Since I was a child I was interested in various things and I felt that I was connected with animals, plants, and nature. As I grew up some of my passion and interest changed, but I have not changed love for dogs, cats, nature, and plants. I have been living with multiple dogs and cats…
When I visited Japan in April this year I had a chance to try Red Shiso juice for the first time.
The taste was much milder than I expected and refreshing!
I love it so much so I wanted to make my own.
When I was growing up in Japan my mother used Red Shiso leaves for making pickles of umeplums and ginger, but she never made as juice so I never taste it till this time.
I only have read Red Shiso makes delicious juice and many benefits for examples: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, high levels of rosmarinic acid which stops bacteria growth, high in minerals, iron, calcium, Vitamin B1and β-carotene (10 X more than that of pumpkin), helping for summer lethargy, improves immune function, allergy, blood pressures, aging spots, etc.
So I was very happy that I was able to try this time.
I thought about it as making for a cooling summer remedy drink!
I really wanted to make it my own this summer, but had a difficult time growing Red Shiso leaves every summer.
Also, I broke my left knee after I came back from Japan while I was hiking with my dogs. I had to put my left knee above my heart so I was lyaing down most of the time. I had to grow seeds that I planted this spring in pots so I could move them where I could reach to water from my wheelchair.
I transplanted all of them into one-gallon pots and put them the east side of my house on the deck instead of the southside on the ground.
I thought they grew better with much sunlight, but I found out that they did grew much better with morning sunlight to till 2 pm.
I had so much red shiso and green shiso grew successfully this summer so my wish of making Red Shiso Juice came reality even I was in my wheelchair.
Shiso has natural preservative qualities and can be kept as a concentrate for making drinks in the refrigerator for months.
You can also freeze the Shiso juice concentrate so that you can enjoy an anti-inflammatory drink all winter long.
Here is my recipe of Red Shiso Juice. (I do not know why it calls “Red Shiso Juice” because it is actually making like tea.
Red Shiso Juice Recipe
- 300 g (about 10 oz) red shiso leaves
- 2000 ml (about 8 cups) spring water
- 150~600 g (about 5~20oz) beet sugar (Option)
- 3~5 tbs lemon juice
1. Prepare shiso leaves; cut leaves if you are growing your own shiso plant and wash and trim the stems from shiso leaves. You might find an insect just like me.
2. Wash shiso leaves with water and cleans them carefully. Soak them in a bowl for 15 min.
3. Bring 2000ml water in a large saucepan and add the prepared and washed shiso leaves and bring to boil.
4. Turn the heat down to low heat and cook the shiso leaves for about 5 minutes. The leaves color will change from purple to greenish color.
5. Drain the shiso leaves with a strainer and squeeze the leaves to extract as much as you can. It is hot so be careful not to burn your finger, I used a wooden spoon to extract all liquid.
6. Place the drained liquid back to the saucepan and bring it to simmer.
7. Add the beet sugar, and when the sugar dissolved, turn the heat off and add lemon juice in. The color change to a beautiful red.
8. Cool it down and transfer to a sterilized glass container and keep in the refrigerator which is last about 6 months.
9. To make shiso juice, place 1-2 tbs of the syrup and pour about 200 ml of cold mineral water or cold sparking water. I usually do not put ice cubes, but If you like you can add ice cubes.
Most of us seen green ones in Japanese restaurants.
It has been almost two years since I was diagnosed with “only weeks to live” http://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/
by my oncologist, Dr. Mead, because of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver Stage IV.
It was a terribly hard (actually, “hard” is not a strong enough word for what I went through) time of darkness, fear, pain, suffering, and sadness. Even now, everyday, I face dying—and this is not exaggerated.
But I am still living with the feeling of my life more than ever.
There is the phrase “bucket list” in English.
(There is no Japanese phrase like that so I did not know until I came to America.)
I wrote my bucket list for the first time after I was told I had only weeks to live.
My first item was to recover from lymphoma of liver.
Since I love to do many things and enjoy my life, so I wrote many other items on the list.
The fifth item was “Going to a live concert of Yuming,” a Japanese singer/songwriter who has been my favorite since I was in high school.
Her song helped me a lot when I was going through late teenager challenging time.
