"The Diagnosis of Advanced Cancer"
"I've never seen someone let it go this far before."
Several years ago, I received the diagnosis of bladder cancer from a doctor. I had been experiencing blood in my urine for about a year, but since there was no pain, I brushed it off and didn't seek medical attention.
One day, at work, when I went to the restroom, the urine was the color of wine... Alarmed, I rushed to the hospital.
The diagnosis was that there was a tumor the size of a ping pong ball and two tumors the size of marbles in my bladder. The surface of one-third of my bladder was covered in pimple-like cancer growths.
"The only option is immediate hospitalization and a complete removal of the bladder. You'll have an artificial bladder. Life will become more challenging..."
Suddenly, facing the cancer diagnosis, with my mind in turmoil, the doctor calmly explained the treatment plan for the future.
("Wait a moment... This is overwhelming.")
The Cause of Cancer
"Most cancers are caused by inner suffering and conflicts triggered by tangled personal relationships. In life, like a difficult jigsaw puzzle, there are probably a large number of problems that may seem impossible to solve. If we struggle with such problems, cancer is highly likely to form." (From Miraculous Ways to Conquer Cancer)
Having already learned the teachings of Happy Science, I understood that the cause of my cancer was rooted in my own state of mind. Yet, accepting this wasn't easy.
I reflected on how I portrayed myself. Advising friends and acquaintances about the importance of living with a harmonious heart, while realizing my own lack of control over my own heart...
(Am I just pretending to know something and yet struggling to control my own emotions?)
Leaving the hospital and heading home, I pondered these thoughts, and something surprising dawned on me. Despite being diagnosed with advanced cancer, the intense "fear of death" that had haunted me for so long was no longer present.
(Something's not right. Perhaps, despite having faith, I was masking my fear for appearances...)
Sharing the Cancer Declaration with Family
After dinner that day, I deliberately reported the illness to my wife, son, and daughter, who was a university student at the time, in a lighthearted manner.
"Alright! I'm making the announcement now. I have cancer."
Looking around, I saw my wife's expression cloud over, while my children remained silent.
It seemed somewhat comical to observe myself, who had been concealing my true feelings in front of my family.
(This is bad. I must expose the darkness and lies in my heart honestly...)
Shortly after that, I brought many books and CDs from Happy Science into the hospital. In between tests and lectures about artificial bladders, I examined my heart while reading the teachings.
Discovering the Poison in My Heart
Since cancer cells had formed due to the workings of my mind, it was clear that I must have accumulated a significant amount of toxic emotions in my heart.
At the time, I was working as a postmaster, and whenever my emotions were stirred, thoughts of my workplace would inevitably come to mind.
Irritation towards subordinates who struggled with paperwork, looking down on those who needed to be reminded repeatedly, feeling my temper rise towards subordinates lacking in customer service...
(Why can't they do it?) (Idiots, how many times do I have to say it to make them understand?)
Though I didn't express these thoughts to their faces, I would shower them with insults in my mind.
It was undoubtedly the emotion of "anger" or "hatred" (known as "Jin" in Buddhism), which contradicted the teachings of Happy Science, and this was evident in my inner dialogue.
Furthermore, I realized that whenever something didn't go my way, I would continuously harbor dissatisfaction, for minutes or even hours on end. This was the habit of perpetually complaining, known as the "ignorant" (known as "chi" in Buddhism) mind.
Though I appeared efficient and sociable on the outside, deep within my heart, there was a whirlwind of blame and criticism towards others.
A Heartfelt Apology Within
Before my hospitalization, when I shared news of my illness at work, the employees seemed to let out a sigh of relief, as if secretly glad that they no longer had to deal with their demanding boss.
(Was it tough for them to work with me, an uncompromising boss who wasn't as lenient?) I apologized within my heart to each of my subordinates.
Next, I reflected my life, contemplating where this arrogance within me had originated.
I was born as the sixth son into a family where my father managed a business while also serving as a politician. At a young age, I was sent to live with childless relatives as an adopted child, and I was raised with care and affection by my foster parents.
After graduating from university, I got a job at the post office through a friend's referral. At the age of 29, I married my wife, who was a flight attendant for a major airline, and our family lived in a newly built house. At the age of 35, I was selected as the head of a special post office. This post office was located in a prominent commercial and industrial zone, allowing us to achieve exceptional sales figures every year. As a result, my connections in the political and business sectors became strong. My life was sailing smoothly.
Unknowingly, I had been "arrogant."
Gratitude to Those Who Sustain Me
In my daily life, when I demonstrated model behavior for my subordinates, it often came across as if I were saying, "How about that?" I presented myself professionally during customer interactions and at the service windows. My sense of complacency was bound to irk my subordinates.
