Lin, Kelly | Surviving Mesothelioma

Lin, Kelly

Being diagnosed with any type of cancer is shocking and awful. Many would feel as if their lives have come to an end. Cancer patients would spend the rest of the time they have with their families and friends and go to places that they have never visited before. Many take mellow approaches in accepting their diagnosis but few would take charge of their lives rather than letting cancers take charge of theirs.

One of the cancer patients is James Rhio O’Connor. Rhio was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2001. He was told that he only had less than a year to live. However, he did not just simply accept the prognosis. As determined as he is, Rhio rejected this prediction that his doctors gave him and began his own research on this cancer. He spent many hours doing research and spoke to numerous clinicians and cancer patients. He was looking beyond what chemotherapies, radiations, and surgeries had to offer, which are supposed to manage this cancer and extend his life. With all his effort, determination, and optimistic spirit, he lived with this cancer for more than seven years. (For more information on mesothelioma, please visit www.survivingmesothelioma.com)

Before reading about Rhio’s fight against this cancer, I would probably say that if I were to face the same challenges that Rhio had to face, I would most likely just resign my job, quit school, and spend the rest of the time with my families and friends. However, Rhio’s story really inspired me in the steps that I should take and the positive attitude that I should have whenever I am facing difficult challenges.

Because of Rhio’s strong determinations, he outlived his doctors’ original prognosis by more than six years. I admire him because of his positive spirit and his actions toward taking control of his cancer. If I were to be diagnosed with the same cancer that Rhio lived with for seven years, then I would definitely do possibly the best I can to fight this cancer rather than accepting it and hoping that it will just go away.

Instead of spending time with my families and friends and have them feel sorry for me, I would take the action of looking further into the cancer myself rather than just having the basic knowledge of what my doctor informs me. As I gain more knowledge of the cancer, I am one step closer to curing it. Doing research on the internet is definitely helpful because everything is online now. Through the internet, I will have access to all types of medias that will help me with my research.

Most books and articles are definitely accurate but they only tell you whatever the authors want to tell you. In order to get more detail and almost like a hands-on experience on the cancer or procedures that will manage and control it, it’s better to talk to patients who have prior experiences with these.

By talking to these patients, I will have full access to their stories of the steps that they took in order to manage or trying to manage their cancers. Then, I will know which types of procedures I should and should not take. Doctors say that surgeries, radiations, and chemotherapies will help to manage the cancer, but will they really help? I believe it’s better to hear this from different patients who have actually done these trials before so I would have a better understanding of the procedures and side effects.

Personally, I am very terrified of having surgeries because if one thing goes wrong, then everything fails. Because of this, I will do anything to not be in the operating room and have surgeons look inside me for potential problems that might harm me. Some say that surgery is the only way to go but I strongly disagree. I believe that optimism, good diet, and exercise will help me manage the cancer better than surgeries, radiations, chemotherapies, or any other procedures will have to offer.

Exercising daily and having a good diet is very important to anyone, with or without cancer. The most important thing is to always have an optimistic attitude because even if things start to go down, as long as I keep my mind open and always hope for the best, I will overcome everything. But of course, families and friends are very important as well.

One of the best supports I have is my family because I know that they are with me whenever I need them. Whenever I felt sad and depressed, they were always there to cheer me up. If I am diagnosed with cancer, then there is no doubt that they would be with me as well. They are the best support anyone can have and ask for in any sorts of situations.

Rhio’s optimistic spirit and enthusiasm inspired me to always think positively, to never give up, and to always do the best I can in any challenges that I will face in the future.

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