As you see on the top photo I took Yuming’s newest 45th- anniversary special CD “Love songs from Yuming” with my stainless steel bucket (I use this bucket every morning for my body scrub) and one of my favorite flowers, freesia from my garden which was planted when I was taking chemotherapy and blooming now.
I still listen to Yuming’s songs very often and I am listening right now as I write this.
I found out that Yuming has started her 45th-anniversary tour, and she’d added an extra show in my hometown of Nagoya on December 30 last year.
The only way to purchase a ticket was by lottery, so I said to myself: If I win, I am supposed to go just like I wrote on my bucket list.
So, I entered the lottery.
I could not believe it, but I won.
I really wanted to go, but my health was not good enough yet.
I was very sad, but I gave the tickets away.
The new year came, and I was able to go see the new year sunrise, as I used to do until two years ago.
At the sunrise, I made a wish that I would win the lottery again and be able to go to Yuming’s concert in the spring.
Can you believe it?
I won again!
I felt heaven and even God supporting me, and I was so moved!
My birthday is April 4, and the concert is on April 7.
Going to Japan and Yuming’s concert are gifts for my birthday and my survival.
I’d prayed that my most recent CT scan results would be good, and when I received the news from my oncologist, I was so happy. The mass of lymphoma in my liver is now only 2.8 cm x 2.5 cm (it was 13.8 cm x 8.2 cm two years ago), and I have no new lesions.
I have not taken any medication since chemotherapy.
I make remedy drinks, cook macrobiotic foods, do my body scrub, exercise (walking with my dog family, yoga, qigong, do-in, etc.), and do moxibustion, reiki, and other holistic modalities.
I also started helping other people who need my healing work.
I am so grateful to be able to share my experience with others once again.
There were times I was depressed and impatient because I was not able to go places I wanted to go and do the things I wanted to do. Blamed myself for getting another cancer even it was after 24 years and I was doing macrobiotics with my best ability. Suffering from what other macrobiotic teachers/people/students said. Started to doubt what I was doing was not good enough to get well.
Got lonely that I can’t see my friends as I used to, also was jealous of seeing everyone going to many places on FaceBook and Instagram, but I could not.
But I knew the deep down inside of me that it was important for me to focus on getting better and acknowledge all these feelings even they were not comfortable feelings.
I am truly happy to see that the seed of recovery that has been sprouting and growing.
Now my top bucket list item is “To know when to let myself take a rest, not do too much, and fulfill my bucket list slowly but surely”.
Bucket lists are not only for people who are sick and/or older,
so how about writing what your heart desires and making your dream come true?
With all my love,
I am originally from Japan.
I grew up there till I was 19 years old, so I had heard of Reiki before I moved to the US.
But I thought it was kind of a spooky thing because the word rei 霊 means “spirit,” and ki 気 is “energy.”
I was not sure what “energy of spirit” was about;
I could only think that it may have something to do with a ghost (hahaha), which in Japanese is yuu rei 幽霊.
I was scared and not interested.
The first time I received Reiki was after I was in a coma for three days at a trauma hospital in Phoenix, Arizona because of my near-fatal car crash outside of a little village of Hope, Arizona in 2001.
I had broken ribs, knees, ankles, feet and toes, and my heart and lungs were crushed and damaged.
I had a tube to my lungs and from my mouth to breathe.
I was not able to talk for a while because of the tube in my mouth.
Every part of my body was in so much pain.
Eric (my husband) told me later on that as soon as I came out of the coma and the tube was removed from my mouth,
I was telling him to move my intensive care bed closer to the window so I could feel the sunlight and heal.
When he told me he could not move me—since I was attached to so many machines—I cursed at him and said,
“Move the f***ing bed to the window!
I have to feel sunlight!!!”
Of course, he could not move the bed at all, so I was pissed off.
But I could not be pissed off for too long, because I was told by my doctors that I would not be able to walk anymore; my legs were brutally broken.
They had thought they’d have to amputate my left leg, but they were able to keep it.
I am so grateful for the doctors’ decision, but I did not know there were many years of physical therapy, daily massages, and positive affirmations to come.
After surgery, I had 3 thick titanium plates and 13 screws all over both of my legs and ankles.
