Headley, Angie | Surviving Mesothelioma

Headley, Angie

We Can Beat Cancer

Everyone knows that cancer is one of the biggest epidemics that this country has ever seen. Luckily, cures have been found for some forms of cancer. However, no cure has been found for many other forms. One is mesothelioma, which will be part of the topic. In addition, I would like to share two amazing stories and my own thoughts about them and this disease as a whole.

I recently found out about a man named James “Rhio” O’Connor. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a deadly cancer, and was told that he only had a year left to live. Well, Rhio lived for another seven years. His remarkable story has inspired others to research this asbestos-related disease and take steps to finding a cure.

Not knowing much about the disease, I did a little research on mesothelioma myself. It is a cancer that affects mostly men that have been exposed to asbestos and mainly affects the vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. The normal cancer treatments are available, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. There were others like acupuncture, massage, yoga and meditation. However, they are meant to be in addition to a doctor’s care for releasing the body’s natural endorphins to feel more relaxed and comfortable and possibly even to relieve pain. To find out even more information, please visit www.survivingmesothelioma.com.

Unfortunately for Rhio, surgery was out of the question due to a previous condition. He did not want chemotherapy either, because he chose quality of life over quantity. Also, he wanted to beat this cancer, so he read countless medical articles, was on a special diet, took countless vitamins and used medicines to help not only his body, but his mind with this disease. Of course, this was all with the help of medical professionals of his choosing.

He lived life to the fullest for as long as he could. Not everyone is that optimistic and brave. I would imagine that he was also a little stubborn in a very good way. He did not accept his diagnosis. Instead, he made his own. We should all learn from Rhio’s example to demand understanding, research other ways and live life to the fullest.

As I previously stated, I would like to share another amazing story. It is about my grandfather, Reverend William “Bill” Amon (Retired). I call him Granddaddy. He is a retired United Methodist Minister. He does still preach at different churches on an as needed basis. Granddaddy like Rhio was diagnosed with lung cancer.

It all started when we were out of town visiting my sister at college. Granddaddy developed a fever and cough. My mom asked me to drive him and my grandmother home, which I was more than happy to do. Once he got to the doctor the next day, they said that he had pneumonia. The good thing is that they did do a chest x-ray, which was clear. After a week, he still was not completely better. His doctor sent him to a lung specialist, where there was “something” showing on the chest x-ray. It was decided to watch it for a little longer. When he went back for another one, it had not gone away, so tests were run. Needless to say, they found a malignant tumor in his right lung. Steps were taken to schedule surgery. The hope was that only the part of the lung with the cancer would be removed. By the time the surgery took place, the cancer had spread more, so more of his lung was removed to be on the safe side.

Granddaddy was very lucky and blessed to have caught this potentially deadly disease as early as he did and to have fully recovered from it, as well. Our family was so relieved and thankful that he beat it when so many others in the world were not so fortunate. It makes you realize how short and very precious life is. That is why I do my best to live life every day like it is my last. Also, most of our family do not end a conversation on the phone or leave without saying, “I love you!”

If I was diagnosed with cancer and was only given a certain amount of time to live, my hope is that I would follow in Rhio’s and Granddaddy’s examples. First, I would be stubborn and not accept it, because I believe that we were all put here on this earth for a purpose. Besides, I love my life and want to live it. Then, I would research all options that were available whether medical, spiritual or whatever else could potentially help. I would not only consult medical professionals but also friends, cancer survivors and patients, and even the internet. There are so many resources available that I would do my best to consider each and every one of them. Finally, I would live every day to the fullest like it was my last. Like Rhio I would choose quality as oppose to quantity. My wish is that when I do pass that my family would do something like the Rhio O’Connor Scholarship program to not only get the word out but to help others along the way.

Cancer has spread so fast around the country. I pray that cures are found for all types of cancer to include mesothelioma. Again, for more information about this deadly disease, please visit www.survivingmesothelioma.com. If we all work together, we can beat cancer. Thank you for taking the time to read about these amazing men and their fights against cancer. May God bless you and yours.

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