MY Inspirational People
Rio O’Connor and my grandpa, Mike Ingram, have inspired me greatly. They have shown me not to give up on life and to live my life as normal as possible. If you are always thinking about how your condition is going to affect you, you will not enjoy the rest of your life. Rio O’Connor inspires me because when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and heard he only had a year to live he did not give up on life.
Mesothelioma, which results from asbestos poisoning, is a cancer that affects the mesothelium, a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. Mesothelioma causes the cells of the mesothelium to become abnormal and divide without control or order. The cells then can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Rio survived this lethal cancer by researching mesothelioma intensively, spending hours in the library and speaking to countless doctors, researchers, and patients. He learned about the different treatments offered, the long-term and short-term side affects of the treatments, and the theories and philosophies behind them. Through hard work, Rio was able to help create his own treatment, with the help of clinicians that he selected. He also made smart decisions that were truly based on fact and that he would be able to carry out. Rio’s intellect and optimistic spirit allowed him to live with an incurable disease for six years instead of one year.
Another person who inspires me is my grandpa Ingram. Grandpa Ingram was diagnosed with polycythemia vera, cancer that affects the bone marrow, in 1993, but he his currently in good health. Polycythemia vera causes the bone marrow to produce too many red blood cells and the blood becomes too thick for the body. Side affects of polycythemia vera is redness in skin, itchiness, and blood clots which can cause a heart attack because of the thickness of the blood. For treatment my grandpa gets a phlebotomy (drawing blood when needed) to reduce the blood volume, takes a drug called Hydroxy Urea to control the thickness of the blood, and had his spleen surgically removed because his spleen became enlarged with blood. Grandpa inspires me because he just treats his cancer as part of his normal life and he thanks the Lord every day for the life that he has. My Grandpa lives a normal life, and he thinks about the good things he has in life instead of the bad things.
If I had cancer, I would pray to the Lord to help me live my life as normal as possible. I would consult my doctor and find out what the best treatment would be. I would take my doctor’s advice and would also look on the internet and in books to find the best treatment. I would find alternatives to radiation, and if I did not need chemotherapy I would not take it. I would only use radiation and chemotherapy as a last resort. I would not want chemotherapy or radiation therapy because those types of therapy could poison me and could create a different problem. I would search for other patients who found alternatives to chemotherapy and radiation and see what they are doing. To make informed decisions I would consult my parents, friends, church members, and doctors. After I had found the best treatment, I would try not to think about my cancer and just go on with my life. I would also see how I could relate to others who have cancer and see how they could help me and how I could help them. I would still prepare myself to die, though, so I would not leave my family with a big burden. If the doctor said I only had a year to live I would not change anything. As a nineteen-year-old Christian, I would continue working weekends at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells as an event service man. I would still go to the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo as a full time student to get my associates degree, and then to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to learn about natural resources and get my bachelor of science degree. If I had a lethal cancer I would still do my job and go to college. I would not change my life because I would plan to complete college and get my Bachelors of Science degree. I would then want to get involved in natural resources.
Rio has shown me to never give up and to search for every possible way to survive. My grandpa has shown me to live my life as normal as possible. If I thought about my illness all the time, I would not enjoy life. I would hope cancer would not make my life worse. I would use my cancer to help other people that are going through difficult times as well. Rio and Grandpa have shown it is not only possible to live life with cancer, but that you can live a full life to.