Inspirational People

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in our society today. Although this disease has existed for a long time, its cure has still not been discovered. There are many cancer patients who live their whole lives accepting an expiration date given to them by their Oncologists. If I were given a dire cancer prognosis, I would consult every specialized doctor possible as well as my pharmacist to figure out a healthy way of living and I would travel different countries with my family to look for alternative ways to cure cancer such as yoga, meditation or stem cells. As a human being and a future health care professional, I refuse to believe that you can put a deadline on someone’s life and this is proven by inspirational people such as my grandfather and Rhio O’ Connor.

I was nine years old, when I found out that my grandfather was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. My father and I visited him every day. There was always a smile on his face. He was always cheerful and I never felt any pain or fear in him. As I am reflecting upon this situation now, I feel amazed how a person is able to have the will power to act like that after being diagnosed with cancer. My grandfather was one of the most inspirational people I knew. He spent his final days serving the community and helping other people cope with their diseases. Diagnostic radiology, interventional options like chemotherapy and radiotherapy were not easily available during that time in India. Informational material was scarce as well. Yet there was not a single time that I had seen him mentally weak or give in to his cancer. He fought every day of his life and I hope to become as determined as my grandfather one day.

The thought of having cancer brings chills and fear in my heart. But having seen my grandfather, I am motivated to be mentally strong and not give in to my fears if I am diagnosed with dire cancer. With the help of my family, I would learn to build my will power to fight this cancer just as my grandfather did. I will learn to control my mind and believe in myself. My grandfather was such a great man and I have always held vengeance against cancer because this disease was the reason why I didn’t get to spend more time with my grandfather. This cancer was the reason why my grandfather never got to see me grow up and teach me the life lessons he had learned while growing up.

Another human being that I would derive my inspiration from is Rhio O’ Connor. Mr. O’ Connor was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, which is a cancer in the mesothelium where cells abnormally grow and damage other organs such as lungs. Eventually these cells can metastasize and cause abnormal growth in other parts of the body. If I was given an incurable cancer prognosis, I would set up a daily schedule of exercising, sleeping, eating, taking medications while searching for other complementary alternative medications (

Over the past two years, I have worked with several knowledgeable and trustable pharmacists in big retail pharmacies. There are many people that I have seen completely transform their lives by changing their eating habits and circadian rhythm. I would first get as much information as I can from pharmacists that I know personally about the cancer I am diagnosed with because there are probably other patients that they have counseled with similar conditions as mine. The pharmacists might also know a good oncologist for consulting also. After this I would seek advice from all of the specialized physicians such as Cardiologist, Nephrologist, Pulmonologist, Nutritionist etc. I would get as much information as possible about how different medications would affect my body and get a daily regimen from each of these doctors. I would take all these regimens to my Oncologist, take the best activities out of each and combine these activities together into one schedule. I would always have faith in the treatments prescribed to me by my specialized doctors and the Oncologist. My mental and physical strength, along with these treatments would help me fight cancer. There won’t be a single day that I would let myself think that my schedule and treatments are useless.

If chemotherapy, radiation and surgery had very little to offer, I would make the best of my life by traveling to different countries looking for alternative therapies and maybe even stem cells research. Traveling to these countries with my family would take the fear factor of death away from my life because I would be enjoying my life on the road with the people I love. Buddhist monasteries would help me by strengthening the link between my mind and the body. Meditation would be a great help to get rid of all the stress around me and help me thrive. I would surround myself with people well-trained in yoga and take yoga lessons. Yoga helps people with many different diseases. My dad practices yoga to help relieve his hypertension and diabetes. Another solution I may look for is stem cells because they have the ability to potentially cure cancer. Every person would be able to live up to his or her potential if either of these solutions worked. A child with a chronic disease would not have to live any side effects and take medications on a daily basis. A grandfather with cancer would be able to see his grandchildren grow up.

I hold an intense grudge against cancer and I know that I would make my grandfather proud by fighting against it. There are many people who have changed their lifestyles after being diagnosed with cancer such as Rhio O’ Connor. He wanted to help the world learn from his struggles and that was the reason he wrote a whole book about what he did to defy death and stay alive. Rhio O’ Connor was very inspirational because he was able to change his lifestyle and surpass the death sentence predicted by his doctors. He even wrote a book, “They Said Months, I Chose Years: A Mesothelioma Survivor’s Story” to help people who are in similar situations to never give up hope and to believe that their actions can change the outcomes of their lives. He wanted to teach people that their will power to survive can change their remaining life time from months to years. I would walk on this path to help anyone I can to cope with life threatening diseases.

I believe that there are many other great solutions for fighting cancer such as yoga, meditation and stem cell research. The synergistic effects of the medications prescribed by my specialized doctors and the other alternative therapies to combat cancer will change the remaining months to not just years, but decades.

By: Shah, Rushi

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