As we go through life we come to realize that at some point each of us will die. At this point an easy route is to become pessimistic about life as though it all means nothing due to this ominous end. However, I believe that it is not how long your life is but what is accomplished that should define a well-lived life. Death must be recognized as simply another part of life instead of an ultimate end to be feared. While this may be easy to do when a person assumes that they will live at least to the age of 80, it is a much harder task when you have been diagnosed with a terminal disease and given a year to live. When Rhio O’Connor was diagnosed with mesothelioma and presented with this situation he chose to take action and try to prologue his life instead of giving up and succeeded at adding five extra years to his life.
The easiest path when presented with any difficult situation is to stop trying. When asked in a casual conversation what you would do if you were presented with one year to live many people would travel and see all the places that they had not been given a chance to see. When presented with Rhio O’Connor’s situation would traveling be the best option? If I were given one year to live I would focus on my family and do everything to find an alternative cure, giving me more time to live.
The first thing that I would focus on would be spending time with my family and all the people in my life that I care about. Travel might sound glamorous when you are hypothetically discussing, but it the end seeing the world is not going to matter if it makes you miss out on spending your last moments with your family. The other reason that I would spend time with my family is that my family makes me laugh and smile more than any other people. I believe that being around people that uplift you and truly care about you no matter how your life goes would insight hope and wellbeing. I also believe that my death would not simply impact me by ending my life. It would have much more of an impact on my family who was left behind. Spending time with my family would be important for them: to let them know that I care and would miss them and to help them deal with the reality of my death before I died. It would be unfair to be given one year to live and decide to spend it away from the people who care about me.
The second thing that I would focus on would be finding an alternative cure or treatment. Rhio O’Connor was successful at finding alternatives and was able to live six years when he was given only one. Despite my faith in modern medicine there are many treatments that are overlooked when treating cancer. I would research every possible alternative treatment would get as many of them as possible. At certain points mind over matter can be true, even if it is simply peace of mind. In the case that none of the treatments were ineffective I would be able to die knowing that I never gave up hope.
Cancer can dramatically change the path of an individual’s life. Their fight against death shapes those individuals that survive cancer, gaining a new fervor for life. This fight makes small moments seem important, when they were irrelevant previously. The most important thing for people battling cancer is that they never give up hope; they hold onto the things most important to them and fight to keep them. Instead of getting depressed about dying it is important to recognize that it is a part of life. I believe that even people who don’t survive can die knowing that they gave there all until the very end and did not give up on themselves. Rhio O’Connor is an icon of hope and perseverance. He proves that determination to live longer can be successful and gives us faith in measures beyond modern medicine.