Place, Samantha

Imagine sitting in a hospital room waiting for the doctor to deliver the dreadful news. Hearing the finality of your life being marked down to a number of days, months, or if you’re lucky enough, years is enough to send anyone over the edge. Although some people, like James “Rhio” O’Connor, take the outrageous news and make the most of it whether it’s finding an alternate cure, no surgeries, or chemotherapy. Finding a way and not finding a cure is the best way, but sometimes not the easiest.

Brain, lung, prostate, and colon cancers are all deadly and are unfortunate curses to be diagnosed with. Treatment options consist of chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation are all effective means of treating these cancers. O’Connor figured that he wasn’t going to simply let the cancer rule his life until it was over; he fought determinedly for his answers and his life. Spending hours upon hours doing research in libraries, talking to numerous physicians and clinicians, as well as learning what certain therapies offered kept his stalwartness alive. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office, biting my nails and impatiently waiting for him to come in and tell me I was fine. He told me I had pre cancerous cells (more commonly known as dysplasia) and as long as I came in routinely I would be fine. I immediately started thinking about the steps I would have taken if he had told me I had cervical cancer. I would have needed to make a will, consult my preacher, talk to my husband, and figure out a way to stay calm.

I wouldn’t have wanted to undergo surgeries because the doctor could ruin my chances of fertility forever. I wouldn’t have wanted to go through chemotherapy because it’s stressful on the mind and body and results in hair loss. I’m sick enough as it is and radiation would have made things worse for me. Like any other issues I turn to books, professors, doctors of all kinds, and God. Knowing the risks and miracles of the treatments of medicine I would have wanted something more spiritual. Prayers are always heard and sometimes answered. I know in my heart that if I prayed long enough and hard enough God would have sent a miracle to me and cured me of my cancer if I was diagnosed.

Looking beyond the original and every day treatments that are used to save countless lives, I would have consulted a preacher to help me through my dark time. I’ve had more medicine and treatments for things than I can remember and I wouldn’t have wanted more of that helping me yet crippling me. I know God has a plan for me and if I asked him to help me he would if he felt that I needed saving just a little while longer. Christianity isn’t simply a religion; it’s a way of life. By embracing that I have been able to rely partly on medicine but more thoroughly on God. Since no book or internet site can fully explain how or why God does things (except the Bible) I would have looked deep inside myself to know what his plan was for me.

Knowing what O’Connor’s story is and how he managed to fight and live his life for six more years is more than a marvel, it’s a miracle. Feeling that there’s no hope and no force on Earth or Heaven to save someone is ludicrous. There is always hope and there is always something to fight for. It’s simply a matter of figuring out when, where, and what it is.

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