Rhio O’Connor’s story of survival with the deadly disease mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer in which cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organ”( https://survivingmesothelioma.com/), has inspired me in countless ways. As a man given the dire prognosis and told that he has only a year to live, one would think that he would have decided to live out the last days relaxing and spending time with the precious people in his life. However O’Connor chose to take his life in a different direction and not allowing this critical situation keep him down. Many people would choose to use this time to help themselves to live their last days to the fullest but Rhio o’Connor had another agenda, which was to help himself but to also help others by never giving up on life and the belief that this is not final. By doing so, he has given many people hope, not only those with mesothelioma but those with other fatal diseases. He has inspired me with the passion he has for life and how life continues on regardless of the fact that this is going on.
If the tables were turned and I were in O’Connor’s shoes, I think that I would go about the situation in the exact methods that he had. He did his research knowing all there is to know about the disease and also to doctors specializing in this field as well as patients suffering from it. I admire that he requested the help of his loved ones during this process and actively kept them apart of his life.
People often say, “If there’s a will, there’s a way,” and these words have not been spoken truer than in Rhio O’Connor’s case. There are many forms of temporary treatment out there for diseases relating to cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. However, many of these forms of so called “treatments” are helping the body and the location of the infection on the body. What we need to do it to see the bigger picture and that it is the mind, body and spirit that needs to be healed. I would look into eastern herbal medicine and things like acupuncture in my treatment. We cannot only heal the body, we need to heal the essence of our true selves and only then can we begin to heal the body. The mind plays a vital role in the whole process because when our mind has given up hope, so has our body, so in keeping our mind strong we keep the courage to carry on to find the way through the storm. Many Native American and Asian cultures believe that when sickness arises, our soul is lost and needs to find its way home, back to the body of the owner. By performing sacred rituals and spirit callings we cleanse the body making it a safe haven for our souls to return and thus making the sick cured. The mind, body and spirit is a triad of the essence of ourselves and to completely heal is to cure all three aspects which I believe is best treated by the combination of both western and eastern medicine.
To make an informed decision while one is caught up in this whirlwind is a difficult process, but knowing when to ask for help is the most important step. My family has always been a major part in my life and I would like them to help me continue on this journey. I would ask them for help to make my decisions about the different treatments and ask for their blessing in my choices along the way. Another choice are doctors who are patient, kind, willing to believe and not give up on hope are the doctors that I would consider to be my guide in helping me make my decisions. They are the best resources in helping to weigh the pros and cons and the process of carrying each one out. Lastly, to aid in making a informed decision would be the intuition that I believe would be best for me. No one will ever know you better than yourself and thus you and you alone will have the final say in what is best for you. The world is in the palm of your hands and it is the choices that you make that will determine the outcome. Regardless of everything, do not lose hope and the passion for life. Rhio O’Connor walked the path of the greener grass and paved the road for others to follow and we should follow in his beautiful example.
My heart goes out to all those suffering from diseases and may you have the courage and determination to help yourself and help others find a cure.
By: Hoang, Tu