One of every four Americans is diagnosed with cancer everyday and more than 1500 die from the disease each year. Very few of those Americans fail to educate themselves after their prognosis. But Americans like James “Rhio” O’Conner are compelling enough to have hope, wisdom, and knowledge. James O’Conner was a man of faith. In 2001, O’Conner was diagnosed with mesothelioma at sixty one years old and was given less than a year to live. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos particles are more likely found at the workplace or anywhere that contain dust and fiber particles. This rare cancer is developed when cancerous cells are found in the mesothelioma, or, in other words, a sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. O’Conner was wise to believe that his life expectancy would give him knowledge and hope he needed to survive this cancerous disease. Reading O’ Conner’s story gave me the encouragement and education I obtained to understand the trials and tribulations he has been through. If I were diagnosed with any form of cancer, I would first educate myself on the prognosis, secondly, turn to a social environment, and finally, live a life full of hope, faith, and observations.
Education comes first no matter what the circumstances are. Researching the cancerous disease would be the first step I would take after my diagnosis. Being told that I have any form of cancer would be an ignorant moment for me. I would immediately turn to a local library and inform myself. Looking beyond the doctor that diagnosed me, I would also seek a second opinion from an oncologist or someone that specializes in cancer care. Knowing about the disease and how severe it could be will help determine what treatment options I could choose. If the cancer was so deadly, surgery would not be an option. Radiation would definitely be a choice for me, because it is a treatment that controls malignant cells. If I chose either surgery or chemotherapy, the decision would be well pondered upon with what will be best for me. Thinking like O’Conner, decisions wouldn’t stop with only treatment options. Obtaining a healthy diet plan, relying on my self-conscience, and being comfort by family and friends would be a waking dream for me.
Being the cancer patient, I wouldn’t be the only person affected by the disease. Family and friends will also be influenced by the emotional and physical changes caused by the cancer. According to a study by the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid., in 2003, 7 percent of cancer patients and their families made their treatment decision after talking to friends and family. In 2007, this increased to 16 percent. The second step I would take is to turn to family and friends for help on life-changing decisions. Information from doctors and internet sites just wouldn’t be enough for proper decision making. My family and friends will know what would be best for my health. Knowing that I won’t be suffering alone will give me strength and courage to stand alone and fight the disease off.
Living a life full of hope, faith, and observations would be the final thing I would do as a cancer patient. Hope is everlasting and faith compliments it in so many ways. Being a cancer patient, I would maintain a positive state of well-being. The desire to feel comfortable and be understanding about a cancerous disease will be fulfilled. I will observe all aspects of my life and be aware of the physical, emotional, and social changes that will come with my diagnosis. Expectations would be high for me, even if it’s concerning my life of stability. I will accept all options that would be given to me and stay positive about all decisions. A courageous person is what I would hope to be.
If all hope fail and my life was given expectancy, I would never give up on any changing moment of my life. Death is unforgettable, and it can also be unmentioned. I would educate myself and look beyond the first reasonable information that was given to me. O’Conner had faith, and he lived the life in his years instead of letting years live his life. To me, that is inspiration. I can honestly say that life isn’t promised for me. If I were a person that was diagnosed with a cancerous disease, I would take chances whether they were affective or not. In October of last year, I lost someone who was special to me. Leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by abnormal blood cells, took his life. Reading O’Conner’s story gave me the inspiration and instruction I needed to write this scholarship essay. For more information regarding mesothelioma and mesothelioma survivors click or visit this link: www.survivingmesothelioma.com. This website gives you a broader outlook on patients just like James O’Conner. To educate yourself, read about this cancerous disease and how it has changed many lives.
By: Carter, Danielle