In October 2001, J.R. O'Connor (Rhio) was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the asbestos caused cancer. His prognosis was less than a year to live. Surgery was not possible because of the position of the tumor and chemotherapy would decrease his quality of life and not significantly improve his length of life. His oncologist suggested that he take his wife on a cruise and start hospice care upon his return. Rhio rejected the idea. Instead he was determined to survive this cancer. Working with other professional clinicians, he formulated a regimen of over 100 supplements a day, changed his diet, practiced mind-body medicine, and relied on his own discipline to see him through the difficult times ahead. Rhio passed away on July 11, 2009. He was 69 years old. He outlived his prognosis by seven years.
In They Said Months, I Chose Years: A Mesothelioma Survivor's Story, author and cancer survivor J.R O'Connor explains what he did to survive his diagnosis of mesothelioma and provides much of the science behind his decisions. He cites nearly one hundred medical articles that support the paradigm of using nutrition to help manage a chronic disease like cancer. This inspirational book reminds us that there may be other ways to beat cancer beyond chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. It also prompts us to recall the wisdom of Hippocrates, the "father of medicine." Over 2,000 years ago this Greek physician said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."