Mincey, Tiffany

Combating and Preventing Mesothelioma (inspired by the James “Rhio” O’Connor story)

Cancer is an illness that no one would want to live with, but unfortunately many people are diagnosed with various types of cancer. One type of cancer is mesothelioma, which is mostly developed by contact with asbestos and can form in the lining of the abdomen, chest, heart, or lungs. After reading a story of a man named James “Rhio” O’Connor, it is impossible to not be inspired by his motivation and determination to prolong his life. Mr. O’Connor cherished his life and went above and beyond to investigate ways to survive after being informed that he had one year to live. He used various resources available to him such as, clinicians, researchers, libraries, and patients, to help gain more knowledge about mesothelioma and ways to fight the disease. Because of all his research, he was able to generate a remedial practice for himself with selected clinicians and lived for more than six years. Just like Mr. O’Connor, I also value my life and would do anything to extend my life expectancy.

If I were to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, I would spend as much time as I can with family members and loved ones. I value my family and friends because they play huge role in my life. Knowing that I could pass away at any given moment would make me very emotional and probably would overwhelm me at times, but with the support and love from family and friends, it would remind how much I value my life because of the people who are in it.

Like Mr. O’Connor, I would also investigate how to survive this illness. We are in a time where there are advancements in technologies and medicines, researching ways to combat the disease would be amongst many of my first tasks to complete. Contacting doctors who specialize in mesothelioma along with researching online, would be my first place to start for gathering information about mesothelioma. I would look up local professors that have a great deal of knowledge about mesothelioma, to gather more information about the disease. Believing that I could further my knowledge of this illness, going to a local library and to find books that provide information on how to fight the disease would also be helpful. In addition, contacting other patients who are currently suffering from the same illness and asking what therapeutic routes they have taken so far can also be beneficial, in that I may decide on taking the same route as those patients or a similar method.

I would want take the traditional route of going through chemotherapy even if it had little to offer. I am aware that certain chemotherapy drugs may bring about side effects. However, as long as the side of effects do not harm me with more than what I already encounter, I am willing to follow through with chemotheraphy. Having first done my research on chemotherapy, I want to consult a doctor immediately after asking questions about a drug named Pemetrexed, which is a commonly used drug for mesothelioma, as one source of chemotherapy.

One route I will not take to prolong my life is having surgery, the reason being is because this disease spreads around the lining of my abdomen, chest, and heart. The chest and heart are areas that I would consider an extreme risk when surgery has to be done to those areas. Because I am unwilling to have surgery done around those crucial areas, I would consider volunteering for an experimental treatment conducted by a mesothelioma specialist. Right now, studies are being done on the effects of gene therapy which is aimed to combat mesothelioma. Gene therapy is a treatment used to kill cancer cells without harming healthy ones. I would be willing to pursue this opportunity after measuring its pros and cons. In order to make an informed decision when choosing a treatment opportunity like this as well as others, I would want to consult a doctor prior to following through with it. It is important for me to get a professional opinion from someone who knows a lot about this disease. Pursuing any of these different possibilities, would also make me think of ways to help prevent others becoming diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Seeing that asbestos is the common cause this type of cancer, ensuring that people are not exposed to it is a great concern. I want create a campaign called Eliminating Asbestos, Eliminating Mesothelioma. This is a campaign that I want to be known domestically and abroad, because people all over the world suffer from mesothelioma. The campaign would provide an awareness of mesothelioma providing information on what the disease is and how it can be obtained. I want to also discuss how to prevent developing this sickness. In order for me to campaign I will need assistance from my friends to create a website and have advertisements on television. Yet considering that many countries do not have the luxuries that the United States of America does as far as technological advancements, this campaign will be international. Touring to different countries once a year with my friends would help spread the message across and hopefully travel through word of mouth. I will need funding to implement a campaign like this, in which I would contact various cancer agencies asking for donations.

People are diagnosed with cancer every day. If I were to be diagnosed with mesothelioma I would want to prolong my life and reach out to people informing them of this cancer. Even though I have a clean bill of health, I am concerned about the well being of others who can be diagnosed with a cancer like this. Creating a campaign could have a effect on all communities across the world. Providing information about how people can lessen their chances of developing mesothelioma may help prevent many cases. James “Rhio” O’Connor lived a heroic life. I know he would be proud to know of a campaign that promotes mesothelioma awareness, sharing his story with the world, and inspiring others will no doubt reduce the number of people being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

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