Only those who travel the road, know the bumps and turns that are presented along the their path. It is such an inspiration to hear of those who have chose to try new paths along that painful road of terminal illness and specifically the road traveled when diagnosed with mesothelioma. Each of us does certainly not have to look very far to find someone who is effected by this disease.
Although it has been said so many times before, each day of life is a gift that many people take each days gift for granted. It really becomes apparent when you or a loved one is told you have a number of days before a disease takes your life. This reality, unfortunatly is presented to “over 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in either men or women at any age”. 1
Survival rates vary widely, and are extended in cases like Rhio’s but from the National Cancer Institue site the “Median survival has been reported as 16 months for patients with malignant pleural disease and 5 months for patients with extensive disease. In some instances the tumor grows through the diaphragm making the site of origin difficult to assess. Cautious interpretation of treatment results with this disease is imperative because of the selection differences among series.”2
The fight that Rhio O’Connor put forth is a great example of taking potentially devastating news and turning it around to inspire others.
I have thought about what I would do if I was faced with this diagnosis.
With the diagnosis would come a rush of fear the realization that the end of your life I is potentially within a year or less. This would bring to mind several things such as what is next for my family? What is left to enjoy? What will be my legacy? All of these thoughts would race though my head, the fight for survival, and my everyday positive attitude would soon focus my attention way beyond my personal needs, and start putting together a plan of courage. I know that others who have traveled before me have made great strides in the same direction so I would immediately connect with the www.survivingmesothelioma.com website and research all information others have gathered about my disease to date. Networking with other and pulling information and resources from known available sources would be a key first step in this process. I would certainly make the contact with Dr.s like Linda Garland, M.D. listed on the www.survivingmesothelioma.com website. Her specialty and knowledge in the treatment and prevention of mesotheliomo would be a leap forward when I began the process of gathering knowledge and understanding of my disease.
My personal beliefs are in line with those of Rhio’s, I too would reach out to many sources of both conventional and non-conventional medicine, research natural supplements, and even look at spiritual sources for healing techniques. It is so important that we open our minds to healing, and to ways of healing that may have not even been explored. I believe that humans have done amazing things in finding cures, and in creating awareness to more healthy lifestyles. A very important point that I will be certain to remember if I was ever faced with a disease such as mesothelioma is not be selfish or self serving. To fight in the direction of a cure, increase of knowledge, and to do research with hopes of helping others after you have passed is such a valiant and courageous effort.
When you open your mind to other possibilities good things will happen, and as we all open our minds and share information freely great things will happen. Humans have come a long ways by questioning the truths of today and finding alternaitve ways to approach healing. Those individuals who step out of box and really open their mind to new ideas, such as positive energy will find ways to deal with or possible heal diseases we all now are told are terminal.
One key to dealing with life and will be extremely beneficial when dealing with a terminal illness is a person’s frame of mind. A very positive and open mind will live much stronger and healthier than a negative and closed mind, there is no question that a person’s mind set can and will control their health. There is still a lot of study to be had in this field, it would be an inspiration to further this study and in addition to being connected to the medical team of doctors to study my disease and the effects of positive energy. I know if I was ever faced with a illness my positive attitude and optimistic view of life will give me that strength to create ways to outlive an initial prognosis, and will also give me the strength to study my illness and hopefully find ways that future generations can avoid, or be cured from the same illness.
In closing, life is such a gift for all of us, each of us are presented with unique challenges, we must all pull all available resources into and open and positive mind to lead us to our own place of personal satisfaction.
1 Cancer Institute Cancer Facts – Mesothelioma: Questions and Answers 5/13/2002.
2 National Cancer Institute Malignant Mesothelioma (PDQ®): Treatment; Health Professional Version – Treatment Option Overview available here on September 30 , 2005