Fetter, Amber | Surviving Mesothelioma

Fetter, Amber

I love being alive and I have every intention of staying alive for as long as possible. My will to live life to the fullest can be seen in my awe of nature, the relationships I have with family and friends, my lifelong interest in pursuing an education, and doing what makes me happy. I believe James Dean put it best when he said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” This also means that life is too short to be unforgiving or allow relationships to deteriorate or stay broken. Life is everything, and I would certainly fight to stay alive. If I am ever diagnosed with mesothelioma, as was the case with the late Rhio O’Connor, I will certainly fight until the last breath leaves this body.

Life is so precious, and when threatened reminds us of our incredible will to continue living. There is so much to live for in this world, I cannot ever imagine giving up. In my experience, I have seen my great aunt and my uncle be diagnosed with cancer and be successfully treated. My great aunt had breast cancer. This was a huge blow to the family; we love our aunt. She has always been so vivacious, so full of life. She never gave up, and I am proud to say she is cancer free today. Only a year after her diagnosis, my uncle found out he had testicular cancer. Again, he fought it and won. I look to them when I think of the possibility of cancer seizing my own body. Life is simply too precious, and my will to live too strong. I would never give up.

James Dean had it right with his famous quote about living life to the fullest. We should all live our lives to the fullest, no matter the state of our health. However, it is easy to forget this. Poor health tends to remind us to live our lives. If I were to suddenly find out I had cancer, I would want to do everything. The movie “The Bucket List” immediately comes to mind. Two cancer patients decide to create a list of all the things they want to do before they die, or kick the bucket. My list would include: finishing my degree, spending time with family and friends, getting married, travelling the world, sky diving, writing a novel, and having children. I believe we should all do what our hearts desire, we should do what makes us happy. Though it is easy to get dragged down by everyday life, we should remind ourselves and others that life is meant to be lived.

My friends and family mean everything to me. Although I hope they already know, if my life were ever threatened I would want to make sure my friends and family knew how much they mean to me. I want them to know that they mean the world to me. They bring me so much joy and happiness; it is important that they know this. I would want to forgive those who have hurt me, and ask forgiveness from those whom I have hurt. Ensuring my friends and family know how I feel about them is very important to me, but first I would have to stay alive long enough to do so.

There are many options for treating cancer. For mesothelioma specifically, traditional treatments include radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Although, in my research I have found that surgery is not very effective in treating mesothelioma. In my fight for life, I would explore every option. Life is too precious to jeopardize missing the right treatment. There are some alternative treatments that may be riskier, but I love life and everyone in it.

Life is meant for living, and I would hold onto life as long as possible. If I were ever diagnosed with cancer, I would want to make sure that my friends and family knew how loved they are. I would want them to know that they mean the world to me, and how they’ve helped me throughout my life. I would want to live out the rest of my life to the best of my ability. I would want no regrets. If treatment was unsuccessful, I would try my hardest to die happy.

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