My legs, feet, and toes were numb, but at the same time, I had so much pain.
How is it possible to have no feeling but extreme nerve pain?
I could not explain, but that was the way I felt (I still have some of the numbness and pain).
I was not able to sleep much, so my friend’s roommate, who was learning Reiki, came to give me my first treatment.
Reiki helped me relax and sleep.
I could not believe it, and I never forgot about it.
My recovery from that car crash was very long, but I experienced a long recovery already when I had ovarian cancer in 1993 so even I had to be in a wheelchair for many years I never lost my hope and I remember how much Reiki helped me at the trauma hospital in Arizona.
I really wanted to learn the practice, so I found a teacher in Redondo Beach in 2002.
I think I did not have a connection with that teacher, or I was not ready to learn something new.
My focus needed to be on healing from PTSD and learning how to live my new life with a wheelchair.
It was a big transition time, and I was not able to accept that I was going to be in a wheelchair the rest of my life.
I started to walk again with crutches and not use the wheelchair all the time, little by little.
After 17 years, I now only use a cane and no wheelchair, most of the time.
My legs, feet, and toes have still nerve pain all the time— sometimes so much that I can’t sleep.
But I have learned Vipassana meditation and learned to accept the numbness and pain and try to not get attached to it.
This practice helps enable me to do many things like bicycling, yoga, and hiking.
I’ve loved yoga since I was in my 20s,
so I challenged myself to take Yoga Teacher Training a few years ago, when I turned 60 years old, and become a yoga instructor.
Read my blog, “Yoga for Life.”
Back to the Reiki: I really wanted to learn it again with the right teacher.
I met Amanda Jaye, an English lady who lived in Japan and mastered Jikiden reiki (Jikiden means “directly handed down”) in Kyoko, Japan.
This is Amanda Jaye’s website.
Her teaching was more authentic, traditional Japanese Reiki.
I connected to it right away.
Amanda teaches using Japanese words, so we can feel kototama 言霊
the five precepts, or go kai 五戒, are all in Japanese,
and everyone has to learn to say them in Japanese).
I love reijyu 霊授, which is translated in English as “attunements.”
Below is what Amanda wrote about reijyu on her blog:
In the 1920s, Japanese founder, Usui sensei, devised a simple way to clear the connection we all have to this ability within.
Our natural state. His method has been passed down through generations for more than 90 years.
In the west, you often hear the word ‘attunement’, yet this has a slightly different meaning than the Japanese ‘Reiju’.
There is nothing new to ‘tune in’ to. You already have Reiki running through you.
The easiest analogy is to imagine cleaning a pipe that is clogged – you do not have to build a new pipe or tune into a new frequency like a radio station. Reiju simply clears the pipe you already have so the flow is more abundant and can then have a greater effect when given to yourself or others.
I practice and use Reiki just like I cook macrobiotic foods.
I used Reiki for my dog daughter Kula when she was diagnosed with spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) two years ago.
We were told she would live about two weeks to two months.
I included Reiki in my healing modality of making macrobiotic food, Chinese herbal medicines, acupuncture, moxibustion, Bach Flower remedy, homeopathy, and essential oil for her, but I was not confident enough to communicate with her yet since I started to study animal communication eight months before she got sick.
I also did not know how deeply and powerfully beneficial Reiki really would be that time.
I felt Kula liked Reiki, but I was not sure how much it was really helping her.
Now I can see now that I did not give her enough Reiki time everyday for her to get the benefit because I was too busy with my work and worried about what to cook for her. She departed to heaven 2.5 months later in my arms.
Last year, I received Reiki twice a week from my friend Sally, to help me heal from cancer of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV.
My blog “My First Chemotherapy”
I was suffering so much with pain in my liver, and the chemotherapy was the most discomfort I’ve ever experienced.
I was not able to sleep.
I was sad, and I cried a lot.
But every time I received Reiki, I was able to sleep and deeply relax.
I was able to feel happiness again through the sessions, and I felt I had my hope of getting better.
Finally, I experienced how Reiki is truly a deep, powerful modality for my body, mind, and soul (spirit).
From that experience, I decided to add Reiki to my practice more seriously once I got better.
