Zwinoira, Ayanda – Surviving Mesothelioma

Zwinoira, Ayanda

It is hard to be accept being told that you will live for a year. Most people bow their heads low and live each day as if it is their last. James Rhio O’Connor refused to accept it. He went on a quest to acquire knowledge of how he could get more time, how he could defy the odds. He talked to doctors, specialists and lawyers to come up with a regime which gave him seven and a half more years to live. He changed his life, something which is hard to do for any human but with discipline and determination anyone can do it.

He died of malignant mesothelioma. It is a cancer that grows on the protective lining of organs, it is usually caused by the exposure The symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain and weight loss. It is usually treated using surgery to remove the infected lining, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy. These treatments are draining on the patient and can exacerbate the situation of the cancer.

O’Connor is an inspiration to me because he never gave up. Even when the so called experts told him that he was going to die soon he never gave up. It is hard to believe in yourself and when other people do not believe in you it is even harder. O’Connor proved that there is only one thing that we all need in order to make it passed the obstacles that we see or imagine, faith. Faith that there are miracles in the world and those miracles are going to happen to us. Faith that its over only when you don’t have a single breath in your body left to fight because that breath is gone. That is when you can say that its over when you are gone. As long as your heart beats and you breathe then you can still make a difference.

If I had been O’Connor, it would be hard to say that I would have made the same decision. For me its hard to go contrary to the experts even when that little voice inside my head tells me I can. I would have probably taken the year that they gave me and lived each day as if it were my last. I would have travelled the world and seen all the places that I visit in my dreams and seen all the things that were there. I would have said sorry to everyone that I had hurt, whether it was a small incident or not. I would have told everyone that I loved how much they meant to me. I would have paid all my debts. I would have given in.

After learning about such a man as James O’Connor, if today I was told that I have a malignant cancer I would do it all differently. I would research to find every case of a person who had the same diagnosis and made a full recovery. I would then go and interview each every person on that list of recovered patients. I would write up each of their stories to look for what was similar in each case. I would then take those similarities and research each of them by talking to cancer specialists. I would draw up a new system for me to live by using this information. Then I would completely assimilate the system as a lifestyle. I would change my entire life, from eating habits to mental attitude. All of this plus one thing additionally, prayer. I would pray that my efforts be blessed and my life if ending would end without unbearable pain. Prayer has been proven to lessen negative emotions. Negative emotions usually accelerate any disease. Still while doing all this I would appreciate each day and spend it with people who I loved and who loved me because each day would be a blessing.

Sometimes we need to go beyond the normal processes to get the right result. If the search led me to discover that those people who had made a recovery had used alternative medication I would definitely do the same. There is a saying that if you do what you have always done then you will get what you have always got. That means that some times we have to outside of our comfort zone, we need to think outside of the box in order to get the right answer. I believe this.

You can not get information from people who have no experience. Also you need to talk to people with more than hands on experience. A library would give you arbitrarily arranged facts. Its hard to process information when words in Latin are used. Going on the internet is like an electronic library. Although the information is easier to pull out the information is still hard to process. You only find out the name of the thing which is ending your life and how it will go about doing it. That is not appetizing reading. Learning about how terrible your situation is does not promote an environment for positive thinking and more importantly faith. Faith can not grow where despair and negativity prevail. It needs a place of belief in the possible, a place where inspiration can motivate and awaken the inner person to do the impossible. Friends can only give you an exaggerated or bias anecdote that they know. A researcher will only tell you what they think will get you to try their ideas. They are always looking for guinea pigs and that is not what you want to be. I want to be a survivor of tried and tested theories. Clinicians are in league with the pharmaceutical companies to make profit. That is the main game. They are companies with the goal of being in business. If got better then they would be out of business. I need to remain sick for them to make money.

To be sick is not the goal it is the situation I want to get out of. The only people who can tell you what you need to know in a way that you can understand are other patients. We want a solution so fully recovered patients would be the ones I would interview. They would understand the need to keep money, the way to deal with symptoms, the way to deal with the attitude. These patients were at that place that you were and would have what you are looking for, a solution to your problem. The testimonies and tried and tested ways of these patients should be documented. All these experiences should be analyzed and a pattern should be noticed. What they did in common should be noted down and submitted to a qualified specialist for examination. Under their supervision a new routine should be drafted and implemented. Hopefully I would be as successful as the other survivors and in particular James Rhio O’Connor.

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