Nava, Sandra – Surviving Mesothelioma

Nava, Sandra

James “Rhio” O ‘Connor, a perfect example of miracles and perseverance. Although Mr. O’Connor passed away due the cancer that had followed him for years, his determination to live longer and his constant battle against this horrifying sickness allowed him to outlive what many predicted as the final days of his life. James “Rhio” O’Connor was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that is primarily found in the lining of the chest in which the malignant cells reproduce and lead the patient to different health problems. Mesothelioma is acquired when an individual is promptly exposed to asbestos and he/she breathe the dust released. Exposure to the asbestos can cause the patient to become ill a couple of months or even years after exposure. As for James “Rhio” O’Connor, the doctors did not sound very promising of his future after being diagnosed with Mesothelioma; his oncologist recommended him to take a vacation and to be prepared for the worst. However, O’Connor refused to the idea of dying and did as much as he could to endure life and experienced what it turned out to be 7 ½ years more than what physicians have predicted. Having this in mind, it is important to recognize Mr. O’Connor’s passion for life and his endurance that allowed him to prove to the world that when someone loves life can indeed be willing to try every single opportunity in order to save it. The key to successfully accomplish your goals is never giving up in what you believe and what you think is the best. I had never in my 23 years of life experienced the death in such as close range as Mr. O’Connor did but I can be certain that if I ever have to face a challenge as difficult as he did where my life is being jeopardized by how much I intervene, I would definitely do whatever is in my power to succeed and live longer. What would I do if one day I am given less than a year to live due to a cancer prognosis? As a human being, I never thought about dying or how vulnerable my life is to the different situations faced throughout this journey called life and therefore the opportunities given to me are oftentimes taken for granted. It is absurd for me to think that my life would never have to face a scenario such as in Mr. Connor’s case when in this world and in the United States itself a high percentage of the population is losing and arduous battle against some type of cancer. Whether it is a common type of cancer such as breast, prostate, bladder, lung or leukemia; or one of the rarest kinds such as Mesothelioma (James “Rhio” O’Connor’s diagnosis), the chances of survival increase if one takes initiative and decide to do something to keep having the gift of life. If I was given a prognosis of cancer and I had a year to live, I would implement many changes in my life in order to prolong the time and make my life worth living. There are individuals that encounter the prognosis of cancer and aside from the emotional distress, they think they can only depend on others in order to continue living and will not take the initiative to research and know about the type of problems and illnesses that they are experiencing and simply give up and accept the fact that they soon will die. In my case, I would do intensive research and will speak with as many physicians available that are more knowledgeable about the type of options available in certain scenario. Medical libraries are a great resource in order to find out what to expect and how to be prepared for the arduous journey ahead. The internet is another great resource that allows the world to communicate and to maintain informed about the different technological advances available when fighting cancer. I would change my eating habits and become healthier by exercising and not stressing in order to accomplish my objective. By implementing those changes in my life, the chances of a prolonging survival could be increased. I would also look into radiation therapy and holistic therapy. Although radiation therapy can be very aggressive at times, there is a high probability of a successful outcome and a higher probability of survival. In addition, many individuals believe that the soul is what gives life to the body and mind, and individuals that believe in the different holistic practices can make the difference in someone’s emotional distress by making them feel calm and in peace while dealing with the struggles of the illness. If a type of treatment meets my expectative and look out to be promising I would definitely rely on my family to support my decision and to embrace my situation with the best attitude possible. If for any reason the treatment chosen does not work as desired, I would go back and try more treatments even if those treatments are still medical studies or research studies. There is always a higher possibility to become well if you try something than if you just give up and wait for the end. James “Rhio” O’Connor is a perfect example of positive attitude and consistency. Mr. O’Connor never gave up and always fought for what he wanted and he accomplished having a longer life and helps others by inspiring them to continue fighting for their convictions and their life.

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