Roark, Stacey E. – Surviving Mesothelioma

Roark, Stacey E.

Memos of Mesothelioma

Ugh. My Back Hurts so bad. But then that’s all part of getting older right? I’m 63 now, and I guess after 40 plus years in the Fire Department, and two full grown kids, my body will not work like it used to. My doc said it was probably nothing, but is running some test anyways. 

Cancer. It just hits you. One moment your fine the next, your going to die in less than a year. What will happen to my wife? Susanna is taking it harder than I am. I don’t think it has sunk in yet. My Susanna always said I had a thick skull, so it’s good for something at least. I remember my mother, bless her soul, used to always say, “While there is breath, there is life. While there is life there is hope.” I’m not dead yet, so there must be something more we can do.

I researched all about “pleural mesothelioma” today. You know, with the internet, the world of knowledge is latterly at our fingertips. Not like when I was a child, I would have spent months finding all of this information. pleural mesothelioma can be caused by Asbestos, which was used for centuries in building construction. So when the buildings burned down, I breathed it in. Also I found some experimental therapies like Alimta®, gene therapy, and immunotherapy. I will ask my doctor later today if they could work for me. I found many websites dedicated to my cause. It helps me feel like I’m not alone, and that there are things that can be done to fix me. One site in particular proved to be incredibly useful. www.survivingmesothelioma.com seemed to have everything I was looking for and then some on my dilemma. I found one story in particular about a man names James Rhio O’Connor. He was in a similar predicament as me, but he survived six years longer than the doctors said he should. He “Work[ed] with professional clinicians, he formulated a regiment of over 100 supplements a day, changed his diet, practiced mind-body medicine, and relied on his own discipline to see him through the difficult times ahead.” That sounds easy enough. Maybe with his method I can cheat death, after all he almost did. So I made an appointment with a clinician to get a list of vitamins I should be taking. O’Connor said that this will help my body fight it off on it’s own. Different vitamins help with different ailments, so a combination of vitamins will help multiple ailments. Theoretically, if one were to attend all of the causes, stimulants, and effects of a specific problem, like cancer, then the problem could potentially go away, or at least not get worse. Also I can go with Susanna to her yoga thing. Yoga is supposed to help your immune system, so it can’t hurt to try right?

Yoga was so hard! Breathing has gotten harder because of the cancer. Maybe I could try something less physical, Like Bowen therapy. I have been wanting to try that. My long time friend Joe, said that the massage feels great, the woman was beautiful, and something about how it triggers the mind to heal whatever area she massages. I could use a good massage anyway. 

That was phenomenal! The Bowen doc said I should come back a couple of times a week and it will help at least ease the pain and keep it from growing. So now I have a schedule. More or less 100 pills each day, split up into eight pill sessions, then my body can absorb them better. I feel like a drug addict, but what can I do? Bowen sessions on Monday and Wednesday, meditate on healing Tuesday and Thursday, and doctor visits on Friday. Then I use the weekends to pray, I read many blogs about how god healed people miraculously, so why not me?

Maybe you know someone like this man, or maybe it is you who can relate to his situation. If so, you are not alone. This fictional story reflects the thoughts and feelings of the 1.5 million people a year that are diagnosed with cancer. There is a feeling of lose, denial, hope. These days there are many resources as well as many nontraditional methods out there for people to extract from. The scary part is that you do not know if it will work. Traditional methods like Chemotherapy have statistics that people can rely on, but vitamins do not. However if chemotherapy is not really an option, like with many mesothelioma patients, then one must turn to the options that are left. If the death sentence of incurable cancer is given, than nontraditional methods cannot make you any worse off. Even if all the nutritional pills and meditation only improve current living, is that not better than nothing? So find hope in despair, sites like survivingmesothelioma.com provides a community of support, and answers about mesothelioma. Success stories like that of James Rhio O’Connor are meant to inspire, give hope, and encourage patients to do all that they can.  A person is more than their diagnostic; they are what they do about it.

Bibliography:
1. James “Rhio“ O‘Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund. 2004-2009. Cancer     Monthly: The     Source for Cancer treatment Results.     http://www.cancermonthly.com/scholarship.asp
2. O’Connor, J.R. They said Months. I Chose Years! A Mesothelioma Survivor’s Story. 
8 Sept 2008. Cancer Monthly, Inc.
3. Paddock, Catharine. US Cancer Deaths Fall Second Year In A Row Despite Growing     And Aging Population. 18 Jan 2007. Medical News Today. 
4. Vosteen, Anya. Using your Mind:Help your Body heal. anya.vosteen the healing path.     2009. 
5. James Rhio O’Connor. Surviving Mesothelioma: A Patient’s Guide. 2005-2009.     Cancer Monthly, Inc. https://survivingmesothelioma.com/rhiooconnor.cfm
6. Mesothelioma Treatment . mesothelioma.com. 2010.

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