I have also been using moxibustion, which helped me relax and able to ease my pain, so I decided to combine the two together for myself everyday continuously.
Reiki and moxibustion combination have been helping me so much to release the pain and relax me deeply.
Another thing helping is meditation so I practice it everyday.
Reiki and moxibustion with meditation combination for my recover from Lymphoma is a big key for me everyday.
Since I had ovarian cancer in 1993 I was not able to have a baby.
My husband, Eric and my joy of life is having dog and cat family so we live with six dogs and two cats.
In order for me to get my strength back after chemotherapy for Lymphoma I started to hiking with dogs.
My animal family has been teaching me and helping my life so much.
Now going to hiking with my dogs became a therapy for me.
Here is my blog of “Hiking with Dogs“.
Now about once a week, I hike with my dog’s hiking friends so there are usually more than 10 dogs.
Two months ago, Kula’s sister Oro was diagnosed with the same spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma).
See my blog, “Oro Came To My Life The Day My Mother Passed”
I have been giving Oro Reiki, with combinations of massage and moxibustion with Bach Flower Remedy and aromatherapy guided by holistic veterinarian Dr. Lane.
I can see how much Oro likes them, how much she can relax and she is getting benefits.
I am also able to communicate with Oro better than two years ago when I was communicating with Kula.
Other important things are I have more time to spend with Oro and learn to trust her to give me direction so I am not worried about what I need to cook for her so much. I am leaning to see how much Oro is teaching. I always feel my animal family (six dogs and two cats) is teaching me and they are my teachers.
I started to help some of my clients and offer Reiki, combining with shiatsu and moxibustion.
My clients who have experienced Reiki recognized how much benefit they got.
I also use Reiki to help my husband, Eric relax.
I am very happy that I am able to help my husband and animal family and other people with what I believe and what I experienced.
This past weekend, my teacher Amanda came to America to offer her seminar again.
It was so good to attend it to review my practice.
I met wonderful Reiki practitioners too.
Reiki class is also offered at Cancer Support Community in West Los Angeles once a month (every third Thursday at 6 pm, but call to make sure 310.314.2555) at no charge.
I enjoyed the class when I attended there.
If you do not know Reiki and you are going through with cancer, this is a good place to start.
Also, I think many classes are offered around your area so you can find it and learn for yourself.
When I found out Oro had spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) at the end of July,
I started to give Reiki right away and also looked for Animal Reiki class for me to take.
I never saw Animal Reiki sight before, but it was meant to be for me to find it this time.
So I just started to take Animal Reiki level 1 with Kathleen Prasad.
Even though I have taking Reiki classes with the certificate of Reiki practitioner and giving Reiki to many people and been giving Reiki to my animal family already, I thought I could learn more.
This will be a great addition to my studies in animal communication with Lydia Hiby.
There are eight people from all over not just in the U.S. in Animal Reiki level 1 class.
There are eight classes to meet on line every Monday morning.
I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s story and receiving Reiju from Kathleen.
Kathleen has over come breast cancer and she has already taught me a lot as also cancer survivor like I am cancer survior.
I know learning Reiki for animals will help my dog and cat family even more and perhaps help rescued dogs and kitties in the future when I am a fully recover from Lymphoma.
Below is one of Animal Reiki level 1 homework from first week to reflect on one of the Reiki precepts while completing the turtle zentangle.
For today only:
do not anger
do not worry
be honest in your work
be compassionate to yourself and others
I choose the third one – do not worry.
Since Oro was diagnosed cancer I am worry a lot about her.
I choose the colors that this turtle is living in Maui (Hawaii) and swimming freely and happy without worry. I liked the colors I choose.
I repeated Reiki precepts while I was coloring many times and spent more than three hours to complete.
I noticed that this simple exercise homework of coloring the turtle helped me to calm and not worry about Oro so much.
“What is Animal Reiki,” from Kathleen Prasad’s website:
- This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.
- Animal Reiki is mindfulness meditation practiced “with” our animals, rather than an energy therapy done “to” them.
- Animal Reiki meditation is taught as a state of mind with flexible physical forms.
- Touch is used only when animals seek it out, and then only as a compassionate support.
