The intent of this essay is to express what I would do if face with the same circumstances as Mr. Rhio O’Connor did back in 2001.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs. It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos and the most common site is the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, but it may also occur in the lining of the abdominal cavity or the heart.
From my research, it seems that most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in some way or another. One of the symptoms of mesothelioma is a shortness of breath due to fluid between the lung and the chest wall or weight loss.
Mr. Rhio O’ Connor was diagnosed with mesothelioma back in 2001. In fact, he was given less than a year to live and surgery was not possible because of the positioning of the tumor and chemotherapy would only decrease his quality of life.
Mr. O’Connor was told that he should take his wife on a cruise and start hospice care upon his return. Mr. Connor rejected the idea determined to beat the odds and instead decided to work with other professional researchers and formulated a regimen, that included changing his diet, practicing mind, body & soul medicine as well as using his own self discipline. Mr. O’Connor lived beyond 2001 and died on July 11, 2009 at the age of 69. He had outlived his prognosis by seven years and became an inspiration to others.
Although I have never been diagnosed with cancer, I personally have seen the toll it takes on friends and family. Like Mr. O’Connor, my aunt was given the same prognosis, which let to her being severally depressed. She eventually took a turn for the worst and she died in 2008. My aunt’s depression along with wanting to give up, only exacerbated the matter.
If I was faced with the same fate as Mr. O’Connor, my aunt and countless others, instead of succumbing, I would take a turn for the positive. I know the old additage, “you don’t know what it’s like, until you are in that person shoes”, but we even so, I would try to be optimistic that I can beat this.
Here are some of the things I would implement if I were given the same prognosis:
First, you have to believe that it’s only a diagnosis and not a death sentence. In order words, do not be quick to assume the worst and automatically just want to give up. This is the worst thing you can do!
Second, you have to get your emotional and spiritual self aligned.
Third, your mind healing ritual is essential. If you think positive, you will be positive. If you think negative, you will be negative.
Fourth, re-visit your diet and nutrition. Now that you have found out the prognosis, can your diet ultimately shape and/or make a difference?
Fifth, what are the reasons for hope? I am sure we can find many reasons for motivation. Perhaps you have family or friends that you value and vice versus, or maybe you just want to spread the word and be a support system for others going through the same thing. I truly believe the more positive a person is, the more the body receives that energy and feeds off it in positive manner.
Sixth, become knowledgeable about your disease and take a proactive stance to think outside of the box. This would include conducting any additional research beyond chemotherapy, radiation and in some cases surgery. Go out and consult with other experts, doctors, researchers and other patients that are knowledgeable in this arena.
So in conclusion, Mr. O’Connor’s story is a legacy and inspiration to others. The fact that he refused to accept the dire prognosis and visit other alternatives is the true story, not that he had mesothelioma.
With that being stated, Mr. O’Connor can be compared to the beloved, Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor that died from pancreatic cancer. He became famous for his posting of his “final lecture” on the Internet and later wrote the book, “final lecture”.
Both, O’Connor and Pausch has touched the lives of millions across the world.