One Day At A Time

“One Day at a Time”

No one wants to hear those three words “you have cancer”. Unfortunately, so many people are given this terrifying news every day. Most people believe it can’t happen to them. But it did happen to James “Rhio” O’Connor. He was given a grim diagnosis known as pleural mesothelioma. This is a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. The cancerous cells are found in the protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs, also known as the mesothelium. Mr. O’Connor was told he would only have a few months left to live. The tumor was inoperable and chemo would make him feel more miserable than it would help. Mr. O’Connor did not accept this news. He changed his diet, formed a regimen using over 100 supplements, and practiced mind-body medicine. He lived seven additional years due to his courageous will to live. This is a miraculous triumph. If we all had this much strength and fight in us the world would be a much stronger and stable place to live.

I sit here and I try to put myself in Mr. O’Connor’s shoes and try to imagine how on earth would I have handled receiving this type of news. The thought of being told that I have less than one year with my husband and three precious children gives me cold chills. I want to grow old with my high school sweetheart and I want to see my children graduate, get married, and have children of their own. I want to be a grandma someday. I want to see my baby girl walk down that isle with her daddy before he gives her away. I want to go to New York and California. I still haven’t bungee jumped. I have too much unfinished business. NO WAY… I wouldn’t accept this news either. I have too much to fight for. I still have a journey ahead of me.

My first stop during this journey would be on my knees praying to God. I would of course ask a lot of “whys”. Once I’m done with the questions for God I will pray each and every day for him to give me and my family the strength to fight this illness if it was his will. But if it wasn’t his will for me to fight this then please help my family to keep their faith strong both during and after this battle. I would tell the Lord that I want to keep fighting and I’m not ready to give up yet. I’d take one day at a time, whatever the Lord had in store for me.

My next stop would be the internet and library. I would get as much information about this disease as I could. Once I was well informed, I would go to another doctor for a second opinion. Once I was convinced that this was truly a terminal cancer with no hopes of treatment, I would search for people who have been diagnosed with the same illness and contact them to find out more information about their disease and how long they’ve had it. I would see if any of these people had created their own remedies to aid in their fight against the cancer. I would work with these people and their families to form support groups that would aid us all during this intricate time.

Another pit stop I would take along my journey is a look at my lifestyle. Unlike Mr. O’Connor, I would not take supplements. I believe we should obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet. My diet needs some major adjustments. More fruits and vegetables are the way to go and less fast food. It’s so hard to incorporate healthier foods in our diets with our face paced life. Everything is rush, rush, rush. With that being said, I would get more rest and slow down. I wouldn’t let the little things in life bother me anymore. Life is too short to focus on things like who does more around the house or petty little arguments. We aren’t promised tomorrow. We need to live today like it may be our last, whether we are sick or not. Something else I would do to improve my lifestyle is exercise more. Exercise is good for many parts of the body. Mentally it makes you feel better as a person and boosts self-esteem. Physically it helps your heart pump your blood better and helps with circulation. Exercise just makes you feel better all the way around.

The last stop I would make along my journey is acceptance. I would try everything I could to possibly fight this disease but if the Lord truly felt like it was my time I would have to accept this. I would take one day at a time. If time allowed me to I would try to do all the things in life that I dreamed of doing. I would tell all of my loved ones things that I wanted to say and make any amends that needed to be made. Unfortunately, this may be the type of death that some people need to face in order to mend broken relationships. Knowing that their days are ending may force them to say things they wouldn’t otherwise say to someone. Due to Mr. O’Connor’s will to live, he was able to live seven years longer than his doctors expected. He gave himself time to do things he wanted to do in life. Most people don’t want to know they’re dying but if you are faced with the unfortunate, determination and strength will carry you through it, such as the type that James Rhio O’Connor and other mesothelioma patients had. Some of their testimonies can be read on I pray that the doctors and researchers will someday find a cure for mesothelioma as well as all the other cancers that take so many lives every day.

By: Williams, Joy

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