I Choose Years
In reading about the dedicated study and lifestyle change that James “Rhio” O Connor established once he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, inspired me to research what this type of cancer is. According to www.survivingmesothelioma.com, mesothelioma is a disease that attacks the cells of the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a sac that surrounds most of the internal organs in the abdominal cavity. It is composed of two layers of cells, one that surrounds each organ and the other that forms a sac around it. It operates with a lubricating fluid between these cells that allows organs such as the heart or the lungs to move easily against other organs or structures in the body. When the cells of this membrane become abnormal and start to divide without control or order, the result is the beginning of mesothelioma cancer. The most common cause of this cancer is exposure to asbestos. There is no known cure for this. According to this source, an average of 2000 people is diagnosed with this type of cancer every year. This is a sad statistic for me because most of these people could have been exposed to the asbestos earlier in life and would not have had any symptoms for years.
If I were diagnosed with mesothelioma, I would do what Rhio did. Instead of choosing months to live, he chose years. I would choose years also. I would start by researching what kind of cancer it is, what the survival rate is, what type of treatment is available and what my options would be. Because of my search so far, I already know that there is a glimmer of hope in living longer than the initial prognosis. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation obviously would be one option. However, the holistic approach that Rhio followed and the solid base of facts and medical research that he did to support his findings offers a more logical and positive approach to making my decisions. From all the work and examples of Rhio, Paul Kraus and others that have dealt with mesothelioma and are perhaps still living a quality lifestyle, I would want to start on that path for my own research and life choices. I know I could not fight the battle of cancer alone. I would consult with doctors, nutritionists, dietitians, and anyone else that could offer help and advice. Others that have fought the battle that I now would face would be a great source of wisdom and inspiration. Libraries of every kind are available that offer sources of research that others have done on this subject. I would hope to glean from their knowledge and find wisdom that would avail me. And of course, there is the wide expanse of knowledge on the internet that could open doors of ideas and research for me worldwide.
Diet would be the next thing I would approach. A variety of natural, organic fruits, herbs and vegetables would become my daily menu. Knowledge of the many supplements advised or required in rebuilding a healthier immune system is vital. The healthier and stronger my immune system is, the longer and better my life would be.
I realize that I am just beginning to understand the depth of knowledge required in this area and I have a lot to learn. In battling this cancer, strict adherence to the daily diet and supplement regime is required. If I was to start this journey, I would have to have the mind set to be dedicated in all aspects. I know sacrifice would be required. Since I don’t use alcohol or tobacco, my love for chocolate and sweets is the next thing I could go without. Choosing an extended life with my family verses indulging in chocolate would be an easy decision for me. I would be counting on my family to be a strong support and to keep me goinh during the rough days ahead. The first thing that has been impressed upon me in writing this article is the importance of proper diet and using food to maintain my health. It is only common sense to eat the right kinds of foods to prevent diseases. As Hypocrites stated, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Keeping a record of my progress or set backs would prove invaluable. A journal would lay the foundation of what worked, what didn’t and why. I would record my feelings, accomplishments and all the advice given to me. If something was positive and I benefited, then I would feel empowered to share the knowledge with someone else that might be searching for the same answers. This record would be a work in progress that would give me strength to know if the path I would be following was the correct path or if I needed to branch off in a new direction.
In the end, life is what I make it, with or without cancer. My family, my friends, all of my loved ones is what makes life worth living. If I could leave a work that would help even just one person through the trials of this life, then my life would not be in vain. To quote Rhio, “Everyone must find their own path to healing.” Thanks to Rhio I now know where to begin.
By: Forsythe, Samantha