Life Beyond The Prognosis

Life Beyond the Prognosis

Mr. James “Rhio” O’Connor made a choice that inspires me to look past the doctor’s prognosis. “They said months. I chose years!” is the perfect title for Mr. O’Connor’s book. The title alone sets the tone of what is to be heard from such an inspirational survivor. What he was able to accomplish allows his spirit to live on in the lives of many. Because of Mr. O’Connor, I am sure that hundreds of people were inspired to extend their lives and not settle for the initial prognosis of the health care providers. Mr. O’Connor chose life over limitations, which makes him a hero among many. When a family is hit with the news such as you have a life threatening illness, I could imagine that it is devastating. I could imagine that you would have to work through the emotions, potential loss, the thought of having to deal with pain, and suffering in the coming days. Mr. O’Connor has certainly laid a foundation of rigorous research that I would definitely follow. Not only did his research extend his physical life, it also provided stimulation for his mind. I am sure that the research kept him going and kept him motivated. Cancer strikes anyone at any time without warning. The type of cancer is what would determine how aggressive I would pursue health outside of what the medical world and the course action I would take.

My dad is a healthy strong fireman of twenty three years. At the age of forty seven, he was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. The atmosphere changed almost immediately in my house. My mother purchased a machine to process food, and books to guide the family on what we should be eating to improve our nutritional intake. We were told that if you were going to have cancer, thyroid cancer is the one to have. My family of four, Mom, dad, and my brother; took the position that no cancer was good cancer and it was a threat to the composition of our family. We were prepared to fight the cancer all the way. Today, we are told that my dad is cancer free, however we continue to practice good eating habits and additional vitamins and nutritional awareness. My father has to take thyroid replacement medicine for the rest of his life and he also has to go in to the oncologist office for a visit every four months to do blood work. My dad will do those things as prescribed, however he feels like Mr. O’Connor, we cannot depend solely on the medicine prescribed, we must take control and some responsibility for our health and our lives.

When I read about Mr. James “Rhio” O’Connor, I thought of the additional changes that would take place in my house. I would go to the ends of the earth to have one more day with my family. I believe that doctors deliver health care according to the coverage in your health care plan. We must take control to extend our lives and we can certainly us Mr. O’Connor as the model patient. When I researched mesothelioma at , Certainly the seriousness of mesotelioma cancer when compared to thyroid cancer is far greater. This cancer can attack all of your vital organs. Mr. O’Connor had to make a tough decision, should I take chemo and decreases my quality of life, or should I fight and live a good life for as long as I can. However, we must recognize any cancer untreated is a serious cancer.

I would follow in the footsteps of Mr. O’Connor; my research would begin immediately and would extend far past what the doctors would offer. My family would gather the data on the survival rate of patients using chemo or radiation in given conditions. We would then move on to address our nutritional intake. We would need to analyze the foods we eat and eliminate any that will increase the growth of the cancer cells or have a negative impact on our immune system. I would seek out any clinical studies and try and get involved in them it they would benefit research or my situation. Make contact with the colleges and find out if they have conducted any studies with any results that would offer any positive results. I would go as far as planting my own garden and growing my own vegetables as my grandparents have practiced for years.

During my research I have learned that malnutrition can kill cancer patients and sugar feeds on cancer, therefore if a patient doesn’t pursue the knowledge of these basic elements, they may have serious problems. Those problems can mean the difference between life, health, and the quality of life. During my dads’ treatment, neither his surgeon nor his oncologist advised him on the importance of his nutrition. I applaud Mr. O’Connor for getting this information out to the world and having an impact on saving, enhancing, and prolonging lives. Long live the spirit of Mr. James “Rhio” O’Connor.

By: Morrow, Ashley

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