Taking Charge of Your Destiny
The one six letter word that can turn your life upside down in an instant is cancer. Cancer by pure definition is a group of diseases caused by abnormal cell growth. In reality, it is much more that. It is a word that in a split second changes everything in your life. It can crush every hope and dream you have if you let it. Taking charge is critical in overcoming any disease. It is crucial that mind, body and spirit work together to fight this disease. It is here where the foundation lays—the source of your stability and strength to move forward when it seems like this mountain can’t be conquered. To fight the odds, sometimes one must look past the conventional means of treatment and think outside the box.
During a routine visit to my doctor for a chronic cough, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma also known as “asbestos cancer”. If that wasn’t enough of a shock, my prognosis was less than one year to live and the usual treatment of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy was of no consequence to me. My first reaction was disbelief followed by anger then days of tears and self pity. The one constant thought was why me. Late one night after the last tear had fallen, I decided to pull myself together and learn everything that I could about this disease. I started searching the internet for any information that I could get on this disease. The more knowledgeable that I became the more empowered I felt. I took note after note and read many inspiring stories about people who fought the disease and lived many years past their prognosis. As the sun rose, so did my spirits I was now on a mission to beat this disease. After all do you leave your fate in the hands of well meaning doctors or do you take control of the situation and control your own destiny? The next day I called a dear friend and asked for his advice. He suggested that I see a different doctor for a second opinion. I agreed that this was a good idea because now I was armed with knowledge and had a list of questions to ask. Even though I pray that the prognosis will be different, this time I was prepared to hear that dreaded word “cancer”. This time I had a course of action. I asked for references on clinics that treat patients with a holistic approach. I enlisted the help of a nutritionist who specializes in nutrition for cancer patients. I solicited the help of my family and friends to help check out the references and talk to cancer survivors to get their feed back on how they manage their treatments. After weeks of research, I selected a clinic and we have agreed on a course of treatment which included natural vitamins and supplements along with acupuncture and massage treatments to help regulate the pain. I realize that this was just the starting point and there are no magic formulas. I realize I will have many challenges ahead of me, but I have a great support system in place, my mind, body and spirit are in sync and the rest I leave in God’s hands.
There are approximately 2,500 cases of mesothelioma annually in the United States. Before I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, I really didn’t know a lot about this form of cancer. I knew that I was supposed to continually be checked for breast and ovarian cancer, but no one ever told me to get checked for mesothelioma. I strongly encourage everyone to go to www.survivingmesothelioma.com and read the inspiring story about Rhino O‘Connor who took charge and created his own protocol for the treatment he received. You will learn about the treatments that are available and the symptoms of this disease because unfortunately, the symptoms are sometimes misdiagnosed for other common aliments like pneumonia. I encourage you to acquaint yourself with these symptoms especially if you have been exposed to asbestos and let your doctor know. Just like any form of disease the quicker you act and the more knowledgeable you are, the better the outcome. Sometimes it will be necessary for you to go beyond the conventional care that is offered, don’t be afraid to look into alternative care. Rhino O’Connor’s story shows that you have nothing to lose but, you could possibly gain a lot. Take charge and control your destiny.
By: Sponcia, Corine M.