Dougoud, Mallory | Surviving Mesothelioma

Dougoud, Mallory

The Cards That Are Dealt

Human beings are given life. They are conceived and life is breathed into them. People are on this earth whether they like it or not. They do not choose the “cards they are dealt” but must play this little game, people call life. This game must be played through times of warmth and love but also through struggles that will be endured. Through these cards people have been dealt they have the choice to benefit and make a difference in this world or to be pessimistic and wallow in self-pity. Rhio O’Conner was diagnosed with a fatal cancer called, mesothelioma. He had the choice to make the best of his situation by researching, talking to doctors and patients, and simply being optimistic.

Rhio O’Conner lived many years mesothelioma caner. Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that appears along the parietal and visceral membranes, thin layers of tissue, which surround the organs (Mesothelioma). This fluid produced by the body helps reduced the friction between the lungs and chest cavities when breathing. The symptoms of this cancer are chest pains, weight loss, fever, night sweats and coughing (Mesothelioma). With symptoms such as these a person is not able to tell what sickness he experiencing until he is diagnosed by the doctor. Rhio O’Conner used the cards that life dealt him and used them not only to benefit him but to benefit others that struggle with mesothelioma cancer. He is a true inspiration to many that struggle not only with cancer, but many other problems in life. Today many people want to take to easy road and wallow in self pity. People like this are not headed anywhere in life. The cards they were dealt will continue to sit in their hands instead of taking a risk by betting against the odds. Rhio took that bet and further than most people would have ever done. Upon being diagnosed with a cancer, he conducted a study of his own. O’Conner began to work with special doctors and physicians. By working with them he was able to formulate a regimen of over one hundred supplements a day, and changed his eating habits to release the pain of the cancer (Surviving). Not only did he change his physical body but he also changed his attitude. Rhio O’Conner exchanged his cards for a better attitude and a hope for a future. He relied on self discipline and a “mind over body” way of life (Surviving). He is truly an inspiration. A high standard was set for people to obtain. Rhio O’Conner was given less than a year to live but survived that scary year and lived seven long years before his death in July 2009 (Surviving). A passion to know more about this cancer and a desire for a cure was his drive to live a longer and happier life. Rhio O’Conner did not keep his cards but traded them for a new mindset and a new strength.

There are not many opportunities a person can take to overcome cancer. However, if a person expects himself to be an over-comer he must cease every opportunity that presents itself. These opportunities that occur do not come very often; therefore I would take a risk for a better, improved life style. If I was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, I would want to learn more about what the caner is, where is originates, and how it occurs, and why it occurs. There would be may questions I would want answered but sadly, one question would never be answered. “Why me?” After conducting my own research I would create (or join) a mesothelioma cancer awareness campaign. Presenting communities with awareness and information would be one of my concerns. The thought of knowing that I am not alone and that someone else in the world is suffering with me would be of some encouragement. Not only would I want to be encouraged by discovering others with the same cancer but also being that encouragement to those that are not sure how to deal with this tragedy. Spreading the word, campaigning, and encouraging others would be one of my priorities as well as making sure I stay up to date with my doctors about my physical health.

Treatment is to help patients conquer or at least reduce the stress of mesothelioma. I believe I would be open to cancer treatments of all sorts. Conquering this disease at all cost, without putting my own physical health in danger, would be of great concern. In most cases cancer treatments have great results with slight side-effects. My personality is competitive. I love the feeling of conquering something is amazing. It is a feeling that can only be described as utter joy. Taking risks is fun and exciting. The feeling of not knowing what is going to happen until the action is made is exhilarating. Therefore I believe that if I came face-to-face with mesothelioma I would trade the cards that I was dealt for a specialized cancer treatment that I could either benefit from or cause me more struggle. Treatment alone cannot help until there is an attitude change. A person’s attitude makes up over half of a person’s physical character. Keeping my head held high and showing others that I am not afraid, even if I am, is a great encouragement to those that need me to be strong. I believe that I must conquer life instead of letting life conquer me.

When dealing with mesothelioma cancer, every step must be taken carefully. Each step could be my first step to cheating death or my last step on earth. The opinion of my parents is what would matter most. Clearly, I would need the love and support of my friends and family but because my parents are the biggest influencers on my life, I would take their advice before any other opinions. However, ultimately I have to believe that I am a conqueror and that I will survive in order for me to move forward with the advice of my parents. Ultimately, my attitude will be the biggest defining point of this tragic process. If I do my best to be brave and have an optimistic attitude it would be easier for me to listen to the sound advice my parents will give me, as they have always done in the past.

In conclusion, everyone was dealt cards in life. Everyone must play this game of life. Some will be winners and overcome the struggles in life and rest in peace. Others will never take a risk. They will sit in the dark damp corners in life with cards in hand. They will regret never taking a chance on life and never trading those cards for the smallest inch of happiness they could have obtained. Do not be afraid to trade those cards; Rhio O’Conner was not afraid. He looked at his cards which read sickness, discouragement, sadness, death. Instead he bet on these cards and obtained health, encouragement, happiness, and life. Bet on the cards you hold in your hand. I am.

Works Cited

Mesothelioma Symptoms and Lung Cancer. 1 Oct. 2007. Web. 24 Feb. 2010. Surviving
Mesothelioma: A Patient’s Guide. Dr. Emil Chuck, 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2010

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