Beat The Odds

One of the most extraordinary men that fought against his cancer prognosis is Rhio O’Connor: he looked death straight in the eye and turned his back. One often hears the terms: “You only have one life, make it count,” or “Live the one life that you have,” or “Humans naturally do all they can to survive because the only thing in life that is certain is death and taxes.” We all fear that one day we will look death in the eye. Not everyone who has been diagnosed with cancer has declared that it will not take their life away. I admire what Rhio O’Connor has accomplished and how he took a fighting chance against pleural mesothelioma.

Medical treatment cannot always be trusted, although I used to think differently. Rhio O’Connor went above and beyond what traditional medicine prescribed in his course of treatment even though surgery was not possible because of the position of the tumor and chemotherapy would have decreased his quality of life. In his book, They Said Months, I Chose Years! He discusses how he changed his diet; religiously attended mind, body, and soul classes; took more than 100 vitamin supplements; and stayed active.

Could Rhio O’Connor have opened a new pathway to curing cancer? Could steering away from chemotherapy and radiation and living with an all-natural lifestyle cure mesothelioma? If I were in Rhio O’Connor’s shoes, I would most definitely walk his walk. As a young woman who is already health conscious, if I were diagnosed with cancer and given an ultimatum on my life span, it would only increase my healthy habits 100%.

When an individual is diagnosed with cancer the smart thing to do, and what I would do, is to completely understand what it is, what causes it, question many doctors, and religiously stick to a health regimen; in other words, I wouldn’t think cliché medical treatments such as chemotherapy, pharmaceutical medication, radiation, and surgery were my only answer. A known fact is not all forms of mesothelioma can be treated the same nor can every patient. David Brinkley suggests, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” Rhio O’ Connor laid his foundation, understood that knowledge is power and gained his own success. I would first get the prognosis of many reputable doctors and listen to what they suggest is the best treatment for me. Since mesothelioma first attacks the immune system, I would first remove all the stress from my life. Research shows that “…chronic stress can weaken the immune system, and affects its ability to defend against illness and infection; it can slow the process of wound healing, increase the duration of recovery from illness, and accelerate the aging process”. My next step to a profound recovery would be to remove my pesticide and chemical consumption. In 2004, reports showed that “…Californians were medically affected by chlorinated water and pesticides from imported and exported farmed goods”; thus, I would go organic.

A known fact is not all forms of mesothelioma can be treated the same nor can every patient. Assuming I was diagnosed with the most common form of lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma which occurs in 66% of mesothelioma cases, surgery for curing the lining of the lung would not be an option for me.

I would make sure I was in best health to go under the knife and the fact is that lung cancer in general is the top most dangerous to have surgery because by the time it is detected lung cancer is in the most critical stage.

Rhio O’Connor beat the odds, sustained a foundation and found his own cure. I admire Rhio O’Connor and God willing, if I were in his shoes, I would walk his walk.

By: Yearta, Kirstie

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