You have Cancer. These are words no one wants to hear yet James O’Connor had to face the reality when he was diagnosed. As I read his story of how he kept a positive attitude and decided to fight it instead of lying down to die, I was reminded of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The average person is afraid of death for two reasons: having the belief that there is something more powerful that is greater then themselves to which they feel they have no control over. Fear paralyzes individuals and prevents them from moving forward. The second reason is leaving a legacy behind once they have moved on beyond this earth. Even though O’Connor’s Mesothelioma Cancer was incurable, he managed to leave a new regimen for future cancer patients that could potentially give them the chance to live longer then diagnosed. Experiencing cancer with friends and family, I have often asked myself: “What would I do if I was told I had Cancer?” Just as any other obstacle that comes my way I think: “Ok, so do I get rid of it? Or Control it?”
Although this is easier said then done, I have to remember that fear can not win my war in living a full and happy life and the possibility of helping someone else along the way. There is no book that tells us how to deal with these unexpected life situations so we all take our own steps as we see fit to move forward. As much as I would not want to burden my friends and family with this, especially if there’s a possibility of it not being fatal, I would still let them know because making sure they are they for me in a rough time is the only way I would be able to cope with cancer. After, I would feel ready to take this on and begin the actual journey of looking for answers.
Being that cancer is something that comes in many forms and there have been millions of patients that have either outlived it or found new ways to live with it, like in O’Connor’s situation, I would begin my research in the library. Being a child of the 21st century it is much easier to hop on the internet and get as much information as I can about my specific cancer but I still believe that people right books for a reason. The library holds centuries worth of doctors research where I know I could get answers. In conducting my research I would call local doctors as well as local groups who are active in cancer research. It is much easier to find information by joining people that have been doing this for longer then I have been alive. I can not forget the natural medicine doctors since I am also a strong believer in natural remedies more but if necessary they can be combined with newer modern medicine and make a greater impact.
With so much information at my fingertips, it is crucial that I consider all of the research that has been done in past generations along with all the different opinions so I can outlive the disease. Choosing a method or a route to take won’t be easy. That is why it is imperative to know of all my options. I have never needed surgery up to now so I don’t think very fondly of having a cancer surgically removed. I would rather leave it as my last resort. Seeing what Chemotherapy does to people I would also try to leave that as a last resort. As I mentioned before I am a believer in natural medicine such as healing with foods more then in newer modern medicine like chemotherapy or radiation. For this reason I would take the initiative to start fighting it by changing my daily diet and habits. After all, a clean, healthy mind and body is my motor to get my boat across a rough sea.
By: Arcelia Martinez