His Legacy Can Live On Through Us

Rhio O’Connor was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a fatal cancer, and was given a year to live. O’Connor researched as much as he could about the cancer and the possible treatments, and ended up living an additional six years. My name is Tessa Greenfield and I am a freshman at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. O’Connor’s story inspires me because he took what is a negative and turned it into a positive experience. Working hard to prolong his life. I would apply his inspiration to my life by researching all my different resources, to improve my results in areas that I’m struggling in. His story is also a reminder of how one may think that they have it rough, but there is always someone that is worse off then them. If I had Mesothelioma I would use all of the resources I had available to prolong my life as long as I could like O’Connor did and I would help by educating others about my findings.

Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer that is asbestos related. It is located in a layer of mesotheial cells that make up a mesothelium tissue that surrounds the abdominal, chest, and heart cavity. When tumors occur in the mesothelium, they are most likely cancer, in this case Mesothelioma. Asbestos’ are natural minerals used in products, such as car brakes, to resist corrosion and heat. If inhaled, asbestos will most likely to develop into diseases of the lungs and cancers such as Mesothelioma. O’Connor developed Mesothelioma because of asbestos he was around when he was younger.

O’Connor spent hours talking to different doctors, researching in libraries, and even discussing with other patients about treatments for the cancer. Some of the treatment options for Mesothelioma are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, clinical trials, and alternative therapies. Surgery can be used to improve the patient’s life that they have left or to try to cure Mesothelioma completely. Unfortunately by the time Mesothelioma is diagnosed, it is to far along for surgery to be effective as a cure. Radiation therapy is often recommended when chemotherapy and surgery are not an option. The radiation option usually used for Mesothelioma patients is an external beam radiation that uses a machine to target the cancerous spot from outside the body. The other form of radiation is Brachytherapy, which directly puts radioactive material in the body to treat cancer. Chemotherapy does not cure mesothelioma but helps improve the patient’s life, like radiation. Chemotherapy, to treat Mesothelioma is usually injected into the chest or abdomen cavity. Chemotherapy can also come in pill form and is usually a combination of the drugs Alimta and Cisplatin. Clinical trials to treat Mesothelioma are experimental treatments preformed in hope of finding new treatments for cancer. Alternative therapies include hypnosis, vitamins, acupuncture and other additional forms that might help treat the disease. These different forms of treatment were found online for Mesothelioma. More information on mesothelioma can be found in libraries, from doctors, and specialists across the country for example.

There are many different kinds of resources to treat Mesothelioma. It is hard to determine what the best treatment option is for it. I think the best treatment option depends upon the patient individually, and what stage of cancer they are in. Side affects are different for each kind of treatment for Mesothelioma. Chemotherapy causes loss of hair. Surgery, like most other cancer treatments, comes with recovery time after the procedure. Alternative therapies can be aides that seem to have minimal side affects to treat cancer.

If I had to choose a treatment, I would personally try all the options I could afford in order to treat my cancer to prolong my own life. There may be treatments that could work for me that may not work for others. O’Connor came up with a medical protocol that helped him out live his predicted life that he had left. If everyone researched treatment options like O’Connor did, then treatments in some ways could become more effective through combinations of cancer treatment. Some treatments could potentially counteract each other so finding the right combination, if possible would prove beneficial.

O’Connor is an influence, an inspiration, and a determined individual in life. After doing Internet research on Mesothelioma, I would use all the resources I had available to prolong my life as long as I could like O’Connor did and I would help by educating others about my findings and to see what works best for me. Although I found insightful information online, I was only able to cover the outer rim of the treatments and what they entail for mesothelioma. If I had the disease I would spend hours in research like O’Connor did. This goes to show that everything one does or doesn’t do can affect their life in some way. The real message: do things to the fullest and always explore all the options. If I can apply this to my life, and others can apply this to theirs, then we can honor Rhio O’Connor and his legacy can live on through us.

By: Greenfield, Tessa

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