McKnight, Chelsea – Surviving Mesothelioma

McKnight, Chelsea

This scholarship caught my eye immediately because my father was diagnosed with cancer not long ago. My father is the most optimistic and motivated person I know. Learning that he had cancer shocked my entire family as he is the rock that keeps us all together. For him to get an illness that is life threatening was hard for all of us to swallow. Luckily, his cancer was caught at an early stage and has a strong, positive prognosis.

James Rhio O’Connor was less fortunate and suffered from Mesothelioma, a rare cancer that progressively grows to form a tumor surrounding the lung, abdominal organs, or heart and is often difficult to treat.

I can respond to the questions required in this essay from a personal standpoint because my family and I went into aggressive education and optional analysis as soon as we knew of my father’s illness. We explored traditional therapies (including Brachy IMRT and not yet approved for insurance for prostate- cyber knife), and we did some reading on chemotherapy and hormone treatments.

While my dad ended up with a combination of hormone and seed therapy as traditional medical treatment, learning about potential side effects and the possibility of relapse pushed us to explore other homeopathic remedies and remedies from other countries. My Dad, sister and I searched online for additional treatments he could use to fight the cancer. My father also attended all of his appointments, participated in a support group and read books and articles from medical journals. We found that there is even literature about using “food grade hydrogen peroxide” in your drinking water help destroy bacteria. We also communicated with our network of friends and family who introduced us to new possibilities such as dietary adjustments and herbal supplements including exotic fruit drinks.

If I were diagnosed with a very fatal form of cancer I would use the same approach I explained in the above paragraphs and do it with family. Most importantly, I would ignore completely what my physician says about my death sentence or what people have said about the fatality of my situation. Instead, I would direct all of my energy towards discovering additional remedies alongside any other treatment I chose to use. I would, furthermore, take the news of my illness as a wake up call that is telling me to genuinely enjoy all that life has to offer and live in the moment. In order to enjoy life, I would keep a realm of positive energy around me at all times.

In the article shared about James “Rhio” O’connor, it states that his “optimistic spirit…helped him beat his prognosis…” I sense that his optimism helped a lot more than people give credit. His optimism is what initially led him to search for alternative treatments. There are also countless studies that prove that happiness is a healer. By surrounding myself with happy people and loved ones, I would naturally feel their energy and, in turn, be in high spirits. Ultimately, the happiness I would gain could tack a few extra years on to my life, if not, I can at least say my last years were fulfilling. I would also spend any extra time aside from researching doing things that excite me and doing things that take my mind off of anything depressing. For example, reading about miracles and other people’s stories, such as James O’Connor’s, would inspire me to remain optimistic.

If I was diagnosed with cancer and was given only a year to live, I would want to spend everyday happily and I would want to make one last difference in the world. Searching for cures and opening doors for alternative treatments with the people I love accomplishes both of those goals. I could potentially save lives for future cases and provide hope to the millions of people suffering from cancer. This will reveal my purpose in life which will give me even more reason to be happy.

James O’Connor has been an inspiration to me in many ways. He has inspired me to motivate myself and to never give up on goals that have been said to be impossible to accomplish. He has motivated me not to victimize myself and instead focus on how to fix the problem at hand. He has inspired me to look at the bright side of all situations and remain optimistic when things go wrong. He has encouraged me to do not only for me, but for others as well. I am sure his story has inspired millions of people across the world and produced hope for several and this is something that everyone should aspire to d

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