Walker, Jessica – Surviving Mesothelioma

Walker, Jessica

In life, people are faced with obstacles that are sometimes, beyond their belief and cause pressures of anxiety, and stress that makes a person question whether they have the strength to face such a horror, but not for one young gentleman, Mr. Rhio O’Conner he felt he could defeat any triumphant that may have landed in this path of life. Mr. O’Conner was diagnosed at the age of sixty-one with pleural Mesothelioma .Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which maligent (cancerous) cells are found in the Mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. This disease is known as the disease in which the Mesothelium become abnormal and divides without control or order. Cancer cells can also metastasize (spread) from their original site to other parts of the body, in which most cases of Mesothelioma began in the pleura or peritoneum. His exposure to asbestos as a youth was the cause of this tragedy affecting his life. Doctors predicted his prognosis of life of about less than a year, but with great determination, knowledge, inexorable sprit, belief in something greater than oneself and the ability to make tough decisions, Mr. O’Conner was able to out live his prognosis by seven and a half years. Mr. O’Conner believed strongly in the importance of educating others, he designed a novel titled They said Months, I Chose Years: A Mesothelioma Survivor’s Story. This novel was based on Mr. O’Conner’s experience with Mesothelioma, as well as, the more scientific based decisions, which included nearly one hundred medical articles that support the concept of using nutrition to help manage a chronic disease. He was known as “Mr. Meso” because he survived with will and grace and did not show signs of weakness. He believed everyone must find their own way of healing, whether it’s through supplements which he chose to assist him, as an opposed to conventional treatments, which he does not advocate for using. Over time Mr. O’Conner was on a daily regime of one hundred and forty-two supplements a day which decreased to one hundred supplements a day which included categories of vitamins, minerals, vegetables and vegetable products, fruit and fruit products, oils, amino acids, enzymes and coenzymes and herbs. Over two thousand new cases of Mesothelioma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. This disease is more commonly found in men than women, with risks increasing with age. Symptoms of Mesothelioma began to appear thirty to fifty years after exposure to asbestos. Which include shortness of breath, pain in the chest, due to accumulation of fluid in the pleura, bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormities, and anemia or fever. Physicians find it difficult to diagnose Mesothelioma, because symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Complete physical examinations may be administrated, such as CAT Scans, or MRI’s. Following these examinations are biopsies where a surgeon or medical oncologist removes a sample of tissue fro examination under a microscope by a pathologist. Acknowledging Mr. O’Conner’s achievements during his battle with Mesothelioma, he has inspired me in tremendous ways affecting my life. For one, he has shown me how to be a strong individual and not let what came take over a person’s life control or define what they want to become. Mr. O’Conner has also shown me the importance of making others aware of the various options a person is faced with when dealing with cancer. I can also take this knowledge and apply it to my daily life, of making it my responsibility to inform my community of the things that surrounds our environment. In life no one expects to be one of the many chosen individuals who are called to answer to the duty of being a cancer patient. If a person is called to this duty they have to mentally and physically prepare themselves for their journey ahead, as Mr. O’Conner did. If I were given a dire cancer prognosis some steps I would take through my journey would be as follows. To begin with, I would have a conversation with my friends and family, by explaining to them how I am happy with my life and the obstacles that were placed on my path. Secondly, I would take action in creating a living will that will have all the finances all squared away for my family sake. Finally, I would follow Mr. O’Conner’s footsteps in researching the topics of my diagnosis and what options I have to help minimize any reactions. I would conduct my research through factual information from clinicians, other researchers, librarians and also mental support from my family and friends. Other resources would use would be the internet, medical text books, and other survivor patients. Honestly, my first thought if I were diagnosed with cancer I would op towards conventional treatments such as, chemotherapy, radiation, and even surgery. As Mr. O’Conner has shown me that it is possible to find other options besides the ones listed above, I would change my train of thinking and get started with research. As Mr. O’Conner has influenced me, I hope the readers of this essay can take away some of the same information I received and apply it to your lives as well, in hopes that maybe one day the thought of spreading valuable information can formulate a cure for all disease known and unknown.

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