Healing Moxibustion (Moxa)

There are many holistic (healing) modalities we can use to regain and keep our health.
I can think of all the holistic modalities I have used before and now: acupuncture, moxibustion, craniosacral therapy, massage (shiatsu, anma, etc), physical therapy, qigong, t’ai chi, yoga, dance therapy, art and color therapy, lymphatic therapy, herbal therapy, aromatherapy, Bach flower therapy, hydrotherapy, nutritional counseling (macrobiotics), reiki, power crystal stone, hypnotherapy, meditation.

There might be more, but you get an idea of what I have done.
Some of them, I really enjoyed learning and receiving health by practicing daily, so I decided to go to school to learn and become a practitioner.

My not-so-secret of healthy practice is eating whole-grain, plant-based foods seasonally and according to my physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Also, I do yoga, meditation, and other healing modalities to tune myself up.

Today, I want to share about moxibustion (moxa), which may not be well known in the US yet, like acupuncture.
I love moxa because we can receive many benefits from it.
We can apply moxa to ourselves—it is not difficult to learn how to use and apply—and of course, you can help others. It was perfect for me since I do not like needles, so learning acupuncture was not my practice.

Moxa sets 650

Different kinds and types of Moxa

I learned about moxa the first time when I was a child when my father was receiving anma massage and moxibustion at home from an anma practitioner, Mr. Yamauchi.
He was almost blind, but he rode his bicycle to our house after 10 pm, before my father went to bed.
I liked to receive anma massage from Mr. Yamauchi sometimes while he was waiting for my father to finish his bath, but I really was curious about moxibustion, since it was kind of a mysterious modality to me. It had a distinctive smell with smoke because you light it up with fire or incense. I loved the smell and the smoke somehow; I think it was Japanese aromatherapy, hahaha!

 

Massage and moxa combinations were excellent to relax the body and mind. When I received a little massage from Mr. Yamashita, even if I did not receive moxibustion, I was already relaxed from the smell and smoke.

 

When I had ovarian cancer in 1993, I used moxa, but I was too weak and had too much pain, so I could not apply my own.
I received it whenever my husband, Eric, was able to apply it for me.
I felt better, and it eased the pain.
I also have used moxa whenever I need to release pain (neck, back, shoulder, legs, etc.) or for overall health and energy.

 

I found a moxa stick holder about 10 years ago, so even if I am weak or have pain, I am able to apply it on my own (of course, it is nicer to receive from someone else, especially on my back).

Since last year, I have been using moxa again everyday to ease the liver pain for Primary Liver Non-Hodgkin of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL).
It also relaxes me, and I am able to rest or take a nap.

 

Moxa class everyone adj

The moxibustion intro class

Moxa has been helping me so much, but not many people know about it,
so I decided to offer an introductory workshop class last Saturday.
The class reached capacity right away, and already a few other people have asked to come when I offer the next one—so I do plan to offer another moxibustion workshop.
If you want to attend, email me at sanaehealing@gmail.com.

 

Jay with moxa holder

Jay is applying a stick moxa with the holder over where he injured.

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Moxa girls (from left, Kanako, Masako, Me and Masano) are using stick moxa with the stick holders!

 

Masano's back

Moxa on a ginger slice to help ease Masano’s back pain.

Brandon is applying moxa on a sliced ginger just above his navel for digestive systems and overall qi energy.

Brandon is applying moxa on a sliced ginger just above his navel for digestive systems and overall qi energy.

 

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Vladka is applying moxa on the slice of ginger below her navel for stress, back pain etc.

Here is the topic outline and a little bit of info from the moxibustion intro class:

 

Workshop Topics

1) What is moxibustion?

2) How does moxibustion benefit our health?

3) How do you use moxa (moxa types)?

4) Which meridian points get benefits with moxibustion?

5) What are important things to do after moxibustion?

6) Are there any side effects from moxibustion?

7) Practice, practice, and practice!

 

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is started in China about 3000 years ago. Then, Japanese envoy to Sui Dynasty China and Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty China brought to Japan. It is one of historical holistic home healing modalities, which has been written, in classic literature and Haiku.

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on, or very near, the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences. The moxa I use is usually made from the dried, leafy herbs of Chinese or Japanese “mugwort” (Artemisia argyi or Artemisia vulgaris).

