Greer, Sataunya L. – Surviving Mesothelioma

Greer, Sataunya L.

The Optimism of Facing a Tragedy

Mesothelioma is an asbestos related cancer of the lining of the lung or abdominal cavity. Asbestos was once a “miracle mineral” because it was well known to be a lightweight and tough mineral known for its heat resistance properties.  This mineral is naturally occurring and used in many commercial and consumer products; starting with construction materials such as cement, roofing shingles, and insulation, and for consumers and industrial purposes, it was used for things such as hair dryers, automobile brake pads and for pipe insulation. 
    
Such little exposure can result in one being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Some who worked around asbestos for as little as one or two months could be diagnosed with it. The latency period “refers to the time between asbestos exposure and diagnosis of the disease. For mesothelioma, the latency period can be decades long, and people exposed in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s are now being diagnosed.”  http://www.mesotheliomaweb.org/mesothelioma .htm#about  Symptoms of this cancer include shortness of breath that is caused by the expansion of the pleural, or the lungs, persistent dry cough, fatigue, night sweats, fever, pain under the rib cage, swelling or lumps in the abdomen, and unexpected weight loss. In order to treat this cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or the combination of these procedures could be done.  If you believe that you may have been exposed to asbestos, remain vigilant and get regular check-ups with your health physician, and let them know about your asbestos exposure. 
    
Mr. James O’Connor was an individual who was diagnosed with this fatal cancer. The doctors only gave him a year to survive, but instead, he overcame that diagnosis and lived more than six years after. He decided that he was going to take this into his own hands by doing his own research by spending numerous hours in the library and speaking with various different doctors, researchers, and patients. He learned about the several different therapies that were offered, along with the side effects that could impact him in a long or short term, and the different theories and philosophies that made these therapies. He was very dedicated and had a true sanguine attitude towards the situation. He never did give in to the negative aspects of one having cancer. Instead, he decided to have a brighter perspective on it by doing his research and keeping hope alive; thus outliving his one year diagnosis.
    
If I was diagnosed with a deadly cancer, I would not give in. Usually when a person is diagnosed with a deadly diseases or cancer, it causes them to become in a sense depressed. No one would want to hear that they have been diagnosed with something and told that they have a considerable limited amount of time left to live. If it was me and I was in this situation, I would do research and do everything in my power to outlive what could be my doom. I would want to make the best of what time I have left and make it productive so that I in return could help others with the same situation.
    
The research that I would do would be on everything concerning the issue. I would read books and articles and find out which treatment would be beneficial to me. If what I had would not allow chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery to be of value and useful to me, I would then take steps in too keeping a healthy lifestyle. I would change my eating habits because certain foods could help with what I may have and be an advantage for me. I could also exercise because it could reduce some issues. Researchers, doctors, and most of all actual patients would also be to my advantage as far as my research goes. I say the patients are really important because they are the ones actually going through the issue. They could help me by telling me what to expect, or how they cope with it on a daily basis, and give me advice that will be constructive. In what decision that I may decide to make, I will know it was the right thing. 

On a positive note for mesothelioma, there are researchers and doctors who are still continuing to look into various treatments that could help save the lives of patients with this disease. Gene therapy is one in which it uses a virus to deliver a cancer-combating gene into the body that triggers an immune response against it. Researchers are still trying to overcome issues with that before it can offer any real hope, but with today’s technology, hopefully it will not be that far till we reach it. Those who have mesothelioma and have had exposure to asbestos, continue to fight worldwide with lawsuits and win. An aggressive treatment strategy has also been found to be safe and effective. It is a triple therapy that begins with chemotherapy, followed by surgery, and then with radiation.  https://survivingmesothelioma.com/news.cfm With the many ways in which mesothelioma can help become treated, there is way to keep faith alive.

I personally have a lot of pride in myself to not let negative situations influence and determine my outlook on things. Even though it may be hard, I always tend to look for the better in things. Having such a disease will not only impact me, but my family and friends as well. I would not want them to remember how sick I was, but instead remember the good and benefits that came from this. Just because you are sick does mean that you have to go play along with the psychological aspects of actually being sick. For example; just because you find out you are sick, you do not have make it seem like it is the end of the world. Instead, go out and do the research because it will be valuable to you and perhaps help save another person’s life.  The worse thing that you could do in this situation is give up and do nothing. “If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” 

Bibliography
•    Heywood, John. “John Heywood Quotes.” Web. 26 Feb 2010.
•    “Mesothelioma Common Questions.” 19 Nov 2009. mesotheliomaweb.org, Web. 26 Feb 2010.
•    “Surviving Mesothelioma: A Patient’s Guide.” Cancer Monthly Inc., Web. 26 Feb 2010. <https://survivingmesothelioma.com/news.cfm>.

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