Life is no joke. It seems like it comes one day & is gone the next. We never know when our last minute is. That’s exactly why they say we should live our life to the fullest, but what if your faced with a dire prognosis of cancer like Rhio? He faced Mesothelioma (https://survivingmesothelioma.com/rhiooconnor.cfm)and was told he didn’t have much time. Mesothelioma is a “incurable” cancer where maligent (progressive/uncontrolled growth) cells that have grown on your mesothelium (protective lining of our organs). Rhio’s cancer came from asbestos that he was exposed to when he was younger. The cancer was pleural mesothelioma which means it was found in the lung area. He was told he had less than a year to live. When put into a situation like that would you think to yourself, my life is soon to be over and just let everything fall apart piece by piece, or stay strong and see what there is you can do for yourself?
I may not have gone through such a tragic thing like Rhio but I do remember being sick and thinking to myself, what’s there to live for if this is what the rest of my life is going to be like? It’s hard to face each day like it’s something new and fascinating when inside your hurting. I was young and I knew I couldn’t give up and had to stay strong and think I’d make it. It’s hard to put yourself in other people’s shoes, but I do know he must’ve been going through an ordeal amount of pain. Regardless, he didn’t sit there and pity himself, he went out there and found a way to try to beat this for as long as he could. Whether it was doing his own research, working with medical doctors, or using his knowledge and coming up with his own ideas, he did it. He beat this. He lived 7 ½ more years then the doctors said he would. He was one that you could say, valued his life. He knew there was more out there that could be done, and he wasn’t going to give up until he did as much as he knew he could. On top of being determined he wrote a book called “They Said Months, I Chose Years: A Mesothelioma Survivor’s Story” to talk about his scientific beliefs behind what he did and how he lived with his cancer.
We pity ourselves too much, and never stop to think how many people out there probably have it worse. We don’t take in the value of our life and always think we’re so unblessed when one thing doesn’t go our way. How is it that there’s people who have that mind set, then there’s those who have horrible lives and still look at each day, like it’s a new day, let’s start fresh. If his story isn’t inspiration, I don’t know what it is. This has changed my whole outlook on life. I don’t know if before reading his story and was put in his spot I would do all that he did. I’d be lying if I didn’t say, I’d probably be one of those people to let my life rot, and not do anything about it. I’d just feel bad for myself. His story just goes to show how when you want something done, most of the time you have to go for it yourself.
I’m not at all trying to say anything bad about doctors, but I feel as if some of them don’t try and do all that they can do. When I was sick, they just put me on a whole bunch of different medication of what they possibly thought could be wrong. Never making me take tests to see if it could possibly anything else. Until I started keeping a journal of when it was that I started to feel sick, and realized it was after I had eaten. After bringing that to the doctors, they realized maybe it was with a way my body was taking in things. What do you know, after a few tests it confirmed just that. I may not have done all the work Rhio did, but I did try. I do think now, If I were to be faced with a cancer, I wouldn’t just let the doctor tell me you have X amount of days to live and just face it. I’d be more likely to read up on whatever the problem was, and see what research has been done with it.
Chemotherapy and radiation sometimes have a wonderful outcomes, and other times not so much. Like with anything else, you want to try to whatever you can to make things better. Especially when dealing with such a gifted thing as your life. If I were faced in this situation I know now that I’d go to the best doctors there are. I’d visit with clinicians and write down notes about what they said and compare it to research I’ve done myself. I know that I myself, couldn’t do what Rhio did but I do know that I would try as hard as I could. I’d fight until I couldn’t fight anymore. And find out all the information that was out there and I wouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. If it was possible, I’d like to visit with lab techs that are working on cancer cures. Find out if there is anything they think they may be finding. It’d mean a great deal to me if I could ever help them with anything on trying to find a cure for such a fight. This story touched me in so many ways I never knew where possible. Just by reading his story it’s made me a stronger person and appreciate my life. I think we should devote more time and money to things like these, because there are so many people out there fighting for there lives with cancer. It’s a hard battle to win. But I say stay strong to those, there’s so many people out there that love you and are trying to help you win this battle. I can’t say I know how you feel or know what you go through; but I can say that if there’s anything I knew I could ever to do, I’d be there. Every step of the way.
By: Gomes, Michelle