A great man is not measured in stature but by the in the abundance of his character. James “Rhio” O’Connor battled a detrimental cancer called Mesothelioma. Only forty one percent of people diagnosed with Mesothelioma live past the second year after diagnosis, and only nine percent survive the five year mark presented in studies from 1998 thru 2002. Now, not to put a pessimistic tone on my essay here, but I feel that these numbers are significant in highlighting the courage and length of effort it took Rhio to push through and outlive his prognosis by five years. I do not believe it is possible to push past your Mesothelioma prognosis without the cooperation of three key components of human existence, which are the mental, the physical, and the spiritual. I strongly feel the body works like a team. If the offense (physical) of your team is not aligned with the defense (mental), and the coach (spiritual) is not keeping the team together, then you have no chance of winning the game.
Since, this is a game of life and death; I feel that to be able to keep my sanity after such a prognosis, the first thing that needs to change is my attitude. I believe this with every ounce of my being, and I know that Rhio would not have gotten far without a positive attitude. To prove this point I want to mention Masaru Emoto. A researcher from Japan Mr. Emoto has been studying the power and the effect of thoughts and words on water. In this study there are two similar bottles of water. One bottle of water is labeled “Love” the other bottle is labeled “Hate”. Now, why are these bottles important? Next, Mr. Emoto took the water inside of each bottle and put them under a microscope. The water crystals from the “Love” bottle looked like beautiful snow flakes, something like the wonderful snowflakes children make in elementary school. This is important because, the water crystals from the “Hate” bottle specifically looked distorted. If you have ever seen the picture of a virus under microscope, this is a great comparison of the way the “Hate” molecules looked. Now you’re saying to yourself why is this important? Well considering our bodies are made up of 61.8 percent water, I’d say it’s very important. If words can have that effect on a bottle of water, what kind of effect do you think it has on our bodies and minds? A positive outlook is important for cancer treatment. Now, the next logical step is taking physical medicine into account. As with starting any plan, whether you’re working out, getting a college education, or getting cancer treatment a foundation is important. For cancer treatment I believe a critical factor in staying alive is your traditional proven cancer fighting methods, such as chemo, radiation, surgery, and as much of balanced nutrition your body can take. Also, considering the nausea from some of these treatments is intense, nutrition will be a hard step. All of these treatments should be calibrated with as much research as possible. There are so many people out there that have much more knowledge and wisdom then I myself can possess, so seeking help outside our selves is a big key to finding and verifying treatments to fit my needs. There is an old saying “No one cares more about you, more than you do”. So, gathering information, being my own judge, and going through with a treatment that feels right to me, is a big factor.
Indeed, a look outside the box for various treatments should be the next step. A lot of these outside of the box treatments and medicines are considered a bit new age or naturalistic, but if these treatments have worked for others then why can’t they work for me? Keeping an open mind in this kind of situation will allow me to find an answer, and strengthen various parts of my “Team” that need more help than others. Answers come from all over, so blocking out potential answers will only prevent me from achieving my goal. I believe networking with top people in the cancer specialist and medical field will provide me with a lot of the information I am looking for. For other forms of treatments not acknowledged by the medical field but that are providing results, a thorough look at some of these treatments statistically might help. Things like energy healing are quickly gaining popularity in California, where they are known for open minded medicine. Now, there are also different information sources and clinical studies going on for new cancer treatments. These archives of information include recorded data of previous patient results. Unfortunately there is a lot of unverified information out there so it is very important to double check the information I find with the specialists I have networked with. Without their superior knowledge I’m not going to have much to go on. Keeping an open mind to their multiple opinions is important to find a treatment that works for me specifically. I am genetically unique compared to every other human on earth; it is no wonder why I would search for a personalized healing process.
With all the steps and planning we’ve gone through in the above paragraphs most people would assume we have done everything we can to maybe cure our cancer diagnosis, and push past our prognosis. They would be right, and this is where a crucial part of the treatment comes into play. There are thousands among thousands of great planners through out the time we live in. Each one of these men and women can make elaborate plans and have back up plans for their plans, and back up plans for their back up plans. But, sometimes forces beyond our control throw us a curveball. I think most of us can agree that some things in life are unexplainable, and that faith in something greater than ourselves is needed. Faith, the coach for our team, the foreman of our worksite, guides us. The men and women on the team know the coach will have a plan when things get bad, even though they do not know what the plan is. The men and women working under the foreman have their various jobs, but don’t concern themselves with colleagues working on another part of the worksite. They do this because they have faith in the foreman, knowing it’s the foreman’s jobs to keep things together. I believe Rhio had faith. Although I do not know what Rhio had faith in, I do feel that there is no way to push past the impossible without a little help from your coach.
For this essays purpose, I have tried to place myself into the shell of a cancer patient. I have indulged in an essay I normally would not have taken part in. With a close relative recently diagnosed with stage four cancer I recently found myself wanting a better introspective on this horrible experience. I truly believe in the cooperation of the three parts of my treatment and with good reason. Unfortunately, we never know where we would actually step until we are in walking those shoes, and for that reason I want to state that after trying to understand my grandmother’s and Rhio’s journey a new respect for their experience has been brought to my eyes.
By: Hall, Vincent