Shannon, Lemonte – Surviving Mesothelioma

Shannon, Lemonte

Time Cures Everything

Many say “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today“. But do those who hear that take heed to what that means, or do they view it as just a mere saying? Time is something that many take for granted, assuming that they have plenty of it to spare. However, would one spend their time differently if they knew it was limited?

Imagine being diagnosed with a dire cancer prognosis, and doctors have only given you one year to live. The common persons first thoughts would be to spend time with family along with other loved ones or to do some of the things they have always wanted to do, living their last days fulfilling their dreams if possible. Like James “Rhio” O’Conner, who was faced with this situation, I would look beyond the diagnosis the doctors have given me in an attempt to prolong my life.

Mr. O’Conner was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is cancer in the lungs that is caused by exposure to asbestos. When he learned of the cancer in 2001 his doctors told him having surgery was not an option, but the radiation would only do more harm, at best chemo would only allow a couple of months. His doctor advised that he spend time with his wife and kids and upon return receive proper hospital care. He turned down all those options and embarked on his very on path of healing, as a result he lived nearly eight more years before passing in 2009.

In order to embark on this journey I would first have to get ready mentally, like an athlete once the mind is right the body will follow. I would talk to those who have the same cancer that I have been diagnosed with, to see how they deal with the knowing of the illness. Those who have already passed I would look at how long did they survive with the cancer and what stage were they at when it was found. Finding someone that’s my age or near it, their stage of the cancer, along with being the same ethnicity as me would be huge. That would allow me to somewhat determine the likelihood of surviving it. Knowing the ethnicity can also be helpful because the cancer may attack Caucasians differently then an African American. The same way high blood pressure kills more African Americans males than Caucasian males. Along with that my age would play a a factor, being so young would my chances of surviving be greater than that of someone who is older.

Knowing the stage of my prognosis will determine what kind of treatment I would look to receive. If it was found at stage where the cancer has spread and there is little that can be done other than chemo therapy and radiation I would look to another form of treatment. In the event that it was found in the early stages chemo therapy would be something I would consider having done, although it has been proven that it is nothing but poison going into your body due to the radiation. If it was discovered too late and there was little that could be done I would pursue a discrete trial training method. Discrete trial training method is a series of test, trial and error, that are waiting to be tested. Its not promised that it would work but giving it a chance wouldn’t harm anything. At a stage where little can be done what does one have to lose. Best chance is that it would work and my life could be saved, but if it doesn’t work there can be a positive out of that also. By testing new treatments on me they may find something small that can be changed with it and it could possibly save lives in the future, that’s the positive of it not working.

Its hard to say what you would or wouldn’t do in a situation until your actually faced with it. There was a survey once 1,000 people were asked if they could know in advance would they want to know the exact date of their death, 96 percent said no. I always leaned toward the other 4 percent. I thought it would be liberating knowing how much time I had left to work with.

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