Choices of Do or Die
Every year America’s awareness of cancer and its risks increases, and every day people commence the long battle against cancer, which often results in their defeat. Despite the somberness of this notion, growing recognition of the malignancy and its symptoms contributes to the rising numbers of individuals who outlive it. James O’Connor was one of these brave people who, through his accumulation of information and spirit, survived long past his given time and contributed to public knowledge of the disease. If I were diagnosed with a fatal cancer, I would do everything possible to keep living. Specifically, I would examine all information sources available, make confident decisions based on fact, and suit my lifestyle to combat cancer.
How much research the patient completes is a significant factor in determining which party will win the war. Thankfully, in this modern world, many databases are available. The internet is the most commonly used source because it allows one to collect a large array of information. The World Wide Web is especially useful when researching particular topics, like my type of cancer. Unfortunately, not all these resources are credible and therefore I would only employ websites that offer certified information. Additionally, I would find and connect with people that suffered or are suffering from my cancer through the support websites available. Speaking to people of similar circumstances would boost the preparation for my battle, as well as offer a stronger and more optimistic outlook since I would know there are survivors. Furthermore, I would visit the library since most books possess information based on fact. There may even be medical literature pertaining to my malignancy. In addition to reading, I would consult my family because in the last five years many of my relatives have died or are fighting various forms of cancer. I would ask them about their experiences and find out what treatments seem to help. Furthermore, I would ask what the doctors have told them so I would know what to expect from my own consultations. The medical professionals in my family can also use their connections so that I can speak to the right doctors who know about my fatal cancer and believe they can treat me. Knowledgeable doctors are essential if standard treatments fail to help, since they can find alternative medicines that will treat my illness. Expertise of both contemporary and alternative therapy will increase my likelihood of survival and help me make informed decisions.
Critical judgments made while dealing with cancer requires not only investigation but also a strong spirit. If one has a defeated outlook, than one cannot expect to maintain the will to live. My strength lies in the fact that I am a survivor. Twenty-one years has brought many onerous moments to my life, but knowing I have endured guarantees the cancer is just another hurdle. Therefore, there is no room in my life for pessimism because it would be giving the disease an advantage. The only difficulty in knowing about my circumstance is relaying the information to my family. On one hand, they must mentally prepare themselves for my death, but on the other hand, they have to support me without worry. The highs and lows of my cancer treatment will string them along and their suffering would be painful due to their love for me. However, I must prepare for this situation because there is always a chance I will die. My fear of death has always influenced my life, but in order to live fully, I must make peace with my terrors. Even if I only live a few extra years, it is still time to spend with loved ones as well as achieve goals I have yet to fulfill. Furthermore, my extensive research provides means to create my own treatment because I know what works. Therefore, I can avoid going through standard procedures like chemotherapy that can potentially weaken me. By mentally preparing myself, I will physically prepare to deal with all aspects of my cancer and the possibility of death.
The lifestyle one leads and how healthy one’s life is allows one to physically endure. All cancer patients who outlived their malignancy are in good shape because increased physical activity not only strengthens the body, but also allows the mind to make clear decisions. Although going through treatments may make me hesitant to visit the local gym, I would make a point in exercising every day once I have more energy. The food one consumes is also crucial because when the body fights disease it requires nutrition to gain vitality. Junk food will no longer be part of my diet, and I will always make careful cuisine choices because I cannot risk wasting energy trying to digest harmful food. Furthermore, since I will find peace with the possibility of demise, I will become more spiritual. If I am trying to figure out what may be waiting for me, I will need to focus my attention inward and establish a connection with that higher being. An outward change always begins with an inward motivation.
Cancer awareness is significant to the brave souls who fight for their lives in the unnerving war against the malignancy. As more knowledge is discovered and released to the public, early detection rates will increase which will lead to a higher survival rate. James O’Connor’s story strikes a chord with me due to losing family to cancer. Imagining being diagnosed with a terminal illness is difficult to grasp because of my shock in losing loved ones. However, I would not give in and no matter the outcome, I would know I tried. Furthermore, I would donate as much money as I can spare to support organizations for my form of cancer so that other patients have higher chances of persevering. Cancer is a terrible disease because it affects more people than just the patient, but with more research and precaution, it can become easily treatable.
By: Kubota, Marlena