Litton, Rebecca | Surviving Mesothelioma

Litton, Rebecca

The clock struck six p.m. Kathy sat staring into space, thoughts swirling around in her mind. “Cancer, cancer, cancer, malignant mesothelioma. It could NOT be true; it just could not!” After receiving the diagnosis of deadly cancer, malignant mesothelioma, Kathy immediately acquired a different outlook on life. Coming to grips with the fact that her life would now be shortened, especially if nothing was done, she began several things: specifically praying for guidance, telling her family, searching for information, and making a decision about treatment options.

Kathy knew prayer was her first priority. God sometimes worked miracles, but even if He chose not to, He still cared and would guide her to the proper procedures. After praying several days for a miracle, Kathy sensed the Lord leading her to seek medical help. She then began praying about direction for specific medical treatment.

Telling her family was very difficult. Although they were greatly distressed on hearing the news, they readily promised to support her as much as they could, in both prayer and just being available to help, when she needed something. Kathy was thankful for a loving family willing to support her in this crucial time. The next step in Kathy’s plan of attack consisted of gathering as much information as she could about malignant mesothelioma and its various treatments. She browsed the library and scanned the Internet. Kathy learned the cancer in the lining around her lungs and heart, the mesothelium, stemmed from breathing in tiny, mineral particles called asbestos. These minerals were formerly mined and commonly used in factories, housebuilding, household appliances, etc…(http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/). Inhaling asbestos fibers was what caused respiratory problems including mesothelioma. “Malignant mesothelioma is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium, become abnormal and divide without control or order” (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/asbestos). Now that she knew exactly with what she was dealing, Kathy commenced a study on various traditional treatments and procedures, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. While at a check-up, Kathy asked her doctor for his opinion about her treatment options. He explained the risks of traditional treatment, stating that in her case, surgery would probably not be an option, but that radiation and/or chemotherapy would help. As Kathy listened, she felt increasingly uneasy about the side effects of these two: hair loss, skin irritation, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, and infections. She decided to wait and pray some more.

Searching the Internet the next day, Kathy came across a website with cancer survivor stories. This site related stories of people who survived or outlived their cancer prognosis by resorting to alternative treatments. Kathy knew this was her treatment answer. One story especially stood out and encouraged her, the life of James “Rhio” O’Conner, also diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.

Taking matter into his own hands, he had sidestepped regular cancer procedures and created his own “cure.” He had added six plus years to his life, contradicting the doctor’s prognosis of one year, and had showed that an optimistic attitude, careful researching, and fortitude were vital in the task of inhibiting a deadly disease.

Kathy immediately began researching different vitamin and herbal supplements, healthy diet plans, and exercises. By talking to a qualified nutritionist, she learned the workings of her immune system and the delicate balances of different chemicals and vitamins. Fortunately, her doctor agreed that an alternative treatment plan would help, and worked with her and the nutritionist. Kathy was very thankful for his cooperation, because many doctors, she knew, did not look favorably on deviations from traditional medical treatments. The nutritionist, Kathy, and her doctor all agreed on a diet plan. Kathy should avoid refined, white sugar as it depleted the immune system. She could substitute healthy sweeteners instead. She started eating many fresh fruits and vegetables and avoided fatty foods, because they also slow down body systems. Kathy began exercising by jogging each day until she was up to mile. She also began a daily routine of sit-ups and mini-trampolining, the latter helping to stimulate her body overall. The nutritionist suggested herbs and supplements such as the B vitamins, which heighten energy, and flaxseed oil, containing essential fatty acids, which stimulate the immune system and give overall body nutrition. Kathy also found an Internet site listing details of many different herbal combinations that fought cancer. One brand new supplement she obtained bore the name Omni Essential Oil Elixir (http://www.cancerfightingstrategies.com/immune). This new supplement has provided rapid healing in most cancer situations. She also bought an herb called Astragalus. “It promotes the production of stem cells in bone marrow and lymph tissue and encourages their development into active immune cells. It appears to help trigger immune cells from a “resting” state into heightened activity.” (http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/products/category/?categoryType =BodySystem&categoryID=6) Many changes were in store for Kathy as her cancer grew or diminished and her body fought the disease.

As her treatment plan unfolded, Kathy felt optimistic about the results. Through it all, she sensed God’s presence and assurance that He would continue to guide her. She might not live to be old, but maybe she could be an encouragement to others in the same situation.

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