"So when you look back at the journey you have taken thus far, if you can only remember how well you've done for yourself, then there is something you have forgotten. In fact, there are many things that you have overlooked. You've been putting in your effort—that's probably true—but your efforts were made possible because of the people around you. Other people have fostered the circumstances that helped manifest them." (From "The Royal Road of Life")
As I recalled the faces of those who had cared for me since childhood, I realized the list was endless. While being supported by countless individuals, I had come this far in life. Thinking about this, I remembered a sentiment that I had long forgotten. It was the virtue of "humility."
I remembered my sincere and innocent self from my early twenties.
Embracing the "Preparation for Death"
My older siblings had passed away due to atomic bombings and illnesses. This had left a lasting impact, and since childhood, I had harbored a fear of death.
However, with faith, I had developed a firm conviction in the existence of the afterlife. When the doctor declared my cancer, I was surprised by the absence of the usual fear of death. I realized that it was the result of being protected by my faith.
"Everything I've experienced was planted by my own actions. Entrust everything to the Buddha, and accept the outcome, no matter what it may be."
What I can do right now
In the local branch of Happy Science, I heard that the branch leader offers "Prayer for Recovery from Illness."
Knowing that fellow believers with the same faith were always praying for me, whether in good times or bad, and that there was a divine presence watching over me...
(What a source of strength faith can be.) It wasn't until I fell ill that I truly felt this deeply.
"I've been someone who has always received love from others and been selfish in taking it. So, from now on, I want to live a life of selfless love."
I wasn't afraid of death, but I did regret not being kinder to the people around me as I approached the end of this life. Despite my illness, I vowed to do what I could with my present self.
Putting "Love that gives "into Action
Even though the hospital room was shared by four patients and had a somber atmosphere, I made an effort to break the silence. I initiated conversations, asked my family to bring playing cards, traditional Japanese card games, and puzzles, so the patients could play together.
I also helped elderly patients by assisting them in the bath, helping them dress and undress, which led to patients from other wards coming to visit. We even organized a farewell party.
Overflowing with Gratitude
During those days, something incredible happened.
Every so often, a feeling of gratitude would surge from my belly to my chest, like water gushing from a broken pipe. It would happen at random moments, while walking in the hospital corridor or during meals. I would inexplicably utter the words, "What a wonderful life," and tears would uncontrollably flow.
Even my wife, who witnessed this, was perplexed and said, "You're not going to die tomorrow, so why are you so emotional?"
It was a moment when I could accept everything about my life and even death. It felt like I had finally let go of something. I discovered pure gratitude at the core of my heart, and I felt a sense of relief.
(Whenever I'm lost, I can come back here...)
A Miracle of Faith
Then, one day, as the surgery approached, the doctor unexpectedly suggested something.
"I've never done this for someone in such a condition, but how about we try burning the affected area with an endoscope without removing the bladder?"
I knew that removing the cancer that had spread extensively in my bladder would be an incredibly difficult task. However, I entrusted myself to the doctor. Although there was a risk of creating a hole in my bladder during the procedure due to the depth of the cancer, the surgery was successful.
"Despite the severity of your condition, the cancer was only on the surface. It didn't spread to your ureters," the doctor said, visibly surprised. "It might be thanks to your faith..."
A Treasure of the Heart
Two months after the cancer diagnosis, I returned to work.
"If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me anytime."
Before my hospitalization, I had told my subordinates to do so, but none of them came to me. In the past, this might have shaken me. However, at that moment, I was able to bless the growth of my subordinates, who had been managing their work smoothly even without me, and I felt grateful to all of them.
Several years have passed since the surgery, and I have regained my health to the point where I no longer need regular cancer check-ups. After retiring, I became an executive at a local company and engaged in volunteer work for Happy Science, leading a fulfilling life.
As we age, our hearts tend to become entrenched in the fixed tendencies of the soul,termed 'existence.'
Changing oneself is not an easy task, but over these past few years, I have continuously strived to shift the needle of my heart, which was often pointed towards the "hellish direction," to the "heavenly direction."
Although I am still far from perfection, the habit of steering my heart is a valuable asset in my life.
Receiving a "New Life"
When I was told I had cancer, if I had not had faith, I might have been filled with fear, rushing to buy medical books, sweating while reading them, and agonizing over ways to prolong my physical life.
Illness served as the catalyst for me to realize my mistaken thoughts. Through the teachings, I was able to deeply reflect on the tendencies of my heart and correct them. I believe that the recovery of my physical and mental health was truly a "miracle of faith."
I offer my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who supported me and to the divine being who granted me a "new life." I look forward to living a life of gratitude in return.