- Mental focus techniques develop an “All is Well” state of mind for the practitioner that sees the animal’s perfection in this moment. Kathleen calls this seeing with your “Animal Reiki eyes,” in other words, seeing more deeply, with your heart.
- This method acknowledges and honors each animal as a spiritual teacher and healer in his/her own right. Practitioners learn to listen to animals and become receptive to their spiritual wisdom and healing gifts.
I am happy to share how I started Reiki, where I am now with it, and where I might be going in the future.
Love, Sanae 💖
What a recovery journey I have had in the past year.
So far, I am getting better slowly and smoothly.
I thought I’d never regained my strength while I was getting EPOCH chemotherapy for 24 hours of five days each time.
After chemotherapy, I had to take Neulasta (to bring up my white blood cells),
which made my whole body scream with pain.
Did you know we have 206 bones in our body?
Can you imagine if all these bones are in pain?
I do not want to even think about it anymore after I experienced the pain so intensely and violently.
I cried each time and just lay on my bed, closed my eyes, and focused on breathing.
After all six rounds of chemotherapy, I did not get my strength back for so long, so I was worried.
But I met someone at my Cancer Support Community meetings who’d had the same chemotherapy, and she told me it took at least six months for her strength to come back.
That helped me to not rush and give myself time.
I have been off the chemotherapy for 10 months now.
I have learned to take a nap everyday, even if it’s just 15 minutes.
If I am not able to take a nap, I just lie down and rest.
I never used to do so before, no matter how tired I was.
I did not know what I was missing, hahaha!
Taking care of myself is working.
My hair is growing beautifully (Read Growing Healthy, Beautiful Hair After Chemotherapy )
and I started to go hiking with my dogs and their hiking gangs,
usually altogether 12–13 dogs, in the Santa Monica Mountains once a week.
Can you believe it?
Even though I am the one doing it, it is almost impossible to believe it.
I am very proud of Sanae!
Of course, the first few times, I was so tired, and I thought I would not make it,
because I’m hiking with not just one or two dogs, but over 10 dogs!
I am having a ball every time.
I was able to finish about two miles.
I thank my friend Cecilia, who is a dog trainer and has been taking my dogs with her hiking gangs.
I was able to come up with a little gig when I come to hike with them.
My gig is picking up their poo.
I thought this would be the best way to help Cecilia and myself get good luck.
What does good luck have to do with picking up dog poo?
Well, in Japanese, “poo” is unko or unchi,
and “luck” in Japanese is un.
Whenever I step on poo, I tell myself, “I am so lucky, thank you!!!”
The last few times, Cecilia trusted me, so I got a promotion!
Now I am taking care of two or three small dogs while hiking.
Life is full of miracles:
I had ovarian cancer stage IV in 1993; after a near-fatal car crash in 2001, my heart stopped for 12 minutes; I spent three days in a coma, and the doctor said I would not walk again.
But after four years of life in a wheelchair, I started to walk.
I got married, I have dog and cat children, I restarted teaching cooking and counseling,
and I became a yoga teacher after 60 years of age.
I beat another cancer, primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma of liver stage IV, and now I’m hiking with so many dogs.
Dog hiking is healing me!
If you ever doubt your life, please remember: You have a choice to live.
Live like everything is a miracle, like I decided to live.
Please do not give up!
There is no limit for us to live, not even the sky!
With all my love,
Lotus Root Tea and Carrot and Daikon Remedy Drinks
The weather is getting cooler, and our official calendar date of autumn is here.
It is time for us to take care of our lungs and large intestine.
When the weather changes from hot to warm to cool, before it gets really cold, our body adjusts our lungs to breathing in cooler air.
Our whole body feels the cooler air and tightens up the lungs.
So, if you were eating excess protein, fat, and oil (both animal or plant-based foods),
and they are all squeezed out, guess what—our body is trying to detox, and mucus is coming out.
You might have a runny nose or sneezing to detoxify nasal mucus, as well as coughing or a sore throat to detoxify phlegm.
Does that sound familiar?
These recipes are very good when you’ve eaten too much oily and mucus-producing food.
