How a Painful and Traumatic Health Threat Forced Me To Travel More 

Rox in Camotes Island, Cebu December 2014

How a Painful and Traumatic Health Threat Forced Me To Travel More

Everyone has their own stories why people pursue traveling. Some people travel to find themselves, some just got out of school to take a break and pursue travel, some just quit their job and took several months of sabbatical, some just had a broken relationship and needed to escape for a while and a lot more reasons only an individual can tell.

I have lots of reasons why I decided to travel – from a broken relationship, of finding oneself, but one reason that weighed a lot to let me travel more was that of an unexpected health threat.

It was early August 2014 when we went to Camiguin with mom, sister, and friends. After a few weeks, I needed to see a doctor for an annual breast check-up. Actually, I was seeing three doctors that time for another opinion until the second doctor recommended me a specialist. I even asked my mom to accompany me.

Was able to see a breast specialist, a surgeon – after a few minutes of observation she recommended that I needed to undergo biopsy – to remove the breast lump. Worried about the money since I don’t have the amount to schedule for the procedure right away. I asked the doctor if it was okay to delay for few months since I had scheduled a trip to Hong Kong last October 2014. She told me to have the procedure ASAP or it could get worse. To think I was working night shift before and I guess it added the stress. I told the doctor that I need to save money to reach the amount after pay day. The procedure made me scared and freaked out of the scar and having a bad shape on one of my breasts. Who doesn’t want a good pair of boobs, eh?

Related Article: How Travel Improves My Life

I told this situation to an online friend whom I never had the chance to see in person. He is happily married and a father to a son. He understood my situation, how hardworking I am as a person that he even offered to pay for the procedure. So touched of the idea that I told him I would pay him in return. I told my mom about it and we scheduled for a procedure after two days I got the money that was August 27.

I’ve never been hospitalized before, except the day when I was born from a hospital. I was really nervous because I never had any major illnesses that needed me to be confined. Although I was an outpatient, never been in my life I would have experienced being cut with a scalpel. First time inside the surgery room wearing that hospital gown, it was really weird.

I was on the operating table while the doctor injected anesthesia on my right breast. During the procedure, I was wide awake while listening to the doctor and her assistant. I was able to have a little talk for a few seconds. My right breast felt so numb like it was a rubber while the doctor was cutting and opening the skin.

Related Article: A Stranger Paid for my Surgery to Pursue my Love of Travel to Hong Kong

A few hours have passed until I screamed and cried in pain. I thought the procedure supposed to be painless because of anesthesia, but the anesthesia loses its effect. The doctor injected more, but just imagine what happened. At that time, she was cutting a blood vein. I could still remember how painfully traumatic it was for me. Although the pain subsided, it was temporary. I knew that I would be experiencing agony in the next few days.

The breast lump of 13mm was removed. Since I got home, I was crying every day and every night without enough sleep. Got an overdose of anesthesia that I even paid more for an extra small bottle. A lot of scary things were on my mind. I wasn’t working on how many days. Just emotionally and physically stressed.

First few days of September, just alone in a room crying, I told myself I would travel more. Because of the feeling, I felt like I needed to enjoy life as you only live once. But I have to be careful with my scar and myself. I needed to heal physically. Not even allowed to carry heavy things.

Despite the torture, I have to be thankful especially to that friend who offered his help without asking for return. I just wished him happiness in life and he found it. I, on the other hand, needed to recover. To get back being happy I just needed to look back of my travel photos how happy I was hopeful I could travel again to fully recover until I got a tempting invitation for a free one-way ticket to Palawan.

Related Article – Q & A: Why Do You Travel a Lot? How Come You Travel so Much?

Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.

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