“Can I Treat It To Expand My Life?”

When a person is diagnostic with any terminal disease, the question they usually ask is, “Can I treat it to expand my life?” The answer usually depends on how advance is the disease has gone through the body. A valiant person name James Rhio O’Connor was one of this persons. This admirable man was able to fight and survive with pleural mesothelioma seven years and not six months like the doctors had prognostic. I imagine facing a challenge similar to the one Rhio faced. I wonder how it would be to be diagnose with a terminal disease. Also, what steps I would take to fight against the disease. How I would handle a research. Finally, how I would choose a treatment.

Rhio was sixty-one years old when he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma due to exposure of asbestos when he was younger. Rhio had a tumor near his spine which made surgery impossible and chemotherapy would decrease his length of life. His prognosis of life was less than a year. However, Rhio did not give up, he worked with health professionals to create new regimens. He also change his diet and practice mind and body medicine. In addition to that he worked hard researching about this cancer and talking to numerous doctors, patients, and researchers. He was able to comprehend various therapies including the side effects this may have.

I have read Rhio’s story and it made me wonder about this cancer called mesothelioma. I research various web pages and this is what it came out to be. Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor that grows on the mesothelium, the membrane that covers and protects most internal organs of the body, is the consequence of asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure occurs when a person inhalant asbestos fiber. Pleural mesothelioma starts in the chest where the pleura surrounds the lungs. The pleura is compromised of two layer that provides support and protection for the lungs and chest. Pleural mesothelioma usually develops in one layer and spreads to the other layer. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma do not appear immediately, it usually takes from ten to twenty years later.

As I learn about pleural mesothelioma my life past trough my mind, I picture myself facing the same challenge Rhio faced. I wonder how my life would be if I had to face a terminal cancer. I grew up believing that hope is the last thing that should die and that God will never leave me and will never betray me either. The first step I would take would be praying to God, thanking him for each day he allows me to see my family and asking him for help. The fait I have in God goes over anything doctors could say. With this I mean that for God nothing is impossible, even cure someone with terminal cancer. Talking to my family would be the second step. We have always been united and talk about any problem we face. We consider speaking to each other to come up with the best solution. Not to mention, they will be the persons who will suffer the most if anything happens to me.

Rhio was not able to be treated by chemotherapy or surgery, because they had little or nothing to offer. If this was to happen to me I would not look up to this methods. Instead researching the internet and books would be my options to start fighting against this cancer. Researching the way it develops, the way it becomes cancer and other treatments to fight against this particular cancer would be much help. Researching my own case, how I got it, how did it expand, and how my body reacts to any method. Another method I would use is interviewing people who have research this cancer for long, doctors, scientifics, and patients who have pass through this bad experience and have survive. Depending on this is how I would make my decisions for a treatment.

Choosing a treatment is extremely important. Even when the treatment looks like a successful remedy, it can also have its bad side that can cause problems later. This is why I would look at the risk and side effects of every medicine and treatment. Also, consult my doctor, my family, and of course, God would be essential in choosing any kind of therapy. If I was to be living with a terminal cancer, I would allow scientists to experiment new treatment with me. This way I have hope that one of this new treatments can cure my life or at least increase it. I believe that while there is hope, there is life. Even if none of this treatments help me, I would died happy because I know I did not give up. That is how I want my life to end “HAPPY”.

Rhio passed away on July 11, 2009 but due to all his effort he survived more than seven years. Today thanks him many people have the courage of not giving up. Even if he does not live between us anymore I can assure that he lives inside many hearts. Pleural mesothelioma is a disease that kills very slowly and Rhio was valiant because he made so much effort to fight it. People who have courage to live with this and treat it are the people who I admire the most. That is why I thank Rhio where ever his soul is for his effort and courage to fight life. If it wasn’t for people like him, humans would not have hope. Is very difficult for me to think that I have this disease, I suppose my family will suffer the most if this was to be true. Many times healthy people do not see the fortune we have when we are healthy. For this reason, I thank God for every healthy day he gives me and especially for every healthy day he gives to every single member of my family.

By: Castrejon, Yhovana

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