Lotus Root tea is especially good to drink when the weather is starting to cool down and you have a sore throat and are starting to cough. Also, it is a good remedy drink for Pneumonia, Asthma, Bronchitis and even Lung cancer.
I made it just this morning for Eric and Oro, who have started coughing.
I think they feel much better.
They love this remedy drink because fresh lotus root is very creamy and naturally sweet when grated with a ceramic grater.
Carrot and Daikon Remedy helps detox your body, especially the intestine, from excessive consumption of animal- or plant-based protein, fat, oil, and salt.
Recipe for Fresh Lotus Tea Remedy Drink
MAKES 1 SERVING
1⁄2 cup fresh lotus root, grated
1⁄2 to 1 cup purified water
pinch of sea salt
To make the tea (using fresh lotus root):
- Place the grated lotus pulp in a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice into a measuring cup. The amount of juice you get will vary depending on the quality and freshness of the lotus. The pulp may be saved and added to other dishes, like miso soup.
- In a small saucepan over a medium-high flame, combine the juice with an equal amount of the purified water. Add a pinch of sea salt or a few drops of soy sauce.
- Bring juice mixture to aboil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- The tea should be thick and creamy.
- Serve hot.
Recipe for Carrot and Daikon Drink Remedy Fresh Lotus Tea
MAKES 1 SERVING
1⁄4 cup fresh daikon, finely grated*
1⁄4 cup fresh carrot, finely grated*
1 cup purified water
1⁄2 umeboshi plum, finely chopped soy sauce (optional)
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 sheet of nori, shredded
To make the drink:
1. In a small saucepan over a medium-high flame, combine the grated daikon, carrots and purified water, and bring to a boil.
2. Addchoppedumeboshiandafewdropsofsoy sauce (if desired), reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Transfer into a serving cup, add shredded nori, and drink hot.
Recipes are from Love, Sanae cookbook.
I have been practicing macrobiotics for more than 25 years, and remedy drinks are simply kind to our body and soul, yet very effective for cleansing.
So, I make them almost every morning instead of coffee.
Drink these remedy drinks at least 30 minutes before breakfast, or in the late afternoon between meals.
Most conditions take at least two to three days of continued drinking.
If you have a serious health condition, it’s always wise to consult with an experienced macrobiotics counselor.
Enjoy these recipes!
Love, Sanae 💖
My oncologist, Dr. Mead, said I am doing well after the chemotherapy, so she suggested that I meet with a liver specialist for hepatitis C, which was most likely the cause of the primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma of liver stage IV that I was diagnosed with last year.
Read more detail about it on my blog “Only Weeks to Live.”
The hepatitis C came from a blood transfusion when I had a near-fatal car crash in 2001 and was in a coma for three days. Since I had ovarian cancer in 1993, I have learned to live carefully and practice macrobiotics and exercise. Still, I got hepatitis C, and that led to lymphoma.
I was so shocked and disappointed when I was diagnosed. I really wanted to use holistic treatments and get better as I was able to do with ovarian cancer in 1993.
But this lymphoma got so big so fast and took over 90% of my liver. I knew I was dying if I did not do something quickly.
In order to save my life, I had no choice but to have chemotherapy this time.
I felt it was a long and painful experience, but I committed to taking care of my health one day at a time (many times, one moment at time) and continue a macrobiotic diet with the lifestyle and holistic modalities of moxibustion, reiki, acupuncture, shiatsu massage, meditation, aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedy, etc.
I was able to complete chemotherapy without most of the side effects and am doing much better.
I have been off chemotherapy for 10 months, and I am even able to go hiking again.
Read my blog “Hiking With Dogs.”
I went to meet a liver specialist, Dr. Han. He explained how hepatitis C could lead to lymphoma, and he highly recommended taking hepatitis C medication, which has a 97% success rate.
Another medication in my body and soul?
I had to think…
Hepatitis C medications sound very intense.
Also, when I heard how expensive it was, I could not believe it.
A 90-day supply is about $95,000. Including tests and doctor visits, the cost would be $100,000—and Medicare would not cover it all. They said I have to apply for Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage), but there is no guarantee they would accept me for coverage.
I had to make so many phone calls to the Medicare office,
UCLA Hospital’s patient assistance office, Dr. Han’s office, and more.
