Connor, Meaghan – Surviving Mesothelioma

Connor, Meaghan

It’s early Monday morning and I’m sitting in the cold, quiet doctors office waiting to hear my name. There’s no one else here. Everything is still neat, magazines stacks, chair all aligned, and I sit, waiting.

I have been feeling a little off lately, not quite good enough to go out, but not bad enough to lie in bed all day. I am here for the second time this month, I recently had my annual physical, but was called back to discuss some “test results” as the doctor phrased it. She didn’t say much on the phone, she was brief, but I guess you can only discuss so much that way.

My mind has been racing ever since the call; I’ve never been called back to the doctor’s office before. What could it be? I feel ok, nothing to out of the ordinary, no weird symptoms… I can’t stop shifting in my chair. I don’t know why I bothered to pick up this magazine. I can’t focus.

Finally I hear my name called. I jump as I am snapped out of my trance, back to reality.

“Come with me,” the nurse says with a smile. I half smile back as I follow her down the hall into the room.

“First one of the day!” she says cheerfully, “The doctor will be right in, she’s just gathering some paperwork.”

I thank her as she steps out. A few minutes later there is a knock on the door and the doctor enters.

“Good morning.” She smiles softly. She starts flipping though my file, “I have called you back here today to discuss some abnormalities that were discovered in your test results. “Abnormalities?” my voice begins to shake.

“Well, we ran some standard blood work and it showed that you – well your tests showed some markers and we would like to explore some options with you. I’m sorry to tell you this Mrs. Connor, but we have determined that you have ovarian cancer.”

As she continues to talk I feel her floating away from me and the room is beginning to darken. I have no peripheral vision. All I can see is her mouth moving but I can’t hear what she is saying. Why doesn’t she speak up? What the hell is wrong with her?

She can see me slipping away. She puts her hand on my shoulder and our eyes meet.

“Mrs. Connor, if it’s alright with you, I have some treatment options that I would like to discuss. I know this is incredibly overwhelming, but there are a lot of good options out there and it would be beneficial if you also did some research on your own to get a better, more personal idea of what’s going on in your body and how to fix it. There are many different types of treatments, some more aggressive than others, but I have some information here that we can look at to get you started.”

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a devastating blow to anyone who is presented with this finding. I have had two family members diagnosed with cancer within a couple of years of each other. Unfortunately, my grandfather lost what was his second battle with lung cancer that he fought through chemotherapy and radiation. My aunt was able to fight her breast cancer, and successfully overcame her prognosis through a prophylactic surgery, during which she received a mastectomy, followed by reconstructive surgery.

There are a wide variety of cancer treatments available, so it is very important to research all options. Cancer treatments can be very costly, and some, like chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, are very aggressive. If I was diagnosed with cancer, I see myself taking on a more “natural path” approach in combating my diagnosis. I strongly believe in eating healthy and that the food we consume has a profound effect on our health. Every food has its own individual properties that benefit the body, naturally, in some way. For instance, basil has anti-inflammatory properties, mangoes help neutralize free radicalsl, asparagus helps balance insulin levels in the body, and so on. I see myself more researching the health benefits of food, more so than the various cancer treatment options that are aggressive and harmful to the body. Chemotherapy and radiation are very popular treatment options, but they are also very harmful to the body because they do not just target cancer cells, they targets cells in general, and are thus very harsh on the body causing side affects like nausea, vomiting, alopecia, and lethargy.

In opting for a more natural route, I would prefer to consume regular doses of wheatgrass, which has been shown to target and destroy cancer cells specifically. This would be beneficial in that it only destroys cancer cells and causes no harm to the body. Wheatgrass is actually extremely beneficial to the body because it is nutrient-rich and aids in healing a wide variety of ailments ranging from tumors to constipation. Contrary to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation that drain the body of energy, wheatgrass provides energy, making it easier to stay active and optimistic with such a devastating diagnosis.

In addition to researching treatment options when combating cancer, I think that it is also very important to surround yourself with loved ones. Although, it is important to discuss boundaries with friends and family so that you are not being asked constantly how you are feeling, which in turn causes one to constantly be reminded of their prognosis. After being diagnosed with cancer it is never an easy journey to restoring ones health, but it’s important to research all of your options, stay active and optimistic, and surround yourself with people you love.

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