A Terminal Diagnosis Doesn’t Have To Be The End

Rhio O’ Connor died tragically from a man caused cancer called Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma, for those who are unfamiliar with this type of cancer is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, a chemical commonly used in the early half of the 20th century by the construction, automotive, and manufacturing industries because of its heat resistant properties. Having worked in the construction industry for 25 plus years myself, I have been mildly exposed to asbestos, and understand the hazards, types, and different applications, but have not had major exposure to it.

This story struck a personal chord with me, as I have lost someone very close to cancer. It was of a different type, but I understand what it can, and does to the person, family, and friends that are close to that person. He was an inspiration to all those whom are diagnosed with terminal forms of this 20th century plague, as he not only teaches us that life really is short, and we need to live life to its fullest potential, but also gives us hope and inspiration that a terminal diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end.

Rhio shows us, through his perseverance that there are other methods of treatment outside the norm. If I were diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, I myself would seek outside forms of treatment. I believe there are different ways to not necessarily prolong one’s life, but improve the quality of the time left on the clock, so to speak so you can enjoy the time left with the ones you care about most.

If I had an incurable prognosis, I would definitely research alternate methods of treatment. Rhio shows us that it is possible, if you believe in yourself, and a higher order, those regular forms of treatment, while effective at prolonging life, can make life harder, not only dealing with the illness itself, but the side effects of the treatment. This story definitely inspired me to do research, and try alternative forms of treatment, because I would not want my time left to be spent in bed, not being able to do things I have always wanted to do, and spending quality time with my kids, and living my life to the fullest every day. Not to mention the physical demands set on the body from rigorous treatments of chemo, or radiation therapies which can drain physical strength, and take hope out of the spirit that I believe is necessary to live a quality life.

Education is always important in beating cancer. It can not only show one’s character in finding cures, and treatments that can improve the quality of life, but can inspire others to do the same. I would definitely want to educate others on my situation, as I may inspire someone to find a cure. I believe in treatments, but prolonging life so that pharmaceutical companies and treatment centers can make a profit off of my life is certainly disconcerting. A cure, inevitably, is the only way to truly beat this plague. Research and education are the only ways to ensure that this is achieved.

Upon diagnosis, if my prognosis were terminal, I would first discuss my options with my doctor, then my family. Next I would research as many forms of treatment as I could find. Before choosing a treatment, I would research the positive and negative effects of the treatments, possible side effects of said treatment, and come to a decision of what would best lead to the best use of my time left with my family. Then, I would begin living my life. I would spend as much time as I could with my family, go places, and see things I have always wanted to do, and find ways to devote my time to research, and education in the hope that one day a cure may be found. If I could not save my own life, but could one day help others beat what claimed my life, it would be worth it. I would hope that my family, as well as others would respect my efforts, and trials the way Rhio O’ Connor inspired myself, and others who have read his story.

By: Corlis, Ryan D.

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