My Family in Taiwan
Cherry(right) and her employer’s sister in the park.
My name is Cherry, and I’m from the Philippines. I am a caregiver, and I’ve been in Kaohsiung, Taiwan to look after my employer’s father. I’ve been here for seven years.
Initially I was frightened and anxious about going to work in Taiwan. Fortunately, I was lucky to find a good employer. My boss treated me like a family member. Therefore, I consider my employer’s father to be my grandfather and my employer’s sister to be my big sister. I was pleased and grateful to them. Every week, Big Sister would take Grandpa to Tai Ji Men Academy in Kaohsiung to practice qigong. Grandpa was happy, and so was I. At the Kaohsiung academy, brothers and sisters always smiled and talked to me as if we were close friends.
Big Sister encouraged me to participate in the Era of Conscience Movement, which was initiated by Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men. I made a commitment to myself that I will care for Grandpa as if he were my own family. Big Sister and her family are quite pleased with my hard work, and I am also pleased that they treat me as if I were family. Therefore, I feel happy, fortunate, and satisfied.
Three years ago, I felt a slight pain in my chest as well as a sensation of heat. Big Sister was great. She took Grandpa to the hospital for vaccinations and made an appointment for me to see a specialist as well. The doctor recommended a mammogram and a pelvic exam. There are two checklists for pap smears and mammography, and while the mammography was normal, we discovered abnormalities in the pap smear, which required a biopsy to determine whether the condition is inflammatory or cytopathic. A week later, we went back to the hospital to see the report. Dr. Li informed us that the cells were moderately malignant and that a large slice conical excision and treatment would be needed at the same time. If the sliced cells are still in poor condition, additional tests will be done. If ignored, the cells may develop into cancer within a few years. Even though it was a simple outpatient procedure, I was concerned when I learned the doctor had already scheduled the procedure. I didn’t comprehend much of the operation because Dr. Li didn’t explain it in English.
My husband’s health was deteriorating so I became the sole breadwinner of my family. I’m concerned about the risks of anesthesia and the possibility of hemorrhage during the procedure. Big Sister was thoughtful. She took me to get a second opinion with Dr. Chen, with whom she is familiar. Dr. Chen explained the risks of the operation in English and told me that I’m one of the lucky ones who had cytopathic screening at an early stage. He suggested that surgery must be performed, and early detection and treatments are both effective. Furthermore, conical excision is a minor procedure that does not require hospitalization and has no impact on work. Also, checkups will be scheduled every three months after the procedure to monitor the progress. I eventually overcame my apprehension and agreed to have the procedure. However, due to various factors that came into play, Dr. Chen, whom I trust, was unable to operate on me, causing me to reconsider the procedure once again.
This time, Big Sister encouraged me to practice qigong at Tai Ji Men to improve my immunity. She told me that even if I must undergo surgery, qigong practice would help me recover faster. She shared with me the concept that health is wealth. Since I began caring for Grandpa, I’ve accompanied him to Tai Ji Men at least twice a week. Seeing the good health and happiness that it has brought to him, I felt assured that this is the place for me to cultivate physical and mental health.
In January 2019, I became a member of the Energy Family (Tai Ji Men). Since then, I have been very happy. Big Sister and Grandpa are now my brothers and sisters. When I put on our white uniforms, I feel my entire body glows and I looked beautiful. Brothers and sisters also remind me what Shifu has taught us: Smile every day and be happy every day!
Grandpa uses the bathroom frequently and often gets up several times at night. As a result, my sleep was fragmented, and I could never truly rest. I became feeling fatigue during the day and often resulted in headaches and knee pains. However, ever since I started to practice qigong daily, my physical health has improved substantially. Big Sister also suggested that I practice qigong for a while before having my surgery. Surprisingly, two years ago my pap smear appeared to be normal. The doctor told me that the procedure is no longer required, that just routine checkups are needed. Last year I went for another routine examination and the result showed that I just had mild uterine inflammation. This makes me very happy and motivates me to practice qigong more diligently. Even more surprisingly, I lost two kilograms unexpectedly. What a pleasant surprise!
I am so grateful for the fortunate opportunity to work for an employer in Taiwan who treats me like family. I will do everything in my power to look after Grandpa and make him happy. Furthermore, I appreciate the warmth of the big family at Tai Ji Men, and I get along well with my Tai Ji Men brothers and sisters. Tai Ji Men is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a home for me in a foreign country.