Mugwort plant 650

Wild mugwort that I found in North Fork, California

 

How does moxibustion benefit our health?

Moxibustion helps with circulation, immunity, and lymph flow. It’s good for colds, the flu, and fever; pain in the eye, head, neck, shoulder, or back; sensitivity to cold; indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea; insomnia, swelling, palpitation, emotional instability, and stress; and liver, kidney, and other organ support. It gives energy and relaxes at the same time.
And bring smiles!

Eric Moxa smile 650

Eric’s Moxa smile!

 

 

If you are interested in purchasing premium-quality moxa, sticks, holders etc., please email sanaehealing@gmail.com.

 

With gratitude,

Sanae 💖

The Letter

I wrote this blog last September.
It took time for me to be ready to share.
Now I am ready to post.
You will know why it took time for me to be ready after you read.

 

Before I announced that I was diagnosed with Primary Liver Non-Hodgkin of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) I was concerned what other people would think of me.

When I was really sick from ovarian cancer 25 years ago and started macrobiotic and holistic approaches and nobody really wanted to talk to me about how I was trying to get better.

At that time macrobiotics and holistic healing were not so well known to most people, so my decision to not to have chemotherapy and follow only the holistic way was frightening to many people around me.

But after a year or so when I started to heal myself and look healthier, people started to ask me how I did it. I did not realize how much I was able to help other people with my story and I learned a lot about sharing it too. I did not plan to be a macrobiotic counselor, cooking teacher or educator, but it just came to me as I shared my story. Of course, I decided to go to school to learn more macrobiotic, natural healing and alternative medicine and went on to receive certificates and to practice everyday and it became my life.
Through practicing macrobiotics and living a natural life, it became my career naturally.

My first cooking class was at Erewhon natural foods market in 1995.
I was so happy to share what I had learned through ovarian cancer through my first teacher Cecile Levin and then Michio and Aveline Kushi. I realized that being a macrobiotic teacher required knowledge and commitment, and more importantly teaching by example. I continued to share my story and macrobiotic life with my husband and furry family.

I realized that there was a reputation connected to being a macrobiotic teacher.
I felt that reputation matched my good health and happy lifestyle with my family (Eric, dogs, and cats).

I received a letter from a macrobiotic acquaintance who has been active in the community for a long time. It was painful to read her judgments and misunderstandings about my condition.
She questioned my relationship with macrobiotics and clearly hadn’t read the details on my blog.

I understand her position; whenever a macrobiotic teacher experiences illness, it can send a wave of fear through the community.
It is human to experience that fear (of death, or of one’s own potential suffering), but it’s equally human to not want to feel it, so we throw it back on the person who is sick.
Judgment and projections fly.
Of course, most people don’t respond like this, and I have been met with an extraordinary amount of compassion on this recent journey, but being faced with judgment and a questioning my practice was one of my biggest fears when revealing my condition to the healing community.

For the record, I have never veered from my macrobiotic practice.
If I had, ovarian cancer would not have stayed in remission for 24 years.
I am not strict like I had to be to recover the first time, but I also don’t “play” widely. Eric and I cook almost every single one of the meals that we eat.
We even cook for our dogs!

So it’s not about macrobiotics or forgetting to practice the principles
It’s about life.

I contracted Hepatitis C sixteen years ago from a blood transfusion I needed in order to survive a catastrophic car accident.
I was powerless over that–I received the transfusion while I was in a coma.
We can’t control everything.
Hepatitis C can flip into large B-cell lymphoma in the liver.
The lymphoma in the liver was growing so fast, and the diet and other holistic approaches were not saving my life fast enough.
Receiving the diagnosis to live only weeks.
Stuff happens.

I am grateful to be alive, even to receive difficult letters.
And the lovely food I have the privilege of eating—the whole grains, the vegetables, the beans—give me the energy to send love to my macrobiotic acquaintance.
I wish her well.

The person who wrote me might have disapproved and been disappointed that I did not just do macrobiotics.
But I am living for me, not for this person.
I also know a quite few macrobiotic people and teachers who actually lost their lives because they did not seek and/or believe in western medicine.

As I wrote on my blog “My First Chemotherapy

I had a conversation with the chemo medicine “I know you can help me, but I am feeling very heavy and dark right now since I do not know you yet. Please help me to heal, but do not destroy my good cells. I know you can do it.”

