Morgan, Hannah – Surviving Mesothelioma

Morgan, Hannah

Living through the Fight

Rhio O’ Connor has shown through his struggle with cancer that just because one has a deadly disease in him does not mean that he has to stop living. Reading about how he had one of the most quick killing cancers known to man and still persevering on to find a cure is very encouraging. Rhio was fortunate enough to have many resources to research mesothelioma. All of my immediate grandparents and great-grandparents died from cancer. I was never able to meet any of them because of that disease that calls a beautiful life short. When they had cancer technology and knowledge of cancer was not that prominent and so they could not do what O’Connor did. This is why his story is so encouraging, especially to those who have cancer now. When a patient gets that kind of news, he or she must not stop living and become sad or depressed, but start living and finding a cure.

Mesothelioma is type of cancer that is rare and is mainly found in the cells that are the lining in the body’s internal organs. There are three types of mesothelioma: Plural, Peritoneal, and Pericardial. Plural is the most common and is generally found in the lungs. Peritoneal can be found in the abdomen and Pericardial is found in the heart. Exposures to asbestos or being a smoker are the main causes of mesothelioma. Therefore, by not smoking can also increase a person’s chance of avoiding both mesothelioma and lung cancer.

If I was given a dire cancer prognosis, I would first let my family know and have people begin to pray for me. Then I would definitely begin to research my cancer. I would want to know all that I can about it. For example, where did it originate and what period of time was it first discovered? Or, is the cancer that I have been diagnosed with a new one that doctors have never even seen before? My maternal grandmother had a cancer that was newly discovered when she had it and only about five other people in the country had the rare cancer. Then I would look into what has been the survival rate of past cancer patients and look into what they did and which treatments they went through. I would research through medical databases and medical school libraries. I would consult with some of the nation’s or world’s most knowledgeable oncologists and hear their opinions and thoughts about my cancer.

By talking to the oncologists I would find out what treatments they suggest and how those treatments have worked and benefited the patients in the past. Once I would receive all of the statistics about the treatments and other curing options, of that I would begin to consult with my own oncologist about where to go next in possibly defeating my cancer. I know that the typical treatments are radiation, chemotherapy, or even surgery. But, if they doctors knew of other ways to treat my cancer I would look into them as well. Also, if the research that I did on my own through the data bases and medical libraries had information about treatments that were not known I would inform my doctors about them and see which of the newly discovered treatments were possible. If the new treatments would have a positive effect on my cancer I would try them. The reason is because I know that the average cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation may help the cancer, but sometimes the patient is damaged physically. Not anything drastic by no means, but they are often very tired and weak after a treatment. I still want to be able to enjoy life while fighting cancer. If I am weak after every treatment then I will not be able to live. I am sure the new treatments would have some effect of me physically, but not too much on my stamina that would lead me to want to just go to bed right after and stay in bed for days.

Decision making is a big deal. When making a decision dealing with what to do about cancer, treating it and other things that come with that sort of baggage is an even bigger decision to make. I would certainly consult with the One who knows best, which is God. He has the plan and He knows what would benefit my health relating to His plan and not my own. Then based on what God gives me, I would talk to the doctors and oncologists about what they think would be possible. They are the cancer experts so they would have the best advice on which road to go down. And with the new discoveries of treatment, it may be in my best interest to go down the “road less traveled” because I could end up making history by defeating the cancer. If I was able to do that, it would be great. It would be wonderful because I would have been a part of discovering new ways to treat cancer and help boost the cancer treatment research. And I would be doing so, while defeating cancer myself. In conclusion, I do not wish to have cancer or anyone else in that matter. But, what I do wish is that if a person were to be diagnosed with a deadly cancer that they would persevere just like Rhio O’Connor did. He has encouraged me, and I am sure many other students across the nation; not only students but other cancer patients as well. His legacy will live on forever as a cancer patient who defeated the odds and was able to make a difference.

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