New Outlook

There are a million thoughts that could be running through your mind when you receive the news. How will I tell my friends and family? What will the rest of my life be like? But no matter what, you have to accept it. Some people might think that their life is over, so there is no point in trying. While others will push themselves, and do everything they can to enjoy what time is left. Hearing the word cancer, will have a huge effect on anyone when they hear it for the first time.

Rhio O’Conner heard this word, and was given only a year to live. The type of cancer he had was mesothelioma. This is a very rare kind of cancer to have. It occurs in the mesothelium, which is the protective sac that covers most of the internal organs in a body. The two types of mesothelioma are pleural and peritoneal. Pleural is when the cancerous cells are around the lungs, and peritoneal is in the abdomen area. The treatments that are usually considered for someone who has mesothelioma are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But there are also clinical trials that people can participate in. Rhio proved that even though those options are the most common to do for treatment, they aren’t your only ones.

The story of Rhio O’Conner gives me a new outlook on what can happen if you’re given the news of being diagnosed with cancer. If I were to put myself in that position, it would be hard to imagine what I would do. The first most important thing I’d do after heard that I had cancer, would be to accept it. Living in denial, and believing that it is really true wouldn’t be a good idea. I would want to learn everything about the cancer I had. What symptoms I could expect to have. How I would notice them, and know that they were caused by the cancer. Would I be in pain the whole time, or would I still have a somewhat enjoyable life. Learning about the disease would be helpful in accepting it, and understanding it.

The treatment options of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are all what I would expect to hear. They are the most common ways people begin treating their cancer. There is no reason to say that they don’t work. But when you’re given a certain amount of time to live, you being to realize that they not be enough. After getting all the information about the different treatments from my doctors I would continue my research. These days the internet is full of so much information. Being able to find the right website with factual information can be difficult, but overall it’s a good source to use. I would also go to libraries, and find any other source of information I could. I wouldn’t want to just settle with the usual option.

Besides just using the libraries, internet, and what the doctors say, there are other resources that should be considered. My family would be one of my first resources. I would want to know their opinion on what I should do. They are the people that I’m closest to, and know me the best. Maybe they would have a better insight on things, since they aren’t the ones diagnosed with cancer. They might be more open to other options then me, and could help me see a different point of view. Another good resource to use would be other patients. They have been the same place as me, and know what to expect. They’ve heard all the same options about what they could do to extend their life. I would think that they would be the most helpful resource of all.

Looking into other options like therapy and clinical trials is something that I would do. I don’t see why we should just follow the normal path, and do what everyone else does. Sometimes it’s necessary to go your own way. I would do what I thought was going to be best for me. To live out my life to the fullest, and be able to do what I wanted. Rhio O’Conner is a brave man, to get some of the worst news and then turn it into a chance to learn more is amazing. If I were to be put in his position, I hope that I would have the same kind of courage. I’d want to take my life into my own hands, and be able to prove people wrong.

By: Small, April

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!