I called and called and talked to many people so I could take care of this matter.
This was before *Mercury’s retrograde (July 26), but I really felt that it was in the middle of it.
I felt that nobody understood my accent or that my English was not good enough for anybody to understand.
Frustrated, I struggled and even cried over this Medicare system.
There is a site I checkd What To Do If You Can’t Afford Hep C Treatment?
I checked hepatitis C medication costs all over the world.
They are so expensive everywhere—even Canada, Japan, and Mexico.
I made my own decision, and I told my husband Eric that I probably do not need this medication.
He said, “It’s up to you.” What a guy!
He knows I am a very optimistic person, so I was not going to worry over this medication.
I am so grateful that I did not get so attached to this issue and let go so I was not stressed out about it anymore.
A few days later, I got a phone call from a woman at UCLA hospital.
She told me there are pharmaceutical company programs to assist patients who can’t get the hepatitis C medication.
It usually takes three to six months to get an answer, but I can apply and find out if I am eligible or not.
Well, I believe in miracles, so I decided to apply; I had nothing to lose.
I requested an application form, which came in a few days.
I put together all my information and sent it to UCLA by email.
Two days later, someone from Gilead (the pharmaceutical company that produces hepatitis C medications Harvoni and Socaldi) called me and said, “Congratulations! You are approved to receive hepatitis C medication.”
I was so surprised that it was only two days after I’d applied.
What was going on?
She said I was going to receive Harvoni, which I’d heard was the most expensive.
She said, “It is prescribed by Dr. Han.” I asked why he chose it.
She replied, “Because of your DNA.”
What? What did she say?
When did they take a DNA test?
I could not believe what I’d heard.
She said, “You are lucky to get this free medication.”
The next thing I was shocked to hear was that the medication would be delivered next week by UPS.
I said, “Hmm?
Am I receiving $30,000 worth of expensive medication by UPS?”
She said that since it is expensive, the hospital does not keep it in their pharmacy.
Wow. They do not trust a hospital, but they trust UPS.
I am really puzzled by this system.
She said someone would call me before they shipped the medication the following week.
I waited about three weeks, but nobody called, and nothing came.
I thought maybe I had dreamed it all.
Meanwhile, so many things happened from the end of June to the end of August.
Eric got injured and was in pain for about seven weeks, so I had to go through emails from 60 different people who were interested in moving into the unit next to us.
The unit used to be my cooking studio and the office of Seed Kitchen, so it was the first time in 10 years we’d rent it out to someone we did not know.
I showed the unit to at least 30 people.
I was exhausted and forgot all about the medication.
Finally, we found the right people to move into the unit, and all of sudden I remembered that nobody had called me about the Harvoni medication.
I made a phone call to Gilead and had to talk to two different people to find out what happened.
They said they had a wrong phone number, so they never sent the medication.
Wait a minute—they were the ones who’d called to tell me I got approved.
What did they do with my phone number?
On top of what had happened, getting the Harvoni by UPS was crazy.
They said someone would have to sign for it because it is so expensive.
So, I was home all day and did not even going to the back of my house,
so I could hear when the delivery person came to the gate.
Many times, delivery people and postal workers do not come inside the gate because of the “Beware of Dog” sign we have.
I waited about seven hours, and it was almost 4 pm.
I was getting tired of waiting, so I called Gilead and got the tracking number to check the status online.
It showed it was delivered at 12:29 pm and signed by Kari.
Who is Kari?
I went to the front gate I found that $30,000 worth of mediation was left on the ground by the gate.
I could not believe it.
But am I glad that I received it?
It was one day before Mercury retrograde came, but it sure felt like it had come way ahead of time.
I concluded why I got this free medication so quickly:
because I was a perfect candidate, who’d had lymphoma cancer and was getting better, with an application that was all together.
I know since I was accepted for this medication that I am supposed to take it.
I have been taking it everyday.
There are no side effects that I’ve noticed, even though I was told the following might happen:
Thanks to my healthy macrobiotic life with remedy drinks that I drink every morning to detox this medication, no side effects!
Brava!!! ( The female form of “bravo”)
I look forward to seeing the results in November and let you know.