Odenbach, Anna – Surviving Mesothelioma

Odenbach, Anna

Healing Your Mind and Body

These days with how far the medical world has come and with new forms of medicine and treatments being introduced daily no diagnosis has to be a death sentence. People have better chances of conquering illness now more so then ever before, however it’s not simply a matter of showing up to your doctors appointments. The people who choose to take their treatment into their own hands are often the ones who see the best results.

There are many encouraging stories of people who received dire prognosis’ for the diseases they had and yet were able to overcome these situations with positive thinking and informed decisions. One of these stories is that of James “Rhio” O’Connor who was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, and given one year to live. (To learn more about this disease you can look at https://survivingmesothelioma.com/) Instead of, after receiving that news, deciding to sit and wait to die, Rhio decided he would do whatever it took to survive. Rhio was able to seek out alternatives forms of healing, he didn’t just go along with what the doctors suggested. He took his life into his own hands and because of this decision Rhio was able to far exceed any expectations that doctors had for his life span.

Like Rhio, Kris Carr chose to take her treatment into her own hands. On February 14th, 2003 Kris was diagnosed with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE), which is a very rare vascular cancer. Kris, who was up until that point a healthy, normal 31 year old, was shocked. Not only was her cancer extremely rare, it was also inoperable and incurable. Kris decided to not only take her treatment into her own hands, she also decided to document it every step of the way. It was her honest and real documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer, that captured all the good and the terrible moments of her on going battle to survive, that was a huge inspiration to me personally. Kris Carr was quoted as saying “Why, when we are challenged to survive, do we give ourselves permission to truly live?” A statement that can most likely be reaffirmed by anyone who has, or is, trying to not simply survive, but truly live through a time of turmoil.

I personally found this quote to be very true while experiencing that turmoil up close and personal. I myself have never been diagnosed with a fatal disease, however March 17th, 2008 my mother, Marcia Odenbach, was diagnosed with brain cancer. My mother’s diagnoses came very late in her illness and therefore immediate action was the only option. Upon diagnoses they estimated 5 years for her to live. It is quickly approaching the 2 year mark of mother’s disease and no one can truly be sure what the future will hold. Due to the urgency of my mother’s treatment she was not able to truly explore all of her options. One thing she made sure of , however, was that no matter what treatment she received it would be given by only the best in that field.

I honestly believe that because of the urgency of my mothers situation she was not able to investigate which options would be the best ones to pursue. Due to seeing my mother’s health slowly decline right in front of my eyes, I have, for a lack of better words, been scared out of ignorance. My mother did not know what to do about her disease because she was not really aware of what it truly was, and because she needed to take action she had no time to become informed. Knowing what I know now and having seen the things I’ve seen through my mothers illness, and also the illness of Rhio and Kris, I know how vitally import being educated about your disease and all possible options for treatment are.

If I was ever faced with the tragedy of such a diagnoses, I think my first step would be to talk to my physician and find out what he would recommend I pursue as treatment. I would then go to great lengths to learn about every aspect of those treatments. What would be the benefits and would be the drawbacks and whether or not the good out weighs the bad.

After educating myself on the traditional approaches to my illness my next step would be to look into other, more alternatives forms of treatment. By educating myself on alternatives forms of healing I would be able to not only keep my body healthy but also to keep my mind healthy. I think it’s very important during such times to stay positive and focus on the ultimate goal of what you’re going through. I would look into things such as therapy and meditation to ensure that my mind be clear and in a good state mentally so that through out it all I could make the best decisions. Also being positive and optimistic is its very own form of treatment.

Ultimately if I received a “fatal” diagnoses and I would do my very best to educate myself on what good plans of attack would be, all the while working on acceptance. Because even with all the options in the world we can’t control, nor predict would will ultimately be the outcome of such a situation and therefore would need to be prepared to be content with whatever outcome may result.

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