“If They Told Me Months, And I’D Choose I’D Outlast Everyone”

IF THEY TOLD ME MONTHS, AND I’D CHOOSE I’D OUTLAST EVERYONE (Agreeing with James “Rhio” O’Connor in his Memory”

He had The Big C. It’s was that simple. The doctor’s told him to start putting his “affairs in order”. This is what the told him. I imagine most people given news like that out of nowhere would probably find that devastating. I’m so glad that he was a man that believed doctors were men, with medical training and knowledge. Not deities that had spiritual powers of fortune telling and predicting the future. Doctors have such nerve. Sometimes I think they should include the daily picks for the lottery along with their diagnosis. I understand the ramifications of a deadly illness like mesothelioma, especially when explained in laymen’s terms by a medical practitioner. What I don’t understand is why doctors are always so surprised that people prove that they are so much more than just skin and bones. I think sometimes they forget that about themselves as well.

Let’s first talk about J.R. O’Connor, or “Rhio”, as he went by. Rhio passed away almost 7 years later, when the doctors said he wouldn’t last more than a year. He has very astute, and had a positive attitude. He wasn’t afraid to take the road less taken, undaunted in his uplifted point of view. Out of the research and extensive reading he did on his form of cancer, he used this information to create his own program and protocol of heath and wellbeing and was able to increase his lifespan for many years.

I believe that each person has to follow their own path in life, with or without an illness that was incurable and a limited time to live. In a way, sometimes, a cloud over your head has a way of inspiring a person into doing the things they’ve always wanted to do, sooner than later. It some cases, without the motivation of impending doom, not at all. Don’t you think that is sad? Unfortunately, this is very much the case. How about that?

If it were me, and I were dying, or afraid I was going to die soon, I would of course, first start asking the doctor the basic of questions. The type of cancer I had, like mesothelioma, www.survivingmesothelioma.com like Rhio had. I’d ask my doctor for any and every kind of organization, and group I could call for help and information, The American Cancer Society for instance. Any other website I could possible get into, that would give me more information would be welcome. I would have to of course, become knowledgeable, so that I could speak of and explain to my family and friends. It would become not only my education towards knowing my enemy, the Cancer, but also to recruit my love ones and give them the strength of knowledge against feeling useless or ineffective and help me learn more and do more. We will come together in this way, and the good of the knowledge will spread to others and the numbers will increase, which will bring even more positive strength to me at every turn or dilemma. Family and friends will start talking to one another. They’ll all be sharing and finding new ways to fortify me besides traditional treatments. I will not be researching alone. Some information may not apply to me, at times may even be contradictory, but in the short run, for the most part, it will be absolutely inspiring!

Do you think that I would only be stuck in just researching and reading? Oh, no. Absolutely not! Thankfully, and I do mean, thankfully; it would be time for the REAL business of living. If it were me? Well, I would sell all my belongings, my car, my furniture, my kitchenwares, even my house. Everything I owned would be up for grabs for the pennies on the dollar in a garage sale. Then I would have the local auction house come and pick up the rest and send me the check, because I’d be on my way to the college of my dreams, Brooks Institute of Photography. By the time, I’d finish; I’d have a Masters degree in Fine Art Photography.

I’d drive myself across country from Florida to California, and take the entire 10 days allowed for rental of my meager belongings stopping along the way, to where ever I pleased, whenever I pleased. AAA would supply me with the trip-planning map depicting any points of interest along the way, as I would have asked for the scenic route. I’d make sure that the information would include The Grand Canyon, because I’ve always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. With any luck at all, maybe I could see it with snow. It will have been so long since I’d seen snow, living in Florida, and your perspective probably changes when you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

In all honesty now, I know what kind challenges that Rhio must have had and felt. He probably heard the words, “You can’t”, at every crucial turn. I bet he didn’t listen. As a matter of fact I know he didn’t. You see, I can tell you for sure. I know because, I did single handedly cross the US from Central Florida to California in 10 days, by myself with a 16 foot moving truck, one way. I made my way to Santa Barbara, where I enrolled myself in Brooks Institute of Photography. I rode the “Polar Express” in Arizona, and got to see the first snowfall of the year December of 2007 in The Grand Canyon. You see, in January of 2002, my doctors diagnosed me with inoperable astrocytoma, which they I had only 5-7 years. It’s now 2010 and in approximately 18 months I should have Bachelor’s degree, and begin my Master’s degree program. In addition to, this, I’m only 50. I am thankful to Rhio for his indomitable spirit. It is in this spirit I hope to emulate and continue to go forward in the days and years I have devoted towards my dreams. I hope my efforts will encourage the living, like Rhio did, to do the same for others.

In conclusions, I want to once again include the website for this incurable disease. I encourage everyone to read Rhio’s book, They Said Months, I Chose Years, for the invaluable advice and insights he offers. There is no one in this earth that is not touched by Cancer in some way in all aspects of life. This is a very lethal kind of cancer that needs the attention for more research of a cure. Because of people like James “Rhio” O’Connor, more awareness and help has been given to those who wouldn’t otherwise know where to turn. I urge you go to https://survivingmesothelioma.com/basics.cfm, and learn more important information.

By: Kruck, Evonne

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