After my mind went blank for a while from the shock of seeing the diagnosis of breast cancer, the first thing I did, trembling, was to open an airline booking website and look up tickets to Japan.
“I have to go back to Japan right away to have the surgery!”
I had no desire to have the surgery in Manila.
Because the Japanese I know living in Manila return home when surgery is needed. Those who give birth also usually return home a few months before the birth. I know people who have given birth or had surgery in Manila hospitals, those people are looked at with awe by Japanese as "braver than others.”
I have been in the Philippines for 9 years. Though I had no trouble with everyday English, but even my medical checkups and regular dental cleanings were done when I returned to Japan. I thought Japanese hospitals were much more reliable than Manila hospitals.
Having lived a very healthy life, I had never experienced "surgery" or "hospitalization" before. I did not dare to undergo the first surgery in my life, and a life-threatening one at that, in a "developing" country, the Philippines.
Still unable to wrap my head around the shock of the result - breast cancer - I frantically searched for a ticket to Japan. But at the time (November 2021), Manila was in the midst of a pandemic and the lockdown continued. There are many restrictions on traveling to and from foreign countries, and when I looked at the airline's reservation website, I could not determine whether I could book a ticket or even go to Japan because of the long list of warnings about traveling abroad.
What I learned from my research was that even if I could leave the Philippines, I would need to be quarantined for two weeks after arriving in Japan, and that once I was outside the Philippines, I could not enter the Philippines because I had not been vaccinated. (*Travel as of November 2021)
I was not confident that I could endure two weeks of quarantine with the fear that the cancer would progress over time. I could easily imagine that after the quarantine, I would have to find a hospital in Japan and have the tests redone in Japan. An Internet search revealed that at a popular Tokyo hospital for breast cancer surgery, there is a waiting list of several months for the procedure. Even if I managed to return to Japan, I had no idea when I would be able to get the surgery.
I also didn't want to be unable to enter the Philippines once I left the country. I would not be able to see my husband who works in the Philippines. Even just being diagnosed with cancer, the biggest stress of my life, I did not want to add to the stress, returning to Japan.
Then I suddenly realized that the only option would be to have the surgery in Manila. Even Manila has hospitals, of course. I had an ultrasound, mammogram, and cytology done at a hospital in Manila. I knew that the surgery would also be available in Manila. Given my situation, it seemed best to have the surgery here. However, I had never even been to a dental checkup in Manila. Taking a cancer surgery in Manila seemed like a big hurdle, not an easy one to overcome.
Because I have been an extremely cautious person since childhood. It took more preparation time and courage than others to start something new. In other words, I am very timid.
Still, until around my early thirties, I was inspired by my friends and surroundings to try new things, but as the years went by, I found myself having fewer and fewer opportunities to do so, and my life pattern became one of not stepping out of my comfort zone. The pandemic, which restricted outings, accelerated this trend. Life inside the comfort zone is very easy, but boring and no growth.
Master Del Pe, my teacher in energy science, has pointed out that there are many causes of serious illnesses and accidents that cannot be proven by modern science, one of which is "Spiritual Awakening.”
In Master Del Pe's theory, "Soul" guides "Personality" with a physical body. When "Soul" decides to grow its "Personality" rapidly, it may cause a life-threatening illness or accident. This happens when the physical body is still healthy and "Soul" decides that it can manage to overcome the illness or accident.
At first, I could not understand at all why I got cancer though I had been so particular about my healthy diet and lifestyle, but now I think it must have been a message from my "Soul" telling me to grow. In fact, Master Del Pe told me so.
When I told a cancer survivor group I was attending in Manila, "I think cancer is a life-changing program," all the participants nodded their heads. It is probably a common feeling among those who have experienced and overcome cancer. Cancer has inspired me to try new things. I now want to use this physical body to experience many things, to help others, and to grow.
Breast cancer surgery in Manila, without a doubt, was the biggest challenge of my life to date.
In order to somehow get up the courage, I consulted my best friend from high school, who is a doctor. Although she does not specialize in breast cancer, she is an excellent doctor with high aspirations and is constantly learning. She is a trusted friend. I sent her an e-mail saying, "I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I am wondering whether I should go back to Japan or have the surgery in Manila." She responded immediately, even though she was supposed to be extremely busy with her medical examinations and research.
“While studying in the U.S., I met several Filipino doctors, and I don't think the level of medical care is any different from that in Japan."
I was so glad that I have friends I could turn to in times like these. With her encouragement, I decided to have the surgery in Manila and contacted the hospital.
Author's introduction: Chie Hoshiya
Since 2013, she has been living in Manila, Philippines, where she works as a yoga teacher and online Japanese teacher. In 2021, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and treatment,and in the process of treatment, encountered energy healing. In 2022,Certified as an Energy Healing Associate Specialist by the World institute for incurable diseases (WIID),founded by Master Del Pe, a world-renowned Healing Master.