Horton, Danielle – Surviving Mesothelioma

Horton, Danielle

James “Rhio” O’Connor was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a malignant cancer that occurs within the lining of the body’s major organs, and given one year to live. Mesothelioma is found most commonly in the lining of the lungs, abdominal cavity, and heart; and is due to asbestos exposure. The conventional treatments for this cancer are surgery to remove the lining of the organ, chemotherapy, or radiation. The main goal of treatment is to improve the quality of life for the patient and manage the disease. Doctors have found through research that the most effective way to treat this cancer is to perform surgery to remove the infected lining and follow-up the surgery with radiation. However, these treatments can be very harsh to the already fragile body and can wear on the body’s immune system, especially if the body is bombarded with harsh chemicals and radioactive rays. Instead of following typical protocol for his cancer, Rhio decided to do some research of his own by going to the library and reading about mesothelioma and gaining a better understanding of what this cancer that he had truly was about. While conducting all of his research Rhio formulated his own path for treatment and outlived his one year prognosis by more than six years.

This inspiring story emulates that following doctor’s orders or even modern day medicine is not always the best choice depending on your situation and your diagnosis. If I were to be diagnosed with an incurable cancer and told that I only had a year to live I would follow a similar path that Rhio took, however it would not be without tremendous reliance on prayer along with strong family support. I have witnessed my mother do exactly what Rhio did and have watched her cancer shrink significantly without the modern medical treatment of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. She was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and told that the sooner she started chemo the better the chance of remission, however she did not agree and instead formulated her own therapy and a year later has produced scans where some of her mets have completely disappeared while others have shrunk 80% from their original size. The decision to stray away from modern medicine, a way of treatment that has been adopted as the norm for so long, takes a large amount of conviction, optimism and strength, but I would do it full force with the faith that God would be there guiding me and the determination that I would succeed and beat this cancer in the end.

If I were to put myself in Rhio’s situation, homeopathic and alternative medicine would, without a doubt be part of my treatment; everyone is different therefore everyone needs to pay specific attention to what their bodies need. I would utilize the libraries and the internet to learn as much about my cancer as possible; understanding exactly what it is and how it is working. The internet will be especially important in researching homeopathic forms of treatment since homeopathic medicine is much more supported in Asia and Europe. I would interview other patients who have gone through treatment already and those who have decided to forego treatment to see the effects of both decisions. I would also interview different doctors and homeopathic specialists and see what they would recommend for me and how they would go about treating my incurable cancer. Though I may not agree with conventional treatments I would still conduct extensive research to find an oncologist who understands that I am also taking a homeopathic approach and that all treatments he prescribes would not necessarily be done. In interviewing specialists I would seek out different homeopathic doctors such as a biochemist to perform extensive blood testing and body evaluations; making sure that all the vitamins and nutrients in my body are balanced, this way if something is not in line they can provide me with nutrients and supplements that my body needs. The body is one large organ with many systems inside, all of which must work together in order to function properly. If one system goes down slowly the rest will follow, therefore the number one priority of mine if I were going through cancer would be to get my body working in perfect condition. You don’t run a marathon without training and getting your body in the best shape it can be so why would you try to win a battle with cancer without ensuring that your body has a good chance of winning.

In order to get my body working properly I would interview various doctors and specialists who specialize in diet and body function. Diet is a huge factor when determining health whether or not you have cancer; I would take the steps to find a nutritionist who would ensure that I am providing my body with what it needs through the food I eat as well as take advice as to what foods my body needs. I would read alternative cancer treatment journals and periodicals and do extensive research on particular diets that have been successful by other patients. There have been studies shown that taking out sugar from the diet can benefit those with cancer because it has been shown that cancer likes to feed on sugar and if the body does not have any then the cancer will not want to live in that environment anymore. These types of studies are ones that I would take into consideration when talking to my nutritionist in order to formulate the proper diet for myself.

Interviewing Kinesiologists who practice applied kinesiology and muscle testing would also be part of my research. Muscle testing is a form of kinesiology in which the body’s imbalances and needs are assessed by applying pressure to large muscles, pressure points, or specific places on the body where organs or specific body systems are located. The process tests for proper function of organs, nutritional deficiencies, and food sensitivities. This is done by holding an herb, vitamin, or food protein to the specific area of the body with a high powered magnet or by placing the specific substance on your tongue; then holding either the leg or arm out while the doctor applies light pressure against the weak part of the body. If you are able to resist the pressure once the substance has been introduced then you need that vitamin or herb because it has provided the body with whatever nutrient is needed in order to resist the pressure. However if you become weak that vitamin or herb is not suited for your system. They can also test food allergies by holding the specific food protein to the abdomen and testing for stomach sensitivity. Ruling out a food allergy would be a priority because the phrase “everything starts in the gut” can truly be applied. If your gut is not working then the other major organs in the body cannot function properly. This could be a valuable tool, because if your body has cancer living inside of it and your body also has a food allergy that you are unaware of then your body has to focus fighting off two different sources of harm. Having a food allergy can also cause your immune system to weaken, which can be detrimental if your body is fighting off cancer. There is always a reason why cancer has decided to invade the body, it could be due to an outside source like asbestos or genes but it can also have something to do with what is going on inside of our bodies, by understanding the reasons behind the cancer I can then put together a protocol that I think would be the most successful for my body and what it needs.

In conducting all of my research I would certainly not be alone, family would be my support team, helping me in my decisions as well as offering their love, prayers and support for me. I would rely on them to come with me to appointments and make the right decisions on what doctors and therapies I should use. I would also have my friends there as well, being open about my situation with cancer, though difficult, is a good way to get recommendations from other people who have either gone through the same situation or have had family or friends go through it. Reaching out to patients who are also looking for alternative treatments by starting a blog would provide me and other patients with support from others who are going through the same situation. Throughout the research process God and prayer will be my number one priority because with prayer brings healing and guidance. This process will be long, tiresome and difficult but with God at my side, prayer as my guide and a stable support group of family and friends the journey would be bearable.

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