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

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

This Filipino traveller's touching story will make you want to travel more and live life to the fullest.

Contributed by I Travel Rox

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Everyone has their own stories to pursue travelling. Some people travel to find themselves, some just got out of school to take a break, 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 travel – a broken relationship, of finding oneself, but one reason that weighed a lot to let me travel more was my unexpected health threat.

Also read: It’s Okay to Be Addicted to Travel but Clueless With Life

It was early August 2014 when I went to Camiguin with my mom, my sister and some 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.

I was able to see a breast specialist, a surgeon, and after a few minutes of observation, she recommended that I needed to undergo a biopsy to remove the breast lump. I was 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 a 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; I guess it added to the stress. I told the doctor that I need to save money to reach the amount after pay day. One thing I was scared about the procedure was the scar; I freaked out about the idea of having a bad breast shape.

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

Also read: How to Balance Your Work and Travel Life

I’ve never been hospitalised before, except for the day when I was born. I was really nervous because I never had any major illnesses that needed me to be confined. Never in my life have I experienced being cut with a scalpel. It was my first time inside the surgery room wearing that hospital gown. It was really weird.

I was on the operating table while the doctor injected anaesthesia on my right breast. During the procedure, I was wide awake while listening to the doctor and her assistant, and we had 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.

Few hours have passed until I screamed and cried in pain. I thought the procedure was supposed to be painless because of anaesthesia, but it loses its effect. The doctor injected more; you could just imagine what happened. At the 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 had been removed. Since I got home, I was crying every day and every night without enough sleep. I was overdosed with anaesthesia that I even paid more for an extra small bottle. A lot of scary things were on my mind. I wasn’t working for many days. I was emotionally and physically affected by what happened.

I spent the first few days of September just alone in a room crying. I told myself I would travel more. 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. I wasn’t allowed to carry heavy things.

Also read: Travel Will Make You Question Life and Everything Else

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

About Author

Roxanne Tamayo
Roxanne Tamayo

Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad, a freelance online worker since 2009. She made her first solo travel in Japan and made it to five countries in 2015. She also loves travelling while doing volunteer work. She decides to be more adventurous and is now a certified scuba diver. Get to know more about her at!


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