Murphy, Elizabeth – Surviving Mesothelioma

Murphy, Elizabeth

I stand there, staring at myself in the mirror as my heart beats violently inside my chest. Today I am not worried about my eyeliner being even or my blush being bright. Today I am not worried about my hair curling perfectly or my shirt fitting just right. At this moment in time, I am seeing more than just a reflection of my olive skin and deep brown eyes.

My whole life rushes through my brain as I imagine the day my little sisters were born, the Christmas’s I’ve had, my parents, my job and all of my friends. What will I do next? People always say to live like you are dying, but when you are standing there face-to-face with Cancer, you realize it is a lot easier said than done. Where to begin? I want to see everyone; I want to do all the things I have dreamed of my whole life, for I don’t know how much longer I will have to do these things.

The first idea that comes to mind is: do I really only have a year left like the doctor tells me? Maybe I can go against the odds and fight it. I could be the Rocky of Cancer. My research begins.

After hearing the incredible story of James “Rhio” O’Conner I suddenly have hope. I will contact his family and I will do whatever it takes to overcome my hardship. Research is key. I will find the roots of my illness and attack it one thing at a time. Through contacting as many specialists and doctors as I can, I will learn all the information I need to help me. Scheduling and planning will take place until I am confident that I am confident that my life expectancy will be prolonged.

Meanwhile, I still want to fulfill my dreams of traveling. Someone with Cancer is probably not going to be as active as your average healthy person, but I will strive to live to the fullest every day; up at dawn and never a bedtime. I will hop in my car with whoever will drop their things and go with me and travel the country. Heading strait towards California, I will stop in any place that seems appealing, taking pictures and videos all along the way. I would not rest until I have seen sunrises over the mountains and sunsets over the sea.

After spending a few months traveling and fulfilling that dream, I will spend time with my family. No one in this world means more to me than my parents, my sisters, and my grandparents. I will do everything in my power do give them anything they could ever want from me.

As far as the specific decisions I would be forced to make with treatments, there is one person I would primarily trust when choosing a treatment plan: God. I am confident that if I was diagnosed with Cancer that my faith would guide me through the journey. After reading Rhio’s phenomenal story, the first thing I thought of was exactly that. I knew that this man must have had a great amount of faith. Of course you must do scientific research, which he obviously did very intelligently, but in order to survive you must believe. In addition to being so educated, his faith probably gave him those extra years.

James O’Conner has a unique story that is greatly inspiring and very eye opening. It confirms my already present theory: “You only live once”. This man went against all odds and used his own intelligence and drive to get as far as he did. Because so many people are taking life for granted every day, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to know of a miraculous story like this one. If ever I was placed in the same position as Rhio, I would do as he did by researching and meeting with numerous doctors and specialists. Not only would I dedicate a good amount of time to research, but also I would focus on living fully as well.

Thank you for your time and consideration with my essay. My blessing goes to James “Rhio” O’Conner’s family and friends.

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