Rodriguez, Dayna – Surviving Mesothelioma

Rodriguez, Dayna

Overcoming Cancer

I am a 26 year old wife, mother of four children (under 7 years of age), stepmother, grandmother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, cousin, and friend to many people. I am working toward a professional certificate in baking and pastry in order to fulfill my goal of owning a bakery/restaurant featuring specialty cakes.

Since motherhood, the “what if’s” have played in my head more times than I can count; especially knowing the people I have lost to cancer and other health problems, and those I would leave behind if I lost the battle. Many years ago my Father-in-law was told he had only months to live due to a failed liver. I am not sure of all the details, although I have been told he decided to accept an invitation to church (that had been extended many times before, but declined). During the service he accepted Jesus and was cured of alcoholism that had caused the failing of his liver. Later at a check up with the Doctor he was told his liver looked good and was functioning normal again. The Doctor was astonished. My Father-in-law was a new man with a new lease on life. This was before I knew my husband, but I still like to hear the story.

As a Christian I know that a diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence even though healing doesn’t always come in the form of a miracle. I believe there are many factors involved in the outcome of any circumstance in a person’s life. Available resources, personal attitudes and thoughts, treatment choices, and religious views all play a role in the road to recovery. If faced with a terminal diagnosis, like mesothelioma, I would exhaust all possible ideas for treatment. While giving all due respect to the doctor for his/her expertise, I would first reject the diagnosis. I believe power of life and death is in the tongue. If I don’t accept it to be true, I won’t speak it as truth. Instead of using phrases like “I am dying of cancer“, I would say something in the way of “I have been healed, but I am waiting for the right treatment to rid my body of cancer”. Also, I would give thanks to God for my healing in advance and ask for guidance, knowledge, strength, and wisdom needed to overcome the diagnosis. My prayers would include the doctors for knowledge, wisdom, a clear and sound mind, and steady hands in surgery (if needed). This would prove to be a true test of faith.

After preparing my mind spiritually, I would work on the natural, physical aspect of the cancer. I would follow my instinct along with the advice of the doctors to decide the next step. Using the library, internet, and word of mouth I would research doctors and hospitals specializing in natural cures. I believe eating for nutrition and exercising is a great preventive measure, but can help at any stage. Also, God created the plants and things of the earth for our use. I would try anything I felt I was being lead to try. Before choosing doctors and treatment options, I would get several opinions and work with the best of the best or even a whole team of the top specialists.

After allowing ample time for natural cures (without success) chemo, radiation, and surgery would be my next choice. With side effects, quality of life, and success rate in mind I would choose the sequence of these three options (if not used all together). All the while, I would praise God for healing and lean on family and close friends for support and encouragement. I would reach out to the community for financial and emotional support (through benefits like spaghetti dinners or bake sales) if I didn’t have the means to carry out a desired course of treatment. This would be especially helpful if I still had no success; which would lead me to other options.

Drug trials would be my last resort because there isn’t any data to research. The other participants and I would be the “guinea pigs” and our experiences would be the research material. Although, I think I would like to take part in a new treatment. As my last resort it would have to be successful since I would have believed for a healed body.

Although my gratitude would extend to all whom helped, I would enjoy the comfort, encouragement, and support from loved ones and support groups most. I respond well to personal connections and stories from others (including patients, survivors, and families of patients) better than straight facts from doctors and research. After experiencing two children in the NICU after birth, I have learned that it is easier to overcome a medical problem when your family is involved. Out of the babies I observed, those whom had parents directly caring for them had better vital signs and shorter hospital stays.

Most importantly, after exhausting all possible treatment ideas, I would remember that God is the beginning and the end and all things work for His glory. Nothing is too hard for God.

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