Thursday, February 25, 2010
Attitude is Everything--Especially WHen it Comes to Surviving
I am very possessive of my mind, heart and body. I don’t just let anything or anyone influence me. I like to have control over what happens to my person. One of the worst things that could happen to my body would be cancer. The dictionary describes cancer as “a malignant and invasive growth or tumor” as well as “any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively.” You don’t have control over cancer.
The body’s cells naturally split to make new cells, this is how our cuts heal and our hair grows. Cancer develops when one cell in the body won’t stop splitting and creating new cells thus making growths and tumors on or in the body that are potentially fatal. James “Rhio” O’Conner was an optimistic and learned man. When he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma he studied for hours upon hours to learn about treatments and was able to work with his doctors to create a treatment plan that allowed him to survive over six years past his expected last year. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs when exposed to Asbestos. The cancer forms in the Mesothilium, the protective sac around internal organs. It is possible to survived Mesothelioma and live long past the prognosis for more information, visit http://www.survivingmesothelioma.com/.
If my doctor sat me down on that paper covered examination table, stern faced and concerned, and told me I had Mesothelioma, I’m sure I would begin to cry. Though my first reaction would be anger toward God for letting this happen, I would ultimately trust Him and begin looking for cures. As mentioned before, I am protective of my body and with that in mind I don’t like the sounds of particularly invasive and devastating cures such as chemo, radiation or surgery especially if they weren’t going to do much for me by way of prolonging my life. Therefore, to supplement or replace one of these typical treatments, I would look long and hard for more treatments and testimonies of those who have lived with Mesothelioma.
Richard Devos once said, “The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and faith to believe it is possible.” I want to live a full life, even if it is a short one. If diagnosed with cancer and only given a year or two to live, my search for treatment would center around what will work the best by the way of a cure as well as still allowing me to enjoy my family, friends and life in general.
I’d begin my search talking to my doctor, cancer treatment specialists, current patients and cancer survivors. I would probe the internet and libraries for therapies and treatments, and all the while praying for health, healing, and wisdom. Once I had researched and studied, comparing pros and cons, theories and statistics, I would be able to work with my doctors to find the treatment plan that would work best for my prognosis and still give me room to live my life fully.
I believe it is necessary to be an informed person in all areas of life. Thomas Jefferson once stated, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” Once we know what is going on and all the implications thereof, we can make wise decisions about our lives. Whether it is relational, emotional or a physical ailment, we can be responsible for our own welfare. Our doctors, while they do as much as they can, are limited when we are not informed enough to work with them. Our convictions, desires and thoughts are important to a treatment plan.
The one thing I would consistently do is stay optimistic. It has been scientifically proven that laughter is good for sick patients. Enjoying life increases your chances of living longer because you desire to. Earl Nightingale said, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude toward us.” If I were to be diagnosed with cancer my outlook on it would determine its outlook on me. If I were to let it control me, and accept that I would die before the year was through, I would die. But if I were to laugh and enjoy living, and look at the cancer as just another stepping stone in life, I, as Rhio O’Conner did, could live out a much longer and fuller life.