I chose years
James Rhio O’Connor’s experience is an enlightening and encouraging revelation that signifies the power of belief and fortitude. When one takes control of his body and mind one can accomplish almost anything, Rhio has taught me that even when some would say that something is inevitably certain, with enough dauntlessness one can decide their own prognosis. Being diagnosed with cancer is one of my greatest fears. I remember my first encounter with it as a child. My father’s best friend, a construction worker named George, was diagnosed with leukemia, or cancer of the bone marrow. Over a matter of months one of the strongest men I’d ever met had languished away in the bed of a hospital, and he never left it.
Getting that news must be the most excruciating feeling in the world. I can only imagine the sudden sinking pressure that must grip the heart. James Rhio O’Connor faced his diagnosis with strength and determination. Where most people would have allowed the suddenness to clasp the soul with defeat, Rhio fought with conviction and strength. Mesothelioma attacks the mesothelium, or the lining of the body’s organs. O’Connor was diagnosed with the most prevalent form of the disease called pleural mesothelioma in October 2001. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane that encloses the lungs. The only known cause for this cancer is the exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally formed hazardous mineral used for construction purposes like insulation and cements. The asbestos accumulates, settles, and becomes imbedded in the lining of the lungs. As time passes by the growth of cancerous tumors begins to occur and can spread to other organs. According to a study the average survival of patients following detection of the deadly disease was 242 days. Rhio survived over an incredible six years because of extensive research and a brave heart.
It would be hard to face the deadly threat of cancer, people aren’t meant to know the amount of time they have left to live. If I were to be condemned with a malignant condition I would be sure to take the lesson that Rhio offered the world and fight it with all of my energy. The hardest part for me would be sharing the painful news with my family and friends. My own fear would be stressful enough to face, the reaction from those closest to me would tear at my heart strings. It is hard to imagine how difficult embracing the situation must be. My being would scream with denial, however it wouldn’t take long to realize that there is only one option to allow myself; to battle it as hard and for as long as I could. I would not go down without a fight.
The great thing about today is the amount of information that is literally at my fingertips. One can sit down at a computer with a question and within seconds have an informed answer. Knowledge and belief carry enough power to face anything. I would not succumb to the whims of others when being treated; I would instead thoroughly research my plight and every situation similar to mine and the outcome of the operations. It would be important to me to find any and all possible therapies available, from the past and present. I would then decide what measures to begin to take, from finding a perfected diet like James, to facing the hardships of chemotherapy and radiation.
It would not stop there. I would consult with every professional with knowledge on the subject of my affliction. My time would be invested in living my life to the fullest extent, and enjoying every second of every day. While doing the best to extend my time as far as I could by searching for non-conventional methods of healing as well as looking into the more accepted approaches. In the book They Said Months, I Chose Years, by James Rhio O’Connor he mentions in the first chapter the importance of each individual seeking out his or her own treatments. He tells the reader how the drug industry and conventional methods work by trying to receive the most amount of profit, “While there have been thousands of studies that have demonstrated that certain herbs, vitamins, and mushrooms can kill various cancers in test tubes there have been very few studies that have tested them in actual patients (Pg.7).” This is no surprise, in a world controlled by corporate greed, it makes sense that no one would pay to do testing in patients. Rhio took a deeper look into the Western philosophy of medicine and compared it to the Eastern medicinal philosophies and found an extremely interesting difference. He found that Western medicine tries to cure the symptoms of the ailment, while the Eastern philosophy looks for the cause, and tries to fix what is causing the symptoms. He found that by adjusting his diet, pursuing the uncommon antidotes, and thinking optimistically he could prolong his life by creating a healthier lifestyle. Rhio took control of his situation and spent his last years happily with his family and wrote a book to educate people, and give them the gift of hope and courage.
James O’Connor is proof of the potential that every person has to face all situations. When one puts their mind to something, and supports themselves with direction and wisdom, they can accomplish anything. Where I to be faced with a similar case, thanks to www.cancermonthly.com and Rhio’s motivating experience, I would know to react with audacity and perseverance.
By: Burgoyne, Amanda