A mesothelioma sufferer who managed to survive for years following his diagnosis, despite doctors expecting him to die within a short space of time from diagnosis, has finally passed way at the age of sixty nine. James Rhio O’Connor was diagnosed with the asbestos related cancer back in 2001.

After diagnosing him with the cancer doctors told him that all they could do was provide him with chemotherapy to extend his life by a few months. They advised him to take a holiday and then seek hospice care upon his return. However, he decided not to take their advice and managed to survive for seven and a half extra years.In the past, and following his diagnosis, James had stated: “How important is self-sufficiency in surviving mesothelioma or any other cancer?  I think it is vital.  You have to possess the faith and confidence to make the right treatment decisions.  Many patients spend hours, days or weeks second-guessing themselves about what they would have or could have or should have done.  This is very unproductive… I believe that discipline has helped me survive my diagnosis.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t be here without it.”

He added: “Discipline or self-discipline provides the stamina to persevere. It bestows the ability to withstand hardships and difficulties, whether physical, emotional or mental.  It grants the ability to reject immediate satisfaction for something better.  Turning away from conventional therapies and embarking on my own path to treat my disease took discipline and courage.  I don’t want to give the wrong impression.  Of course I had doubts and second thoughts.  But once I made my decision as to my treatment course of choice, I challenged myself to maintain focus and discipline in order to see it through.”

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