George, Ashley – Surviving Mesothelioma

George, Ashley

My Posture of a Good Fight vs. Giving in to the Invader

Mr. Rhio O’Connor deserves the highest honorary salute an individual can receive. He took his diagnosis of having a dreadful disease Mesothelioma on a journey that I am sure his own doctors felt privileged to have him as a patient and a partner. I say partner, because Mr. O’Connor positioned himself; where they had to work side by side with him, to come up with a regime to help him out last the disease’s short lived course. He made sure he was instrumental as to how to proceed forward. Mr. O’Connor didn’t allow himself to just rely on what the doctors determined. He educated himself with knowledge and an understanding of the disease itself. He took charge in determining his destination. He use whatever was helpful in combating and delaying its harsh realities. This disease lodges in the throat lining; it is able to create a host to those who are exposed to asbestos. Mr. O’Connor decided that he would not let this disease become bigger than him. Instead he took the stance that he and his life were more important. He is no longer with us but his travels and his legacy lives on. Because of his journey it has provided opportunities to give students a chance to help pursue their dreams of a higher education. While at the same time bring more awareness of the disease and most importantly demanding the medical professionals to raise the bar for a cure.

I have witnessed two people very close to me fight the same disease, not the same form as what Mr. O’Connor had, but cancer nevertheless. I wished my father and grandmother had his level of bravery to step outside of the box. After watching my father and grandmother suffer so badly. My mom made me promised, to help her, if she’s ever diagnosed with a terminal illness, find other paths other than the traditional methods of medicine to help her sustain or even better be cured.

I know that medicine has come a long way over time. My reservations about chemo- therapy and radiation treatments are; in as much as they killed the bad cells; the good cells are collateral damage as well. The ideal of surgery has its pros and cons. And I know surgery can many times correct a problem, but with surgery there is always a risk. I believed in knowledge for it has the power to provide strength, understanding and awareness of new discoveries. Not having enough information or not being well informed keeps a person in a weak quandary. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

If, I was told of this horrible revelation, that my body was being attack by this foreign invader for a moment I would be speechless. I would very cautiously ask and try to understand what window of time, if any I had. For me I would want to use this time to allow myself the space and solace to digest, discuss with my family and more importantly accept this new challenge. I would also use this time to schedule another appointment for a second opinion. But before I go to the next appointment, I would read as much literature on the disease from medical journals, and I would make myself well acquainted with medical libraries. Also, I would make use of the internet; there are many websites and open forums on just about any subject. This would enable me; at my next appointment to have a more constructive dialogue the second time around.

My next plan of action would be to conduct a systematic plan for continual research that will not only extend from a medical stand point but also from aspects outside of the norm of medical interventions. Though I greatly hold admiration for medical professionals, but like with anything else; they are human beings. They may come up with the same diagnosis but because doctors are individuals first, their opinions may vary on how to treat a disease. I would also gather all new clinical studies on the subject of the disease as well.

Sometimes clinical trials can provide way for more innovative paths that may show stronger effectiveness of new drugs for treating diseases where former drugs have not. I would request assistance from my doctor to contact whoever is overseeing any clinical trials being conducted to see if I qualify. With advance technology of the internet there is wide array of information but one has to be careful and keep open conversations with experts on hand to compare theories.

I would join an outreach support group so that I could stay focus on keeping a positive attitude for myself and my family. With the support of the group’s help it would allow me to keep a balance between having the sickness and I believe they would help me to remember to keep enjoying my life and my family. I would get in touch with a dietitian and or nutritionist to assist me in implementing as well as maintaining better eating habits and exercise routines. I believed that the root of many medicines’s origin come from plants in its more unprocessed natural state. Along that same line of thought I also think that the different chemicals used to create the meds are the biggest draw back to curing.

I would look into adding meditation and/or yoga to my daily schedule. With all the information I would have learned, I would make sure to the best my ability that the facility as well as the doctor I chose was an overall good fit for the best success rate in fighting the disease. All the important players to my well being would have to keep open communication so that everyone is on the same page of my progress.

Lastly but not categorically last I would include in my healing taking a path towards heightening my spirituality. My inner resolve is important for me because it will help me to stay hopeful and give me the courage to face my health crisis. There are moments in medical history where a full recovery couldn’t be scientifically or medically explained but a full recovery happened. That’s what I called a miracle. I would surely welcome that too!

(for more information on Mesothelioma and or Mr. Rhio O’Connor’s Journey please go to website: www.survivingmesothelioma.com)

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