The Will Power Of The Patient

Cancer is a deadly disease that will have an impact on over all of the population in the United States. There is no guaranteed way to predict the lifespan of a person, no matter what disease that they have. James “Rhio” O’Conner was a man that developed mesothelioma and was given a prognosis of one year to live. He researched the treatments and drugs that were available and he never gave up. As a result, Rhio was able to extend his life by over five years. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. There are two main types of mesothelioma – pleural which involves the sac that covers the pleural cavity around the lungs and peritoneal which involves the tissue that covers the abdominal area. By researching mesothelioma, Rhio discovered several treatment methods that were based on facts and information that he found that made a tremendous impact on his disease.

My aunt started out with colon cancer and less than a year to live, had the cancer and part of her colon removed, the cancer spread to her lungs, and they were able to keep the cancer contained for over five years. There is no way to measure the willpower or just plain ‘want’ of the person that is affected by this disease. My aunt Cathy wanted to see her two girls grow and I believe that through sheer willpower she was able to for many more years than the doctors predicted. She tried chemo, radiation, and an assortment of experimental treatments/medications.

I believe that if you are diagnosed with cancer that you should live your life to the fullest and do all of the things, and go all of the places, that you ever wanted to do. You only have one life and it is up to you to enjoy it, no matter what the eventual outcome will be. There are so many more kinds of cancer than most people even realize. The different kinds of cancer respond differently to different medications and I think that you should do whatever it takes to survive as long as you can. I would research all of the medical journals, articles and documentation on whatever experimental treatments have already been done for my strand of cancer, and extensively search the internet for whatever medications or treatments are available.

My grandfather currently has neuroendocrine carcinoma cancer and the doctors told him that he had 9 months to a year to live. They also said that chemotherapy wouldn’t help his cancer any, but that radiation should help the pain. The radiation had no effect on his cancer or his pain. He is 2 months into the doctors predicted 9 months and his cancer is progressing rapidly and he is not expected to live for much longer. There is no way to predict how the body will react to different drugs and treatments until you actually experiment and try what is available. I think that if it is believed that chemotherapy and radiation will help shrink the cancer that I would definitely try it and see if it worked. I am a firm believer that you should do whatever it takes to improve your own life. This includes researching alternative methods of treatment and participating in research trials to try to eliminate, or at least slow down the cancer growth. There are cancer research centers all of the United States that need people to try the experimental medicines and treatments that they are researching. The only way that we are going to find the cure for cancer it to experiment and find what works, and if there was a chance that I could participate in a trial and contribute to that discovery, and maybe in the meantime prolong my own life, I would jump at the chance.

Cancer is a very serious disease that is becoming more and more common among people of all ages. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and I believe that we should do all that we can to find a cure. There are an abundance of research articles and medical journals available that could give the patient an idea of the other treatment options that are available to the patient. There are a variety of research options that are available to patients with cancer, as well as students that are researching cancer. One website that is very informative about mesothelioma is Here you can find what treatments are available, what treatments and trials that other patients with this disease have done, as well as read stories about survivors and how they survived this terrible disease. Doctors can make an ‘educated guess’ about what they predict a cancer patients’ lifespan will be, but realistically there is no accurate way to know how long someone will live. The will power of the patient and the advancement of the disease both play large roles in determining the patients’ life span.

By: Zimmers, Kimberly E.

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