Kotyk, Christiana – Surviving Mesothelioma

Kotyk, Christiana

Darwin Kingsly stated, “You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.” I believe these characteristics Rhio O’Conner possessed when he was given little hope with the diagnosis of cancer. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and given one year to live. This type of cancer is rare and develops in the inner lining of your internal organs. They commonly believe it is caused by exposure to asbestos, naturally occurring silicate minerals that can be inhaled. Instead of looking at his fatal situation with despair, he decided he could overcome. Because of this hope and determination, he outlived the prognosis of the doctors and resultantly has inspired many with his story.

When a person hears they have been diagnosed with a disease as fatal as cancer, it is often devastating and something you never want to hear. If posed with this situation, what would you do? First of all, I would listen to what suggestions my doctors would offer for treatments and cures. After hearing what they have to say, I would then take my case to other renowned oncologists and hear their opinions and suggestions about what to do with my disease. I would also invest myself into intensive research on the specific type of cancer they diagnosed me with and find any piece of information that could possibly help. When yet not satisfied, I would as Rhio O’Conner conduct my own research about the disease.

One of the first things that I would do is change the way I live my life, which would start by eating healthier foods and exercising more frequently. This would help in establishing strength in my body as I prepare to go through months of trying to save my life without going through rigorous treatments and chemotherapy. In order to gain a better understanding of the cancer that is eating away at my body and the type of foods and exercise that could help me gain strength, I would review numerous medical text books that would provide detailed treatment procedures that would facilitate the slowdown of the progression of the disease. I would search out any possible treatment plans. If clinical trials were occurring and could possible help, I would look to those options and utilize all my resources. When examining the treatments that would perhaps extend my life just a little bit further, I would look at not only the type of medicine or drugs that would be used for the treatments, but also at the side effects and how they would interact with my body.

Dealing with cancer is not only a physical ordeal but also a mental and emotional trial. Due to the physical and emotional draining that will occur, having the support and encouragement of family and friends that stretch you to keep on fighting not matter what the doctors say is enormously important. No one should have to fight something as serious as cancer alone. Patients often deal with various operations or medicinal treatments with the possibility that they might or might not make it through, which is why they need someone to encourage them and help them make the right decisions.

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey,” these are the words of Kenji Miyazawa in regards to dealing with cancer. I feel through that statement he is expressing the power each of us possesses when given a terrible and deadly diagnosis. He epitomizes the idea of never giving up but letting that situation provide motivation to continue on each day. Through such a terrible condition, I believe people gain a greater perspective of life and learn to value each moment. Those who have outlived their diagnosis and timeline, like O’Conner, can impart into us a greater prioritization of life. If I were ever given the diagnosis of cancer, I would want to possess the motivation and drive, the hope and thankfulness for each day, and the ability to let that journey not end without me fighting and doing everything possible to live on to the next day. Cancer is a serious disease that eats away at your body – if ever given that diagnosis, we must be ready to fight for our lives and for the right to live.

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