Rhio’s Footsteps

In 2001, Jame’s Rhio O’Connor was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma cancer. The doctors believed they were clairvoyant of Rhio’s life and informed him he had only a year to live. The doctors told Rhio surgery was impossible due to the position of the cancerous tumor. The doctors then told him to enjoy the little time he had left with his wife, go on a vacation and when he returns to go and admit his self into hospice. Rhio declined that advice and researched on his cancer. Through proper observation of medication he was prescribed and research of his own, Rhio was able to live over seven years than expected. Before Rhio passed away, he wrote a book titled “They said months, I choose years: a mesothelioma survivor’s story.” This book was his evidence that not all doctors are right and although your doctor’s opinion is very vital, people should also do their own research.

If I were to go to my doctor, find out I had mesothelioma and only had a short period to live, I would first call my family and inform them of my cancer. Then I would pray for a cure. I would get a second and third opinion from a well respected and educated doctor. I would refuse to believe that this doctor had the capabilities of a psychic and knew when I was to die. Next, I would follow in Rhio’s footsteps.

I would dismiss any idea of preparing for my death. I would however, research day and night. I would call up my family members who happened to be doctors and get their opinions on my cancer. I would visit many hospitals, look up other stories like mine. I would know which medicines held greater risk to my health and which ones wouldn’t. While this was going on, I would still take my medication and I would keep records of my research. If I survived past my foretold death even by just a month, I would rejoice that I had made it and was not susceptible to the date my doctors told me I would die.

Like Rhio, I would want my story shared with everyone. I would hope to bring some type of encouragement to other people who were diagnosed with cancer whether it was mesothelioma or another form of cancer. I would absolutely not give in to the idea that my time was up. I would die with a fight, just as James Rhio O’Connor did.

By: Rose, Chelsea

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