As I waited for the doctor to return to tell me my diagnosis, I began to reminisce on the multiple test procedures I had to endure. I was experiencing symptoms of coughing up blood, having difficulty swallowing and unexplained weigh loss. I started to pray, hoping it was not life threatening. As the doctor entered the room, I started to sweat. He sat down onto the chair, opened a folder, and began to speak. The only word I remembered was mesothelioma cancer. I then begin to go through denial. I asked the doctor, “Are you sure you have the right file with my name on it?” I told myself this was a dream and I had not awakened from it yet. I then went through anger, asking God, “Why me?” I began to become destructive, not caring about life or the next few months ahead of me.
After two months I began to bargain with God, stating things like, ‘if you take this illness away I will give up junk food, go to church every Sunday and tithe like I’m suppose to’. Now it was time for me to go to my doctor’s appointment. I would learn my options of what treatments to consider. I was very depressed and I felt like giving up. The doctor discussed with me three treatments that I could partake upon. He gave me the options of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. He told me I would have time to think about what form of therapy I wished to have. I set up my next appointment which I had to be at within a week to discuss my decision.
I started to pray and I began to feel some sense of hope. I read the Bible and I came across two scriptures that really ‘touched” me that was, in the book of, Joshua stated, “I would never leave nor forsake you,” and in the book of Philippians, it states “I can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me.” I accepted that I had a challenge like no other that I had to face, but I did not accept that I would let cancer defeat me. This would not be my death sentence. I was encouraged to find out about mesothelioma cancer for myself. I would define mesothelinoma cancer, research this cancer through facts from patients, and examine the three treatments options.
According to the National Cancer Institution mesothelinoma is a rare form of cancer, in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. Most people who worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos. It is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order. It is mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body.
I then researched patients who had the same cancer that I did. I came across a gentleman named Rhio O’Connor ( www.survivingmesothelioma.com). He inspired me because he was diagnosed with the same cancer as I. He was given one year to live and didn’t give up. He found his own path to health and outlived his prognosis by more than six years. He survived by intensively researching his cancer. He learned various therapies offered, long term and short term. He created therapeutic protocol. He believed in something greater than himself and had the ability to make tough decisions. He helped beat his own prognosis and lived with a cancer considered incurable for many years. According to cancer monthly with all the information I found about him, I saw hope and determination to not let cancer defeat me. I followed his steps in research to make my decision of treatments to receive.
I decided not to go through with chemotherapy and radiation. So I chose surgery, spiritual support, eating right and exercise. I chose surgery because I only wanted to go through it once and if it did not work I would not live on this earth being miserable with side affects of chemotherapy and radiation. I decided not to wait around until death knocked on my door. If the doctor said no cure, no hope and no positive solution I would find all three myself. In making my informed decision I looked to God, family and an awesome researcher named Rhio O’Connor. With God on my side and with positive people surrounding me and reading stories like O’Connor’s uplifted me to push on and to never give up until the battle won is.