Jurgonski, Anne M. | Surviving Mesothelioma

Jurgonski, Anne M.

The Ultimate Warrior

Cancer is a word that most people are afraid of. Unfortunately, millions and millions of people in the United States alone are diagnosed with cancer right now. Due to the large amount of people that have cancer, I feel like it is safe to say that sadly almost every person in the United States has known or currently knows someone that has had or has some form of cancer. Cancer can come in many varieties and levels of severity. There is lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and many more. While the ones I listed are very common there are also very rare types of cancer that we know very little about. One of the rarest types of cancer out there is mesothelioma, www.survivingmesothelioma.com. Mesothelioma is extremely hard to detect early, in fact the majority of people that are diagnosed with mesothelioma are over the age of fifty. By the time mesothelioma is detected it is usually very far along and hard to cure. There is not an actual cure that has been found for mesothelioma. Generally when a person is told that they have mesothelioma they are not expected to live very much longer. Rhio O’Connor, a man that was diagnosed with mesothelioma, was told that he had about a year to live before his battle with mesothelioma would conquer him and take his life.

When I first heard of Rhio O’Connor’s story I was intrigued by his will to live and to win the battle against mesothelioma. Rhio O’Connor is a hero because he has more perseverance than anyone I have ever heard of. The fact the he outlived his prognosis by more than six years is a miracle on its own, but O’Connor also spent so much time researching, talking to doctors, and comparing and contrasting different treatments he could put himself through. Rhio O’Connor wanted to live his life to the ultimate fullest and he did all that he could while fighting this ultimate battle against mesothelioma, he is the ultimate warrior in my mind.

Rhio O’Connor is not the only person that has inspired me so greatly, my father was also diagnosed with an extremely rare type of cancer called sarcoma, cancer of the body. My father outlived his prognosis by a few years as well and fought with all of his heart to live. Rhio O’Connor is so inspiring because he seemed to react differently than most people when the find out they have cancer. I can picture that when Rhio O’Connor had been told he has mesothelioma, he had taken a step back and took a deep breath and then got down to business and almost “put himself into someone else’s shoes”. When Rhio O’Connor heard the words cancer I imagine him feeling sorry for himself for just a second and then deciding he was going to do anything and everything that he could possibly do to prevent this vicious thing from taking him over.

If I were ever to be given a dire cancer prognosis I would first take a deep breath and then think about how there have been so many people that have gone through what I am about to go through. I would look to my inspirations and try and be strong like them. After informing my loved ones of my cancer diagnosis I would immediately try and figure out everything I can do to save myself. I would probably talk to many doctors, surgeons, and other specialists and try and figure out which doctor is the best for me, the one with the most experience and the most knowledge on my type of cancer. Assuming I would probably not know very much about the cancer, I would research as much as I possibly could on my own and try and speak with other people who are diagnosed with the same cancer that I have. I would definitely consider chemo, radiation, and surgery, and if those were not successful I would try anything that the doctors think might help me. My father was chosen to experiment something they had never used before on patients, they tried it on other patients at the same time as my dad. There had been a lot of research on this knew possible cure before the doctors decided to use it on patients, so my dad agreed to try it. If I was given the option to try something new that could possibly be a cure to my cancer that had never been used before, but tested and was thought to work, I would agree to try it as well. I would use many resources I would talk to my family and close friends about what would be the best options for me. I would like to think that I would be as determined as Rhio O’Connor was if I were to be given a dire prognosis.

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