If I was faced with the diagnosis of Mesothelioma cancer, my first thoughts and feelings would be of shock and sadness. I would think of my family and how this diagnosis would affect them? Throughout my life I have heard of cancer and its terrible effects on the human body but never understood what having cancer meant until someone close to me was diagnosed with this disease. For me to realistically understand the effects of cancer on a person’s body, spirit, and mind I had to see more than one friend battle this terrible disease with courage and determination.
The first time I remember learning about cancer was when my friend from junior high told me her mom had cancer. My friend and I spent a lot of time together and I loved her family. We have kept in touch over the years and we have been friends for over sixteen years. I remember her mom having an inner courage while fighting cancer and keeping a positive outlook on things. When I spent the night she would always make us breakfast in the morning, this was one of the things I loved about her. She always put others before herself. My friend also had courage, knowing that her mom was sick and that physically she was getting worse made her sad and confused but she persevered.
We talked about her mom often and wondered why good people get cancer? As time went on and we were busy with life, her mom continued to get worse and started losing her hair. This was difficult for her and she also became more tired, she would often be resting when we were at the house. She got special coverings for her head that were different colors and we thought these were so cool. At the time I don’t think we could grasp the severity of what might happen, and then that day came.
My friend’s dad called and said she needed to see her mom because she was getting worse. It was only about two hours later and my friend called with the bad news, “My mom died”. I wasn’t sure what to say or if there was anything to say? I knew I needed to be with her and my mom and I got into the car to drive over to her house.
That day happened a long time ago and I still remember the look on my friend’s face and the sadness she had for losing her mom, we were both sad. We sat together and missed her mom together. Even today we talk about her mom and remember her courage and gentle spirit. Despite radiation treatments the cancer was too much for her body. We find hope in the knowledge that she was a Christian and we will see her again someday and that her faith brought her comfort and peace during a difficult time.
If I was faced with the same challenges that my friends mom and James Rhio O’Connor were faced with, I would research all of my options for treatment. I would keep an open mind for alternative and complimentary treatments if I was told by doctors that radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery were not an option for my diagnosis of Mesothelioma cancer.
Rhio O’Connor took responsibility for his own treatment and I would take some of the same steps Rhio took. I would listen to the recommendations given by doctors but I would become familiar with their background and experience. Becoming familiar with their background and experience would make me more comfortable in taking their recommendations seriously. I would research the type of cancer I was diagnosed with and understand how the specific cancer attacks the body. This would help me understand which treatments might be most successful and worth trying. I would also be willing to learn about alternative and complimentary treatments if I thought they might be valuable in my recovery. The opinion of my husband would be very important in my decision and I would look to family and friends for their thoughts before proceeding with treatment.
I have a dear friend who has struggled with cancer on more than one occasion and I would speak to her about treatment. She recently made the decision to have her right arm amputated because it was infected by cancer. She made this decision so she could save the rest of her body and live. This was a difficult decision for her but she has kept a positive attitude and she felt like she made the right decision. Making a decision by listening to the wisdom of others can be invaluable.
I can talk about the steps I would take if I was faced with the same challenges that Rhio O’Connor was faced with but I know anyone who has fought against cancer is a true survivor. Any decision about treatment would be difficult and would affect those people around me. It is unfortunate that silicate minerals which are exploited commercially can cause cancer. Asbestos is known for causing Mesothelioma cancer, the exact cancer that Rhio was faced with. Rhio is a man who faced difficult challenges and survived Mesothelioma cancer. I would hope to have the same courage and determination that Rhio had if I was faced with the same cancer diagnosis.
To learn more about Mesothelioma cancer and its survivors you can go to https://survivingmesothelioma.com/. This site has breaking news and important information about Mesothelioma cancer and how medicine and miracles are apparent in fighting the fight against cancer.
By: Garbo, Kristina