Pittman, Dennis | Surviving Mesothelioma

Pittman, Dennis

With our short time here on earth, I ask the question what is our worth as an individual? I seem to repeatedly quarrel with this enigma, continually looking to explain why my one life of almost seven billion here on earth is worth even a thought to society as a whole. With these thoughts come a drive to find the reasons why my life is more importantly precious to myself. If I cannot find a reason why my life has a worth, I would have no desire to confront obstacles presented to me each and every day? Every human on this planet is faced with challenges, some more difficult than others relative to ones perspective, but challenges to over come all the same, so why overcome those challenges. I believe the worth one puts on their life is what determines that persons will to handle and prevail over those challenges. But what if that very challenge was a terminal illness which experts predicted would promptly end that very life which I considered to be so precious? Is my life worth enough to put in the effort to overcome challenges, and find ways to hold on to my existence just a little longer much like Rhio O’Connor in his fight with mesothelioma?

In my life like every other human being, I have had challenges which I decided to face head on as well as those which I have avoided. To some like Rhio many of the obstacles which I confronted may seem insignificant, but I believe challenges none the less. These challenges and my ability to overcome is what I believe added value to my life. In order to place a value on ones life I affirm that individuals must first define what life is and then establish what gives his/her life value. I define my life as a constant contest to overcome the issues presented me. From major problems/challenges to everyday predicaments, the beauty of life my lies in failures/tragedies and relief/successes alike. Without one the other would not be so beautiful or painful, and without such feeling in life I would see very little worth in my being. Basically I see this struggle and conquest to overcome as my pursuit of happiness. Therefore my pursuit of happiness is what gives my life value. Another attribute which I believe gives my life any worth is my outlook on my place in society. I see the human race as forever evolving, and I wish to make my life important by positively influencing the progression of human kind. I have a strong will to leave the world better than that which I arrived. I consider myself as a servant to society in which I must help to progress into the future, or influence those who will directly affect the positive progression of society. This strong conviction to enjoy the beauties of how I define life, and unyielding desire of servitude to societies progression is what gives my life worth.

Rhio O’Connor was a very dedicate and strong individual who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. This is a rare cancer which forms on the lining of internal organs and is extremely difficult of detect early and treat. This is a cancer primarily causes by the inhalation of asbestos, and due to the rarity and location of the cancer has very limited treatments, and a high mortality rate. The reason I describe mr. O’Connor as having the attributes of dedication and strength is because of the amount of emotional agony one would undergo with a prognosis as overwhelming as Mesothelioma. Due to the severity of the cancer, many would have a depressed outlook on the possibilities of living multiple happy years would seem inconceivable. Most people would rather accept the option of death and quit in an attempt to fight through times of agony only to succumb a short time later to an eventual death. Rhino did not see it this way. With a will of fire and great optimism, he put in the effort to do the research for multiple treatments and create his own therapeutic protocol. In the end he was able to outlive his prognosis by more than six years.

The reason I can appreciate the story of Rhio O’Connor is because it takes great strength to keep pushing as he did. This makes me wonder what if I was given a dire prognosis, would I have the courage to work hard and fight to extend an inevitably immediate death sentence? I believe this would be based on my self worth and my reasoning to continue living. Hypothetically speaking before I read about Rhio O’Conner I really had doubts I would be as fervent in my quest to extend my life. I believe my decision to treatment would have been based more towards a comfort of a short life and a blissful preparation for a near end. After hearing a definite prognosis of death I more than likely would have simply took care of all my financial responsibility, so my loved ones did not have to live with the burden, then spent as much time doing the things I never took the time to do. After learning about Mr. O’Conner I am positive I would have to hang onto life as long as possible, because my life is of importance to some and with a longer life would come more time to achieve my worth as described above. My first step after the prognosis would be make sure I take the necessary steps to handle all financial responsibilities so I do not leave my loved ones with a burden. Next I would focus on myself and plan my time left wisely . Research starts with the individual, so first thing would be to read up on experiences of other in similar situations. This will give me insight on the emotional and physical challenges ahead of me as well as mistakes that individual my have made which I feel they more than likely regretted. I believe the documented experiences of other terminally ill individuals will also direct me to my next step. That would be the time of researching ways to prolong the time I have alive, and more importantly keep me comfortable towards my imminent end. Because of my limited background in the human anatomy this would probably be the most strenuous task on the path leading to death. When I feel relatively educated on the issues relevant to me I would seek advisement of multiple doctors and medical researchers. This is where I would ask questions about my research and possible experimental which they can recommend. With their advisement and suggestions I would then go back at the beginning and once again research what I plan on actually pursuing. I would follow primarily the same route to treatment as Rhio in order to extend my time as long as possible and hopefully live a joyful life in which I never conceded to what I did not believe in.

I admire someone like Rhio who found a worth in his life to continue fighting. His story really been a motivator to cherish and never let any obstacles get in the way of achieving what you set out to do no matter how bleak the future may seem. In the end Rhio contributed a great deal to society and in the process became very valuable to the world through his input to doctors treating patients with mesothelioma and as an inspiration to everyone on perseverance over insurmountable circumstances. He fought for what he believed in and overcame the obstacle of cancer for much longer than most would have thought possible. Through hard work, persistence, and ability to know and act on his self worth he was able to do the impossible and outlive his prognosis. To learn more about Rhio’s story visit: www.survivingmesothelioma.com

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