Everyday someone is diagnosed with an incurable disease many of whom, are not expected to live a year past diagnosis; but then there are some who have prolonged their lives using only their will power, faith and gained knowledge to survive. Rhio O Connor was a man of courage and faith, who was a long term survivor of pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma: is a rare form of cancer, that creates malignant tumors occurring most often in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart. One out of nine forms of mesothelioma is pleural meothelioma, which begins in the lungs; it is the most common type of mesothelioma accounting for 75% of all diagnoses. The root cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.
Nine years ago, a sixty one year old James Rhio O Conner was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma leaving his asbestos exposure at a young age liable. Rhio O Connor was told that he had a couple of months less than a year to live. As a result of pleural mesothelioma symptoms being similar to everyday sicknesses such as viral pneumonia, O’ Connor’s proper diagnose was unable to be (agreed upon or given to avoid giving misdiagnosis) until the cancer reached its advanced stage only then the tumor had grown was unfortunately inoperable because it was too close to his spinal cord which could have caused paralysis, if gone through with. When chemo therapy was offered to O’ Connor he dismayed it knowing that at this stage of his tumor chemo or radiation therapy would have not made a compelling difference, Rhio O Connor was stuck in between a rock and a hard place a point in people’s lives where, they feel hopeless, defeated and feel forced to give up but Rhio O Connor overcame those array of negative emotions on strived on for a life he deserved.
From then on Rhio O Connor began working with top clinicians for advice, he changed his diet to accumulate more than 100 supplements a day to boost his immune system and by suggestion began practicing mind/body medication and in doing so he found the strongest healing power of all within himself. Rhio O Connor survived more than seven years after his diagnosis, using the attained knowledge throughout the years, his unyielding spirit and his love for life, his family and his self. To learn more about the inspirational life changing decisions made by Rhio O Connor and what he did to live his life, Rhio wrote a book called “They said months, I chose years: A Mesothelioma Survivor’s Story.” This can be found online at Amazon or Barnes and Nobles book store.
Influenced by Rhio’s story if put into the same predicament, I too would strive for more than myself, knowing that I am a small puzzle piece within the big picture. Rhio’s story has had a major impact and has truly inspired many, and given courage and strength to all who need it.
If I were told that I had less than a year to live due to a form of mesothelioma or some form of incurable cancer, I would set aside the attack of negative emotions and set my mind to carry on. I would take control by first thoroughly researching my form of mesothelioma, and find out what can slow down the process of metastasis which has been found the immune system plays a big part in fight against infectious, then with the attained knowledge contact experts and professional physicians from cancer treatment centers worldwide and share research and theories, with the information given I would choose a treatment that I feel personally would help me the most if offered. In the event of no treatment or therapy available for me that would change my lifespan or the metastasis process substantially; as Rhio O Connor did, I would have no choice but to look past the available treatments and look for something bigger than me and the disease.
If I received a diagnosis of an incurable form of mesothelioma with only a few months to live, I would not turn to friends except for those who could relate to my situation at hand by experience only. Even though all other advice may be good, if I had less than a year to live I would not dare burden my friends and family with questions on what I should to knowing that deep down inside they are all thinking that I’m going to die no matter what therapy is currently available, they would already have enough to worry about, whenever free I would be sharing as much as my time with my closest family members and friends. With the free time spent away from friends I would attend hospitals during visitations hours to talk to current cancer patients and survivors. Everyone’s life story has a lesson to be learned and within them I could find a solution two minds or more is always better than one. I would listen, chat, share different beliefs and bring laughter and hope back into their lives. My last and upmost important resource would be scientist, everyday they discover, and create something new who knows what they could conjure up as an experiment or some sort of cure.
With the new perspective of life after reading Rhio’s O Connor story, if given such a diagnosis I would have an obligated task to raise awareness of such cancer known as mesothelioma caused by asbestos. Knowing how I feel about giving such a diagnosis and knowing how much of a burden it must be on my family I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else. So I would begin working with cancer centers and hospitals to find more research and how to diagnosis the cancer before it reaches its earlier stages when nothing would be able to be done besides countdown the days. Knowing that more than 10,000 schools in the U.S still contain some form of asbestos I would contact the schools and the local and state representative and raise awareness in the House of Delegates the dangers and possible outcomes is something is not done soon. To bring down the lawsuits that are being filed relating to asbestos or mesothelioma, we must begin raising awareness. Begin by visiting www.survivingmesothelioma.com to find more information about mesothelioma and www.cancer.org to donate your time to cancer patient who needs hope.
By: Green, Jamie