You have cancer. Not only is this a shocking statement, but too little time is given for you to think about what you want to do about it. You’re told you must make a treatment decision immediately. Now filled with fear, and if you are still able to think straight given your serious condition, the first question you ask the doctor is how long you have to live. When you hear something like six months, or a year in Rhio’s case, I can imagine feeling like a prisoner handed a death sentence. When you hear those words, it must feel like the world is standing still. Everything the doctor is saying is incomprehensible, like a distant echoing sound in a tunnel. Many people are told that immediate surgery is needed in order to prolong your life. The second solution is chemo and radiation. Although the doctor provides a description of the possible complications of these treatments, you’re not really made aware of how truly risky they are. It is reported that one in four people die as a direct result of chemo therapy and two out of five suffer from significant poisoning after treatment that requires hospitalization. I have never been diagnosed with cancer, but after watching my mother deal with her breast cancer, I know it is a very emotional and difficult thing to overcome. It takes persistence, courage and a desire to live. I believe that when it comes to saving your life, no solution is too outlandish or bizarre. I believe that people should consider surgery, chemo and radiation if they are absolutely necessary. Other nontraditional treatments should also be considered as a solution, but it is up to the patient to research and find alternative methods, whatever those alternative methods may be. There are many stories about people going the extra mile by trying these alternative methods. Take into consideration the story of James “Rhio” O’Connor himself. www.survivingmesothelioma.com He decided not to undergo surgery and instead created his own treatment method by consuming more than 100 supplements daily. He created a nutritious diet and became his own expert in holistic mind-body medicine. Rhio’s plan was one of sheer determination which helped him live over six years longer than his doctors had originally predicted. Alternative treatment is not easy. One has to be patient, self-disciplined, and you must believe in what you are doing. All my life I have been a fighter, which is how I know that if I was ever in the same situation as Rhio, I would also strive to beat my cancer and outlive the numerical prediction placed on my life. If diagnosed with cancer, I would take advantage of all the many resources available to me as well as find unconventional methods to defeat the cancer. There are many books and websites overflowing with information about cancer, medications, and different treatments. The solution is there, you just have to find it. With all this information at hand, and with the help of my doctors, I would have the tools necessary to make well informed decisions and choose the treatment that would best serve my mind, body, and spirit. But most importantly, I cannot allow the doctors to rush my decision process or scare me into a treatment plan that is not right for me. I also believe that cancer sufferers are each other’s best resource. They can share stories of hope, possible treatments, and give advice. Which is why I think it is so vital for people who suffer from cancer to get their stories out there, just as Rhio did. If I suffered from cancer, I would absolutely get my story out there, whether it is a website or just a simple blog. Perhaps I would even write a book and inspire people like Rhio did. I would want them to know that I didn’t just accept a death sentence. Instead, I looked, and looked, and looked some more for a cure that didn’t involve painful surgeries or chemo. Then I would say, “I did it, and you can you can do it to.” Rhio’s fight against cancer is so inspirational because his sheer determination to live which gives hope to others. And without hope, all that is left is hopelessness. His book gives cancer sufferers the knowledge that chemo isn’t the only option, and they too can outlive and even defeat their prognosis.
By: Carpenter, Kayleigh