Huddleston, Heather – Surviving Mesothelioma

Huddleston, Heather

Cancer, or any other health issue, can be a terrifying ordeal to face, especially when doctors say you have little time left to live. The truth is though, doctors cannot tell us when our time is out; we do not have expiration dates stamped on the bottoms of our feet. Few people know this better than my mom and Mr. O’Connor. She has faced, and is currently facing, many health issues in her life and at one time was given a ten percent chance of living. I am convinced that miracles happen every day. My mother, along with Mr. O’Connor, is proof of this.

My mother has faced various health issues starting at the age of sixteen. One of her most life threatening, however came when I was four years old. She went into a coma from chronic pancreatitis, and doctors gave her a ten percent chance of living. They told us that even if she did live, she would never wake up or have a life again. She was in a coma for three months, and around this time the doctors began talking to my father about what he wanted to do: keep her alive or pull the plug. A few days later she woke up. You can imagine what a shock this was to the doctors, and ever since she has been told by numerous doctors what a miracle she is. Many factors have contributed to keeping my mother alive, and medicine is only a small part of it.

Researching your particular disease can be a very important part of getting the best care possible. Patients should research the best doctors available in whatever field they need. No one wants a doctor who does not trust their own skills. I have learned from my mom to also trust your instinct. Listen to your heart and choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with. You should be able to talk openly with your doctor and feel as if they care about your needs. Also, patients need a good support team to go with them to their doctor’s appointments and any surgeries they may face. All of these can play a major role in your fight against disease and increasing your chance of survival.

Prayer and faith in God have also contributed to my mother’s survival. It is because of the almighty power of God that my mother is alive today. I have been blessed to have a religious upbringing, and prayer has been important to me from very early on. There have been many nights when I would lay awake in my bed for hours on end praying. Many of these nights I would end up crying myself to sleep, wondering why my mother always had to be the one suffering in a hospital bed. Why does she have to have an incurable disease that fewer than one-hundred people have? Why did she have to have to have a kidney transplant, double heart bypass, chronic pancreatitis, and multiple tumors all over her body? Why did she and my dad have to lose a child at birth due to anencephaly? For once, why couldn’t it be me and not her? I have finally learned to completely trust in God and not question His plan for my mom or our family. There has to be some reason she has gone through all of the difficulties. Even more amazing, is my mother’s trust in God. With everything she has dealt with, I have not once seen her angry at God for handing her these trials. She completely trusts the plan He has for her. I hope to have her faith and strength one day.

I imagine that Mr. O’Connor and my mother would have had many similarities. Mr. O’Connor appeared to be a man who was not going to give up on life without a fight, and that is a very admirable characteristic. He too seemed to be a man of great faith and hope. The diagnosis of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer in the lining of the lungs, was not an easy thing to hear I am sure, and the fact that he did not lay down and wait to die is very inspiring(survivingmesothelioma.com). It takes great courage to fight a disease as deadly as mesothelioma and unfortunately not everyone is born with that kind of courage. I think that kind of courage comes from knowing there is life after death. Believing that there is a place with no more pain and suffering and where no one dies of mesothelioma or any other disease, allows for people to endure the pain of this world a little better and longer.

Mr. O’ Connor’s story is very inspiring and deserves to be heard. People need to hear more stories like his; stories of courage, faith, and not giving up. If Mr. O’ Connor had listened to his doctors he probably would have spent the last days of his life sitting around wondering if this would be the day he died. Instead he fought his disease and kept his spirit up. Mr. O’ Connor deserves to be remembered for his courage, and I can only hope I would have half of his courage if faced with a deadly disease. Never give up on life; you never know where it will take you.

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