Mesothelioma Patient Lives Seven Years Longer Than Predicted
James Rhio, a mesothelioma patient, died on July 11, 2009 at the age of 69. According to Surviving Mesothelioma: A Patient’s Guide, Rhio lived seven plus years longer than his prognosis.
When Rhio was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2001, he was told to go on a cruise and then start hospice care when he returned. His only chance of living a few extra months was chemotherapy, since neither surgery nor radiation were an option in his case. Rhio rejected chemotherapy and found his own way to live with his disease which gave him the additional years to live the life he so loved.
Rhio emphasized there is no right or wrong treatment for everyone. Surviving mesothelioma required an individual approach with the help of trained clinicians, he said.
Not only did Rhio enjoy his family and friends during these extra years, he also mentored others and was a consistent motivation and support to other cancer patients. He talked to newly diagnosed patients and shared his thoughts and experience along with a little humor when appropriate.
The details of his journey with mesothelioma can be found in his book “They Said Months. I Chose Years! A Mesothelioma Survivor’s Story,” published by Cancer Monthly.