Each year, hundreds of thousands of people hear the dreadful news that they have cancer and hundreds more are issued a death sentence. How do you take this sort of news? How do you feel? Does your body go numb in the doctor’s office? How long do I truly have to live? I am sure all of these questions and more ran through James “Rhio” O’Connor’s the day he got the news that he was diagnosed with a deadly cancer. After the initial shock had worn off, I’d have some serious thinking to do. I’d have to figure out how I am going to beat the prognosis, how I am going to continue to find new medical treatments, and last but not least how I was going to live with my disease.
Cancer is a dangerous disease affecting millions of Americans each year, and too often we see the disease win, for some reason or another. My aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, and instead of beating the disease, she let it overpower her. I would not want that to happen. If diagnosed with a deadly cancer, I would fight. Fight for my strength, fight for my family, and most importantly fight for my life. Many cancer research teams have been assembled, with periodicals and medical journals listed in many local libraries. I would spend my day researching the way the disease begins, how it affects certain body parts, and things that I can do to continue living a happy and healthy life. By becoming intellectually aware of the disease that is taking over your body, I believe you have a better chance of fighting it.
Secondly, I would try my best to not limit myself to the doctor’s medical prognosis. Too often I hear medical miracles of patients who believe in a higher power, or who simply believe in natural medicine. I am a firm believer that there is a cure for everything, some we have vaccines, and cures for, and some we do not. Natural medicine is a miracle in itself, and it proves that Mother Earth is constantly giving back. There are many stories about the Dead Sea, and its healing abilities. If doing yoga, eating apples, and running a mile everyday helps me to feel a little better, I will do it, I will consider it my own special remedy. But, if I choose to give up and let the disease take over me, I have done a disservice to myself.
Finally, I would begin using my personal gift, which is speaking, to inform public audiences about the importance of finding a cure, and making sure that the medical world is doing everything in their power to find one. I would hold countless seminars, panel discussions, and motivational forums to students, so that cancer would not silence my voice. By putting pressure in research scientists, and doctors maybe a better cure, or new treatment options can be formed.
In conclusion, I hope that I am never in a situation such as Mr. O’Connor, but because of his perseverance, faith, and hard work, he did not let the disease consume his life in a negative way, which is a very admirable quality. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. O’Connor is truly a treasure, for he is a beacon of hope and light to thousands of other cancer patients facing the same dilemma as he did. James “Rhio” O’Connor looked cancer in the eye, and in my opinion, came out on top of his deadly disease.