James O’Connor’s story is a true inspiration to anyone that hears it. All the accomplishments and all the heartbreaks could break a person but Mr. O’Connor didn’t let anything stop him from trying to beat his cancer.
Though Mr. O’Connor has suffered a great deal; when it came to facing his cancer, he did it head on. Mr. O’Connor didn’t let the “no cure”; stop him from fighting and trying to beat it. To try and imagine the reality Mr. O’Connor had to face when doctors told him that there was no chance and he was going to die soon from Pleural Mesothelioma is almost impossible. However, to me it is proof that hard work and determination can beat any odds. Though Mr. O’Connor may have lost his battle with Mesothelioma, his determination and unwavering will power still gives many people hope to fight through. Many people have said that if someone puts their mind to it anyone can accomplish anything but that statement did not hold much meaning to me. Its stories similar to Mr. O’Connor that show what true determination can accomplish in the face of advisory. My life has not been as hard as Mr. O’Connor’s; however, he still has given me hope for me to achieve my dreams. His hope and will did not waver when many others have.
Mesothelioma according to many medical professionals is a non curable cancer due in part to the location of the cancer. Mesothelioma can form three different types of cancer: Pleural Mesothelioma, Peritoneal Mesothelioma, and Pericardial Mesothelioma. All three types affect the tissue known as Mesothelioma. This is the tissue/membrane that surrounds different internal organs in a person’s body. Mesothelioma is a deadly disease because the cancer is so close to some of the important internal organs of the body. Pleural affects the lining surrounding the lungs, Peritoneal affects the lining of the abdominal, and Pericardial affects the lining around the heart. Mesothelioma is known to be caused by asbestos, which are mineral particles that when inhaled are very dangerous.
To have to deal with a situation similar to Mr. O’Connor’s would be a life changing experience. I would have to overcome so much to keep going through the day but I believe that with the support of my family and friends, I could try and defeat this deadly disease. The first thought that would go thru my mind would be “Alright, what is this cancer specifically and how am I going to beat it?” My research would not just be simply asking my doctor or going on the internet, I would be talking to all different types of doctors and going to the library. However, I would also be talking to others who are currently affected by the cancer and survivors of the cancer.
Those afflicted with the same disease or those who have beaten the disease actually have more answers than doctors. They know what is like to experience surgery and how to deal with the radiation effects of chemotherapy. They understand the emotional struggles that I would experience. Doctors and families can try to understand the physical struggles and the mental struggles a cancer victim experiences but they can never truly comprehend what a person may go thru. After talking to many survivors, victims, and doctors, I would speak with my family and friends and get their advice. Once I considered all the advice, I’d look at myself and determine the best treatment option. My own thoughts and feelings of the types of treatments I could receive are the true deciders. All the advice doctors, survivors, and my family will give me are just advice. I value all their opinions but only I can decide what is best for me.
The second question to boggle my mind would be: “How can I go about getting the different treatments?” I would talk with the survivors, victims, and doctors again to determine where the best location would be to receive my desired treatment. My searches would not be limited to just chemotherapy and surgery and just a few hospitals. I would be searching everywhere for the best treatment for myself. If none of the options I had been looking for could work, I’d start searching harder than ever to find a place where I could get my desired treatment. However, if no place existed, my faith will keep me going. If I had to, I would travel to many different areas and get a separate piece of my treatment. This disease will not defeat me, I cannot let it without a fight.
A final problem I might encounter would be a financial one. I know from watching other people in my life go through cancer, it is not an easy financial burden. Hopefully my insurance would cover some of the costs but if not I would come up with some other solutions. I definitely would start doing some fundraisers like brat sales and selling other items. Though majority of the funding would go to helping my own battle with cancer, not all the money would be just for me. I would donate some of the money I raised to the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. My family and friends and members of my community might be able to help raise funds but the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation are really try to breakthrough and find cures for many of today’s cancers. The more funding these two organizations have the closer the world becomes to having a cure. It might seem that this would be an easy thing for me to accomplish but in reality I believe I would have a extremely difficult time asking others for money. I might be affected with this deadly cancer but there are many others out there so much worse than I am. It would not be fair for me to ask for money to fight my disease without giving some of that money to places that will help others get the help they deserve.
I want to fight for others afflicted with the same disease. Cancer is life alternating and people who are suffering from all different forms need strong people like James O’Connor to look to for hope. Mr. O’Connor has given many people affected with Mesothelioma and other cancers hope and a positive outlook on life. However, his inspiring spirit is not limited to just those affected with cancer. Mr. O’Connor is a great inspiration and is the definition of never giving up and fighting hard to complete a goal. Even though I’m not currently afflicted with an ailment, Mr. O’Connor’s story still gives me faith, encouragement and the strength I need to overcome all the obstacles I currently am facing and the ones in the future.
By: Mankovecky, Sarah