James “Rhio” O’Connor, a man of much courage, intellect and sadly a victim of cancer as well, was diagnosed with a deadly cancer by the name of mesothelioma (https://survivingmesothelioma.com) and told that he had only one year left to live. Instead of giving up and taking the news harshly O’Connor was motivated in the best way that you can ever be motivated, he was motivated to do something about it. He began doing research on his cancer, speaking with a number of doctors, researchers and even other cancer patients. By doing this he discovered what other therapies had to offer, as well as the long and short term effects they had, and the theories and philosophies that support them. By educating himself about his condition O’Connor was enabled to formulate his treatment with the help of clinicians, in which he hand-picked. With their help he also developed very factual opinions of these treatments. O’Connor’s ability to make decisions under pressure and his belief in something greater than himself made it possible for him to outlive his expected “expiration date”. This and many other things are what make James “Rhio” O’Connor a great inspiration to me and I’m certain many others.
O’Connor’s story inspires me because it shows how much you can actually do when all odds seem to be against you and also that even when things aren’t going the way you feel that they should, you don’t have to let it bring you down. If I faced the same challenges as he did, I cannot say with full certainty what I would do. I do know that all that I’d be able to feel for awhile is numb, to the world and find it hard to cope with those circumstances. First I would take to writing poetry, since it is something that gives me a feeling of empowerment and relief. To be honest I would not conduct much research, but I would weigh out my options to make sure that I would be making the right decision in choosing a treatment that would actually work for me. I would look to my family and closest friends for advice and comfort most of all. For the record though, I would do whatever it took to better my health because I would find it very hard to give up on myself and not go on. I would like to find shelter in knowing that I had done all that I had wanted to do in my life and finally take notice that I had to accept things as they were at that point in time. It would be time for me to put my life in God’s hands and let Him do what needed to be done, whether he give me life or give me death I would know that it was in best interest.
This may seem a bit idiotic, redundant even, but I feel as though it wouldn’t really be necessary to do anything about the want to change one’s fate. The reason I say this is because in this life, it doesn’t matter how hard we try or how good we are at living, we all have to meet death and leave this Earth with nothing but our spirits. Sure James “Rhio” O’Connor did awesome things before his life’s end, but what does it matter when the final result was still death? When life can only be what you make it and nothing more at times, what else can you do but live? Our lives are filled with so much confusion and error that at times we forget to take notice, of the things that make a difference, the things that for some strange reason, give our lives meaning. Luckily, O’Connor never forgot to take notice, based on what I’ve read. I intend on doing the same, living the life filled with so many beautiful disasters and perfect imperfections. There is so much more that can be said, but all cannot be told. So I will leave you, the reader, with this inspirational quote, said by another great thinker of our time:
“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” -Maya Angelou