If I were diagnosed with mesothelioma and given a year to live, my initial response would be utter despair. I would think of the people I would have to leave behind, people who have supported me through so much in my life. I would look back at my regrets through life, think of the plans I had made for the future, the future that now would never come. I would look through my list of adventures I wanted to have in my lifetime, everything from learning to clean a fish, to visiting Italy, to skinny-dipping. I would look at every item on that list that did not yet have a star-shaped sticker, lamenting that I would never experience that adventure. And that, I believe is where I would finally realize the courage to fight for my life. I imagine that something similar may have happened to Rhio O’Connor. I am not afraid to die, I am afraid to not have finished my list before I do.
My first “research” of mesothelioma would be with my doctor. Not only would I look into treatment options, but I would ask about what led him or her to that diagnosis and what stage of the cancer I was in. I would also want to get the opinion of several doctors, both on the diagnosis and treatment options. But I would not want to stop at other people’s opinions, even those of professionals. I would also want to do some research of my own.