My Survival

Dealing with a critical condition such as terminal cancer is a very life-changing event for a person to face. If I was diagnosed with an inoperable illness such as cancer I would pursue several cancer specialists’ treatment options from different hospitals and seek out cancer centers with the greatest success rates of survival. If conventional treatments were not effective in curing the cancer I would continue researching medical journals, scanning the internet for cancer survivors and try to contact them for their valuable input. After using those resources I would narrow down a specialist I felt most comfortable with, who was knowledgeable and would proceed with treatment that insure the greatest chance of my survival.

My understanding of Mr. O’Connor terminal condition and his important decision to further seek out alternative treatments for cancer, stems from my own situation involving a life treating illness. In the Fall of 2008, I was just like any normal 20 year old student; attending classes, keeping up with my home work and working at a part-time job. However, in the middle of October I started to experience unexplained severe headaches and multiple blackouts that occurred frequently throughout the day. My parents became very concerned with my condition and contacted my neurologist who ordered an emergency MRI and he called back the same night with critical results. The results indicated that a large brain tumor was blocking my spinal fluid. My parents then contacted the University of Chicago Hospital and we consulted with the Chief of Neurology who immediately admitted me into the hospital that night for treatment. I was in the hospital for 32 days during this time I had treatments and brain surgery to remove most of the brain tumor. At the same time I had severe back pain which an ultrasound uncovered that there was a large tumor mass on my left kidney. The best option was a kidney embolization to stop the blood flow into the tumor, the procedure was a painful experience but necessary. The embolization was an innovative surgery rather than conventional surgery and the recovery time was greatly reduced. 10 years prior, my father having a similar disease lost both kidneys through conventional surgery. At the present time I am being treated with an experimental medication to suppress the growth of the tumors, I value my health and I am attempting different means to maintain it and insure my survival.

By: Dilger, Peter

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