Vu, Ivy – Surviving Mesothelioma

Vu, Ivy

What is mesothelioma? As a nursing student, I can answer that question! No problem, mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer that is caused by exposure of asbestos. Asbestos was used in the late 19th century by manufacturers and builders because this product is known for heat resistance. By exposing to asbestos Rhio has mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium. Which originate in the pleura or peritoneum and it become abnormal and divide. Then it metastasis and damage the nearby tissues and organs. To learn more about this deadly cancer and Rhio’s survival story please click on this: https://survivingmesothelioma.com

Rhio’s story inspires me to keep following my dreams. Even when there are tough times like the economy now, people are losing their jobs, not enough money to pay for the utilities, food, and housing but there is hope that one day I can change things around for the better. I dream that I could live in a cozy house with just enough rooms for my family. I dream that I will become an enthusiastic registered nurse to help people in their bad days. I also dream that one day there will be a cure for mesothelioma.

Despite the fact that mesothelioma is incurable. Healthcare providers are coming far with new technologies and treatment like chemotherapy to help patient’s survival rate to increase. New drugs are used and new machines are created to kill the specific tumor cells and cut their blood supply with minimum invasion to the body. Also there are multidisciplinary team like physicians, clinicians, dietician, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist, pharmacist, social worker, and other resources that come in to play. The team helps the patients take control of their disease.

If I was faced with the same challenges that Rhio had faced, I would do the same and take each day step by step. First, I would seek out for more information from my physicians and check around for community resources. Then I will speak to the patients who have cancer for their experiences. Next, I would love to be a part of mesothelioma cancer research to find a cure. I would donate my body to the students and the clinicians to study my rare disease.

In the other part of my life besides going for treatments, I want to live happily until my last breath. I enjoy watching comedy: movies, jokes, shows, and anything that makes me laugh. I strongly believe that laughing is the best medicine without the horrible taste. I definitely call all my family, friends and people that I share my life with. And let them know that I would love to be with them. Then of course, hiking is my favorite; staying physically active and breathe plenty of fresh air in Palm Desert, CA. By keeping active it would prevent from a lot of complications like stress, weight gain, and constipation, LOL.

Not too long ago, I visited a cancer center in Desert Regional Hospital. I got to explore the patients from Stage I breast cancer to Stage IV colon cancer. The patients that I saw were fearless! They come to this center almost every day. There were wonderful nurses that help them get through their treatment regimen. There are patients with med-ports implanted to their chest for easy access and some with peripheral IV line. Blood are drawn every time before the chemotherapy administration. Patients made friends while in the waiting process and the long hours of therapy. Lunches are given to all patients. Family members are also present to keep the patient occupy. Some patients read books, work on their puzzle and some just watch people passing by. I guess it’s not so bad after all if I were a patient here.

I understand that life is precious and it’s short, so when it’s time for me to be in heaven then let it be. We all die one day of different scenarios: old age, cancer, car accident, diabetes, electric shock and many more, it’s just a part of life. I believe in doing the things that I love like giving back to the community with my nursing career. Maybe travel to a foreign country that needs my care, for instance, the Haiti earthquake. I want to die and be remembered of like Rhio, and contribute to our future healthcare.

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