Mr. O’Connors family was more proud of him during his last six years than ever. I hope that they showed him how much they loved him without even having to say it.

National Cancer institute Malignant Mesothelioma, Treatment; Health Professional Version- Treatment Option Overview September 30, 2005 www.survivingmesothelioma.com

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