I just left the doctor’s office where I learned I have cancer. That dreaded word. I want to run and hide. Everybody knows when you hear that word, what you think “death”. Now where do I go from here? I went and visited my father’s grave where he had died of lung cancer; and said a prayer for courage. I then went to my grandfather’s grave, where he died of cancer of the brain. He was the strongest man I knew growing up. I prayed for strength. I then had to go and tell the rest of my family knowing I would need their support and help in the decisions and my fight that was ahead of me. With the love of my family around me, instantly my search began on the internet what my future has installed for me. Questions, boy do I have questions. I started searching the site www.survivingmesothelioma.com . What others have done to help or cure them. Where did they go for treatments? What they did as far as diet changes, exercise, special drinks, vitamins, or even a drug combination. I wanted to know if any of these actions they took helped; or at least prolonged their lives to as long as they could with their loved ones.
Trauma of hearing the word cancer is characterized first by fear, helplessness and then horror. I learned that just because someone’s has cancer some of their friends will pull away afraid to say anything to you, or how to handle the situation. The people that once filled your life with joy and hope are just as confused and shattered as you. You, your friend and family will learn to trust life again; and enjoy it to the fullest. That is the key to go on with life. No matter how long or short you may have left.
The main topic I was finding in all of the feedbacks was getting a second opinion. Do not settle for one doctor telling me I had cancer. The other was going to the place that is totally centered on cancer and their patients. There they treat the whole person. They have the best complete treatment from the mind, body, and soul. If anyone has cancer this is where they would send them to go. This hospital will treat each person individually. They have a team of doctors that work with you in all areas. This is a great way to attack the disease. But they have a wide variety of options that you can talk to the doctors about how you would like to go after it. Conventional treatment and complementary therapies have a wide variety of doctors and options in the same place. They all work together and there is no pressure but treat each person as they care. While I listened to the testimonies of the people that have been treated there, this is where I want to go. Now that I have that decided, and I have my family and friends on board, I have decided that what time I have left I want to live it like my grandfather did. He lived life to the fullest. He always said do what you want to, tell people you love them every day, go where you have never been, and enjoy every day as if it is your last.
When I read the strength that James Rhio O’Connor went through is was inspiring. Mr. O’Connor was diagnosed with a rare cancer known as mesothelioma. He not only questioned his doctors when they gave him less than a year to live. He saw them he made sure he understood what they were saying. The information he acquired before making a decision on the type of treatment and path to choose gave me hope that there is still life out there. Mr. O’Connor’s choices were well investigated and followed to live another 7 1/2 years on this earth to enjoy the live his way.
I watched my grandfather in his last year enjoy life. As he was battling cancer, going for treatments, until one day he said he had enough. He knew he was going to die if he did not continue with the treatment. This is what I want to do. I will take the treatments for as long as I can. I will take care of myself and change my diet and exercise to help strength my immune system.
In the end, I will know when the time comes, that I too will have to decide that enough is enough. I will spend all the time I can with my family and enjoy each day as if it was my last. My grandfather has taught me a lot over the years and I miss him a great deal. Someday I will see him again. In the mean time, there is a reason to hope. I will trust in myself, trust in my doctors, and trust in the good the good Lord above. James Rhio O’Connor has inspired me through his book, that I do not need to stand still because of the word “cancer”, but fight it head on. It just might be with a different approach than most doctors would like. He did, so can I.