A Trip Outside The Box

The story of Rhio O’Connor ‘s battle is indeed one of inspiration. Any cancer at its end stages depletes any hope of survival and yet Rhio O’Connor pushed beyond the boundaries. Since mesothelioma has a history of being a rare cancer, I believe Rhio O’Connor did the best thing by being his own advocate and researching to his satisfaction and not just take what was given him, that is, the death sentence. When one can make their own treatment plan with the cooperation of clinicians, then they know there will be positive results even if for a short period of time. Rhio O’Connor’s battle was obviously mentally and physically strenuous.

In my own experience with Stage III ovarian cancer, the major thing that pulled me through was being spiritually connected to the One greater than myself. Many people have several opinions about divine inspiration, but developing faith and putting it all into fighting beyond the surgeries, chemotherapy and the radiation, etc. can tremendously change your life afterwards. Sometimes that little bit to offer outside the box is just what is needed to come to terms with one’s condition and move one to fight with everything they have. Optimism is a strong character can make one appear like a super hero on the outside to one’s family and friends even though on the inside they are scared.

When pooling resources, it can be information overload and any cancer patient can relate to this. Fortunately, the resources from the Internet and medical libraries are more available to the public than they were years ago. With all the technical research papers and abstracts to ponder over, there is nothing like the treatment experience from a patient’s view. These are the ones with the best incite and live results.

For example, after having chemotherapy the memory of familiar things become vague. To the outside world, it may be viewed as temporary and the common phrase is “don’t worry, you’ll get your memory back in no time.” To the patient, it may cause them to feel like they would like to have memory loss of that one who made the statement. Our memory is our lifeline to our family, friends, time spent together, struggles, accomplishments, and many other things. Good as well as bad, our memory holds all our hopes and dreams.

Unless one has experienced memory loss due to chemotherapy, it is very difficult to be able to relate to the internal panic and anxiety that comes with the territory. Because the good memories outweigh the bad ones, it is preferred that phrase was never said. Saying, “don’t worry” is definitely not a consoling one to use. The question is how to combat this memory scar to keep it from spreading. What if there is some super food or powerful supplement that can prevent this attack on the memory? A trip looking outside the box in the form of self conducted research can really pay off. A trip outside the box making an informed consent with the information at one’s fingertips play an important part along with understanding clinicians who can guide one along the way and act as a coach when treatments get tough to bear. A trip outside the box can buy more time to bond more with those we love. A trip outside the box can leave a legacy such as Rhio O’Connor.

By: Lawton, Cynthia

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