Flores, Maritza – Surviving Mesothelioma

Flores, Maritza

Rhio O’ Connor is an inspiration to everyone around the world. He was diagnosed with a life threatening disease called Mesothelioma, which according to the American Cancer Society’s website is a type of cancer that starts in the cells that line certain parts of the body. His prognosis was slim, giving him one year to live. Despite the negative reinforcement he was receiving from his medical team, Rhio was optimistic about his future. His life was the one in question and it was up to him to decide what was going to happen to his future. From this point, Rhio made the decision to, in a way, become his own doctor and find alternative ways to treat this deadly disease. With his optimism and new found efforts, Rhio outlived his one year prognosis and created a way to look at unfortunate circumstances.

Rhio was not only a hopeful man, but a very intelligent human being. He challenged his cancer by searching for different therapies and making healthier life style choices. Rhio is a prime example of the “never giving up” soul a person can have. He inspires everyone to never give up and to keep fighting. Sometimes we take things for granted but if we look at stories like the one of Rhio, we can see the true power of positivity and the importance of educating oneself. It was through his devotion that he was able to overcome such a losing battle and inspire other alike.

His story resembles that of my mother’s. She was diagnosis with a severe form of cancer called Sarcomatoid Carcinoma and was given six months to live. Like Rhio, my mother never gave up hope and was determined outlive her prognosis. My family and I were also optimistic because we knew my mother had high hopes of life and she was never a quitter. After receiving her last dose of chemotherapy, she became extremely ill and was never the same again. She would lie in bed all day, stopped eating, and on October 30th she took her last breath. She was an inspiration not only to me, but to her friends and family. I met people I never knew, and every story was the same, that is that she was always positive and cheerful about life. I can just imagine that Rhio was the same way.

If I were told that I had only months to live, I do not think I would handle it quite like they did. They say God will not give you anything you cannot handle, and I think he touches the best people because they are the ones that are able to handle any situation. Just like Rhio and my mother, I would not give up hope and I will stay determined to beat this battle. We also talked to different doctors and were offered other types of treatments. It was amazing to know that one oncologist was willing to treat my mother because he had dealt with cases that involved the same type of cancer my mother had. We were just told that we had to finish the last chemotherapy at our primary care’s facility and after that was done we had to go back and start on the new treatment, but my mother never recuperated.

I believe that it is extremely important to get many other opinions from different therapists, doctors and family/friends. If I were given a dreadful diagnosis, I would do just what Rhio did and research other options. Just like my mother and Rhio, they both changed their views on life and that was probably what helped them stay sane throughout those difficult times. Having come to terms that I had cancer, I would also stay positive and stress free because it is an important remedy to cure many diagnosis. After seeing all the pain my mother went through, I would not be able to receive chemotherapy/radiation or any type of surgery because the efforts seemed worthless. Although there have been many cases where theses options were remarkable, I do not think of putting my family through something like that again. I believe in mind over matter and I think the option I would go for is researching non-Western medicine and find the strength in me to beat the disease. My mother and Rhio both showed the influential soul some people can have. Whether it was my mother’s selflessness, or Rhio’s compassion for change, they both were amazing people with extraordinary stories and their lives should be honored with other patients who have been dealt this heavy hand. Stories like these will keep inspiring others out there, who face the same struggles, but they should not be discouraged, rather they should be inspired and continue to keep the positivity as their state of mind.

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