I learned to believe chemo medicine is there to help me and I wanted to make sure the chemo medicine could hear me so I had to communicate with it.

I know chemotherapy could destroy my healthy tissue and organs, but I am a macrobiotic person so I will not let chemo destroy me and if my healthy tissue and organs get weak or damaged in order for cancer to leave my body I will heal my tissue and organs and overcome it no matter what!

I was upset first when I read this person’s letter, but you know what…
it actually has helped me to thrive and motivated me to move forward to prove that the macrobiotics I have been practicing will work for me and will help many many more people in the future in the way that’s best, and everybody’s best is different.

I have been judgmental too, in the past, but I am learning to let go of it.
By going through the chemo, and all the feelings it kicks up, and having to be dependent on the kindness of others, my judgment has lessened and my compassion has grown. And so has my gratitude.

I am ready to go to the third cycle of chemotherapy to save my life.

Thank you,

Love,
Sanae 💖

 

P.S. After this letter, I found out some of my students don’t want to talk to me because I took chemotherapy to heal myself.
I was sad…

I have been teaching macrobiotics and holistic modality since 1995 and offering my macrobiotic nutrition counseling, but I never told anyone to not get conventional treatments, including chemotherapy.
Macrobiotics and holistic approach work usually for chronic conditions, not for acute conditions, and I believe meeting in the middle to use both benefits, if necessary.

What did I do?
I have learned when I started to live in the U.S. “What other people think of me is none of my business” so I Prayed for them.

Cancer Support Community: Qigong Class

When I was growing up in Japan, I had an eating disorder after 14 years old, as well as substitute codependency, which I did not know about at all that time.

I was overweight.
Most people who know me now say,
“What? You, overweight? No way,” or “I can’t imagine you were overweight.”
But yes, I was.

My height is 5’3″ (which has not changed since I was 16 years old), and my weight was 150~160 lbs. That is heavy for a Japanese teenage girl for my height.  I had big breasts, so Japanese bra did not fit my breasts so I was wearing an Italian bra size 38″ D-cup.

Can you imagine?
I can’t anymore…hahaha!

 

When I moved to America, I learned I have unhealthy codependency with food, cigarettes, alcohol, and later pretty heavy drugs with unhealthy people. It is a long story that maybe I will write about it someday.
But the bottom line is that 12-step programs helped me to learn I have codependency and I have a choice to live a healthy life, so I believe in support groups and communities for overcoming a problem.
We are not alone, even if we feel we are all alone here on earth.
Many times, when we go through challenges and suffering, we are living by the support of someone, always.

 

When I found out that I had very rare, aggressive cancer, Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of liver, I looked for support communities. Thanks to the internet, I found Cancer Support Community two miles from my house. I do not drive, so I have to take two buses to go there, or ask friends or Eric to drive for me (I do not take uber or Lift usually because of my PTSD—but I am grateful to this community.
They offer support group meetings for cancer patients and family, as well as classes in Reiki, yoga, t’ai chi, qigong, writing, and more.
I went to their orientation and took one reiki class, but after chemotherapy started, I was not able to attend any classes or meetings because I was too weak.
After I finished six rounds of chemotherapy, I’ve started to gain my strength slowly, but surely so I attended the “Time to Talk” open group meeting, “Blood Cancer” closed group meeting and “qigong class”.

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Qigong class with Nalu

 

The only qigong class I’d taken was a long time ago in Michigan, while I was visiting friends there, so I was not sure how I’d feel or if I’d have enough strength to do it. The first time, I went with my new friend Kyoko (she found me through my blog, and we became friends). She drove for me.
I did not have the strength to do a whole class and a half, but I felt so relaxed.
I was feeling the air and seeing trees and touching the grass, which helped me feel connected to nature, even while living in the city and feel open and grateful to be alive.
I really felt this class is something that can help me now.

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Nalu and Happy

 

It’s at Clover Park, about a third of a mile from my house, so I decided to practice walking there with one of my dogs. The distance is 5–7 minutes for most people, but it takes about 15–20 minutes for me.
I walk there and catch the last part of class now, relaxing on the grass and doing my sitting qigong (I used to do wheelchair yoga, so I felt this was familiar).
I am happy for me.
My dog, either Happy or Nalu, are so good to be there with me.
Going there helps me not to worry so much about going all the tests and the results.

