The Inextinguishable Flame Of The Will To Live

Amongst the international conflicts that spring from the headlines on a daily basis, few take into account the internal horrors that can churn about in any individual. More often than not, we the people are able to more easily cope with human conflict; however, the devastation that can be brought within the confines of our own bodies renders many to a state of sheer helplessness. Yet, despite this, there are those that retain that vigor for life and venture off on a self-paved path in order to salvage their livelihood. One such man who had taken up this crusade was none other than Rhio O’Connor.

Many people quench their thirst for both current events as well as entertainment with the help of their own personal television set. While watching one’s favorite programming, the term Mesothelioma has more than likely graced the air waves during commercial breaks. Often associated with contact to asbestos, a fiber-like mineral that had once been used abundantly in a variety of building materials, Mesothelioma is but one of many afflictions that could be contracted through overexposure to this naturally occurring contraband. This particular strain of cancer manifests itself in the mesothelium, the membrane that both encloses and lubricates our various internal organs. Of its two layers, Mesothelioma is more likely to originate in the peritoneum, which covers the majority of our organs, as opposed to the pleura, which is concentrated along the sides of the chest and about the lungs.

Though the rate of technological advancement within the United States has swelled considerably over the years, there are those afflictions, like Mesothelioma, that remained virtually indestructible; however, Rhio O’Connor had managed to trump this illness by treading down a variety of unpaved paths: a route many hesitate to traverse when illness has nestled atop their doorstep. It is due to this that many others may become inspired and follow in his footsteps. I myself feel a sort of kinship towards Rhio O’Connor.

Cancer is an illness that is notorious for taking hold of one’s body silently, showing little to no sign of its residence before a doctor happens across the affliction or when the cancer has throttled into full gear. It is due to this, that though cancer is a grave illness, most strains allow for a sort of ‘fighting chance,’ unlike afflictions like Ebola. Given an opportunity to regain control over the workings of my own body, I would do everything in my power in an attempt to thwart an illness like Mesothelioma. As previously stated, advancements are always being made; however, even the most technologically advancement treatment, just like a state of the art computer, can have its faults. Hence, any and all outlets should be examined in full: something I would do without hesitation.

Though I have touched upon the fact that mainstream treatments may not be the most effective, I by no means would shun the wisdom of medical professionals. Despite any prognosis they may have given me, I would continue to seek console and bombard them with questions:

What are my options? When a patient has been diagnosed with a fatal ailment, it is a doctor’s duty to give them some sort of outlook into the future: just how long have they to live; however, it is also their obligation, whether it be their Hippocratic oath or for the sake of morality, to in part some sort of comfort. Rather than sympathy, I would press for any additional information. Chemo is a common treatment, along with radiation, but what other options are available? Perhaps some sort of bone marrow transplant or a newly formulated medicinal treatment. Though experimental, it could be a matter of a mere year left amongst my loved ones or the opportunity to live on to view the next Halley’s Comet in 2061.

Have there been any exceptions? Spark up a conversation with anyone and you are sure to find at least one thing in common: some sort of motivational figure that had overcome a debilitating disease. Breast cancer survivors, Parkinson’s disease ambassadors and many others have all somehow triumphed over their afflictions and proved all of their physicians wrong. Whether it be the result of being a favorite of Lady Luck’s or something medically inexplicable, there are always exceptions. Perhaps by delving into the history of a Mesothelioma survivor’s past, some sort of secret to combating the symptoms, and ultimately the disease itself, could be unearthed.

Is there something you recommend that you can’t necessarily provide, like holistic treatment? With the birth of science, and in turn the development of pharmaceuticals, old age remedies have been shunned to dusty cupboards; however, sometimes the simplest of remedies can prove be a gift of the gods, an ambrosia of sorts. Whether it be a blend of medicinal herbs or some sort of physical therapy like hot water springs or high-elevation rehabilitation, people have experimented with unusual remedies in hopes of finding a cure. Physicians around the world have surely been exposed to at least one strange case in all their years in the field. Despite their objectivity, even they can be taken aback when something as simple as jasmine infused tea alleviated a once chronic patient’s symptoms.

Most of the world will only find themselves in the throws of battle with a simple cold or flu virus in their lifetime; however, there are those few who receive an impending death warrant thanks to an unfortunate turn of events. Yet even with their own mortality trickling away before their eyes, brave men and women, like Rhio O’ Connor, take it upon themselves to conquer these debilitating feats. Much like the courageous few that manage to summit colossi like Mount Everest, who in turn are celebrated and seen as inspirational figures for our times, so to does Rhio O’ Connor rouse a fervent flame smoldering deep within the human spirit: the inextinguishable flame of the will to live.

By: Pryor, Krystyna

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