When “Life” Becomes a Four Letter Word
The prognosis of a life threatening disease is one of the most difficult obstacles a person can face. To apprehend the idea that your life can be taken away by a simple sentence, is a feat that few can conquer. James “Rhio” O’Connor was one of those unfortunate people to hear this simple sentence. However, James decided to not fall in line with life’s plan, and sought to approach his opponent in a more tactical way. Through diligent research and continuous strength, he fought by outsmarting his disease and developing a lifestyle to outlive his prognosis.
Life is a simple four letter word that holds an endless meaning. When applied personally it develops into an insurmountable term only understood by that individual. Given only a year to appreciate and understand the word life is a task that few if any can even consider. I would have to surely sit down for at least a week to even make sure I heard the doctor correctly. Could I loose my hearing in a year, is that what he said? Life, as in the living world in which I took for granite for so long is coming to an end? Even simply overcoming the acceptance that I heard the doctor correctly, I would be distraught to think of what to do in a year’s time. However, my first impulse would be that of Mr. O’Connor’s. Research on my diagnosis and understanding of what is going on inside of me would be my first challenge. After all, how can a person understand the outside world if he or she does not first understand his or her internal world? Developing a better understanding can help my optimism towards life and ways to combat the disease. After being assured that the cancer is malignant and can infect other areas, immediate treatment in the best form would be my primary option. Knowing what stage the cancer has developed into is the first part in understand what needs to be done. Acquiring every aspect of research about pleural mesothelioma and the treatments involved in reducing its effects, is a crucial part of making my decisions. Looking at my own physical health and how each action may affect another is essential to better my odds.
The Butchart System is the main point of reference to recognizing how develop the disease is in my body. Given stage 2 of the four stages, my research would be aimed towards how far the disease, if at all, has developed in the lymph nodes. With this knowledge I can better assess the treatment necessary, which would preferably be surgery to remove as much as the cancer as possible followed by chemotherapy. All of this cannot go without consideration of my actual physical health and what I am doing to keep the rest of my body in optimal condition. I would not install a new interior in a car when I know the engine does not work, it just does not make sense. Keeping the rest of my body in shape with proper nutrition and exercise would not only be a great line of defense against the disease, but it would also relieve much of the stress placed on my body and mind from the diagnosis.
My goal, given the same situation as Mr. O’Connor, would be to do the research on my enemy and fight back in the most logical way possible. I give Mr. O’Connor great credit for his accomplishments in developing his own personal style of defense against such a ravenous disease. His optimism and determined character are truly inspiring. I would take great pride in knowing his story and what he did to overcome such a daunting condemnation.
By: Turner, Kenneth