Howard, Lisa | Surviving Mesothelioma

Howard, Lisa

Cancer. In six insignificant letters, one of the scariest diseases spells out fear. Mesothelioma is one of the many forms of cancer that exists today. This variation of the disease, involves cancerous cells appearing in the lining of the chest, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the lining around the heart. The prognosis is usually grim with this rare form of the disease. Yet with all that standing in his way, Rhio O’Connor emerged a fighter. He was a true opponent to cancer, surviving seven years as opposed to the one year the doctor predicted. Rhio O’Connor educated himself and worked with medical personnel to defy the odds and live with a cancer that had been deemed “incurable.” It is individuals like him that are victors over cancer.

What would I do in that situation? It’s difficult to say.

Three weeks before I turned thirteen, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I could see it in my father’s eyes when he told me the news. He was really sick and he was scared. In that instant I knew my life was changed forever. Over the next six months he underwent treatment of chemotherapy and made frequent visits to the hospital. On the night of my birthday, the chemo made him so sick he had to go into the hospital. One the most heartbreaking moments I’ve ever witnessed was when my daddy said, “I don’t want you to feel like I let you down if I don’t beat this cancer.” Tears rolled down his cheeks; it was the first time I’ve ever seen my father cry. He fought with all he had in him, but went on to be with Jesus on May 13, 2004.

My family had looked into all the options when we first got my dad’s prognosis. We went to the different centers for cancer research. My dad wanted to prolong his life because he wanted to be a part of me and my sister’s lives as long as he possibly could. He took his challenge and did all he could to win his battle.

So, it’s not difficult to say. I would fight my battle with all I had in me. Life is a precious gift and we need to get as much out of it as possible. Rhio O’Connor fought for his time and so did my dad.

Rhio O’Connor took wise steps in finding his best possible treatment. Following many of his footsteps, I would seek out clinicians that could offer me options. Going to the outlet I feel most comfortable in, I would search the internet, because that will connect me to medical options worldwide. After researching all my options, I would grab all those closest to me and form a plan. I would commit to my treatment whole heartedly, even considering experimental treatments. At least that way I will have helped the world, even if it doesn’t elongate my life.

Another very important measure Rhio took in prolonging his life was committing to a positive attitude. Believing is the first step to any occurrence. Anything is possible and if you keep that mindset in these battles you are sure to come out victorious. If you take your fate in despair you will not only be sure to lose, but you will also ruin what time you have left. Rhio understood that and I witnessed it firsthand. Every moment is a gift and you have to fight for every second of every day, because the people around you are worth fighting for. I would grab on to all the ones I hold dear as they are the best medicine the world can supply. All of these things come together to make a positive environment for recovery, the ultimate victory.

Hope. It’s four fantastic letters that make all the difference. Where there is hope there are possibilities. Sometimes the best medicine life can offer you is within yourself and the prescription reads, “One dose of hope.” My father carried that with him as he fought, as did Rhio O’Connor. When you give everything you have to make yourself better, you leave a legacy that proves that the struggles are worth the reward, showing the world that your life was lived to the fullest.

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!