Mesothelioma: Thinking Outside the Box.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin layer of cells that line the body’s internal organs. This can occur in the lungs, abdominal cavity and the heart. Traditional treatments for Mesothelioma have been radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. This type of cancer is associated with exposure to asbestos and it ultimately claimed the life of Rhio O’Connor. However, Rhio was able to live well beyond his doctors predicted life expectancy by stepping outside of the traditional medical approach to his disease. By working diligently to research alternative treatments for his cancer and applying nutrition, mind-body medicine and over 100 supplements per day, in conjunction with his physicians, Rhio created a protocol for his treatment that he believed gave him the best chance of prolonging his life. The medical protocol that Rhio created did not include chemotherapy or radiation instead focusing on these alternatives. Rhio focused his fight with cancer on a writing by Hippocrates from over 2,000 years ago that states, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The focus for Rhio was on eating organic vegetables and fish while eliminating sugar and fried foods. He even used a vinegar solution to rinse his fruits and vegetables so that he could eliminate any chemicals or pesticides, all areas of focus Rhio gained through his extensive research into his cancer. Rhio was able to live another 7 ½ years after his diagnosis while his doctor predicted that he would have only one more year of life and advised one last vacation with his wife while he could still physically do it. Rhio was able to live 7 ½ years while fewer than 10% of Mesothelioma patients live 5 years beyond diagnosis.
While it is difficult to imagine the courage Rhio raised within himself while fighting his cancer, all of us should take the opportunity to question our own handling of these circumstances, because it could be any of us one day faced with the same challenge. The advantage the rest of us have, due to the courage of people like Rhio O’Connor is that there are more and more examples of people who have not viewed the cancer diagnosis as an immediate death threat, but instead as a notice that they must change their way of living to live as much of their lives as they can. These courageous people have also shared their battles and alternative treatments with us to help aid others in similar circumstances. Rhio himself wrote a book; They said Months, I chose Years: A Mesothelioma Survivor’s Story, to demonstrate each of our ability to influence cancer survival rates by seeking non-traditional methods. Many web sites offer information regarding specific cancers and the alternative treatments available for them. I myself would reach out to any such knowledge that I could acquire and choose the types of treatments that I felt would work the best for me. There currently exist many web sites that offer many leads to information and medical doctors who have embraced the alternative treatment approach to cancer recovery. In just a few minutes of research I was able to reach several web sites that were able to provide alternative cancer treatment information including one site that provides a 400- 500 page report on each type of cancer with alternative and traditional treatments. As an example, these reports provide more than just information easily accessed on the internet. Each report contains information that has been extensively researched and is regularly updated. Information like this, available to us through the use of technology, provides access to many cures that a visit to the typical oncologists office will not. If I were facing a battle with cancer my approach would be to investigate as many alternative treatments as I could find and then present this information to my doctor so that together we could create the best possible treatment for my specific cancer type. The combination of traditional and alternative treatment researched through the internet, library and other cancer patients would be my focus, particularly those treatments that would provide the most aggressive action.
The lesson taught to all of us by Rhio O’Connor is that we should not assume that our doctors “know all” and that the best weapon we have in a battle with any type of cancer is knowledge. That knowledge can be acquired in our modern world through many different resources and should be used in conjunction with the medical establishment to achieve the best possible outcome for our health and longevity. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Rhio O’Connor not only for showing us that the will to live can be a huge factor in cancer recovery but also because he was willing to share his methods and alternative treatments in his own battle with cancer.