 

People in the class are kind survivors and/or family.
The teacher, Michael Sieverts, shows how to do qigong as he demonstrates.
He does not talk much, but I feel his passion and light of his strength.
He said, “My diagnosis was in 2000: a mixed glioma, right frontal lobe, stage 3. Resection, radiation, and chemo. No treatments since 11/2002. No recurrence, but I’m still feeling side effects of the treatments.”
He is a really caring person.

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After Qigong class with instructor Michael (right)

 

 

I did not take a walk outside for a long time since I got cancer again so my legs are hurting because I have nerve pain from a car crash I had in 2001, and also now side effects of neuropathic pain from chemotherapy.
But nothing is going to stop me.
I am walking with my dogs “one dog or two dogs at a time.”

 

Happy & Me at park

After Qigong class with Happy

 

I thank Cancer Support Community for being there and offering many meetings and classes without any charge.
If you are or know someone who is diagnosed with cancer, please share this Cancer Support Community!

 

Love, Sanae 💖

Growing Healthy, Beautiful Hair After Chemotherapy

I post my blog “Shaving My Hair After Chemotherapy” on July 28th, 2017 after I shaved my hair.

I’d heard that one of the side effects of chemotherapy was that my hair was going to fall out after three weeks. My hair was falling out almost two weeks after the first chemotherapy.

There is a saying in Japan, “Hair is women’s lives,” and I loved my mother’s long hair, so I really enjoyed growing my hair most of my life.
I was sad in the beginning to lose my hair.
I could not bear seeing the pillow covered with it when I got up in the morning.
I decided to shave my head so I would not have to see my hair fall out everyday.
I asked Eric to shave my head.
I felt at ease and refreshed, and I did not feel sad.

After I shave my head 650 CR

Photo: I felt refreshed after Eric shaved my head!

 

But I was so weak and so much pain after the third cycle of chemotherapy.
I lost even eyebrows and had no strength to get up most of the time.

650 Sanae no hair

Photo: After the third cycle of chemotherapy – lost even eyebrow.

 

I got used to not having hair and eyebrows eventually, but my head was feeling the wind and feeling cooler and I could not find something I like to wear so I decided to hand-knitted a hat to wear.

Linen pink linen to make hat 650

Photo: A pretty pink color linen yarn that I started to knit for my chemo hat last summer.

 

 

Sanae with linen hat 1 650

Photo: Here is my linen hat and me.

As the weather changed to winter, my head got very cold, so I made the hat with thick cotton and later with cashmere and wool hat and sometimes I even slept in my hat.

After I completed six rounds of chemotherapy, I noticed my hair is starting to grow slowly.
I wanted to help my hair grow to be healthy and beautiful again, so I thought about making an essential oil blend for my hair.

There are many different blends you can make for growing healthy, beautiful hair.
My choice is blending with helichrysum, rosemary and lavender with Bach Flower Rescue Remedy (this blend is not only for people who lost hair because of chemotherapy. It helps anybody to promote healthy beautiful hair, but good for men who are bald because massage your scalp helps to enhance blood circulation in your head and neck area to loosen tight areas. Also, scalp massages can support to calm your spirit and relax your body which aid to promote good sleep).

Helichrysum essential oil is regenerative to all body tissues. Its regenerative qualities support healthy scalp tissue and sebum production, and it helps improve blood circulation to the scalp.
This encourages blood and nutrient flow to the hair follicles, which improves their growth rate.
I used helichrysum oil to repair the skin on my legs after I had a life-threatening car crash; it helped me avoid needing a skin graft.

Rosemary is packed with antioxidants, which can prevent thinning and even graying hair.
It’s another essential oil that promotes blood circulation, so it’s perfect for stimulating hair follicles and growth.

Lavender essential oil improves blood circulation when massaged into the scalp, can prevent hair loss, and promotes hair growth. Furthermore, it is a powerful moisturizer, antimicrobial and antiseptic. It balances sebum production and is ideal for those who suffer from dandruff.

Bach Flower Rescue Remedy mix was created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises – It can be used to help us get through any stressful situations, from driving LA traffic jam, last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news or cancer.

Essential Oil Blend for Growing Healthy, Beautiful Hair

  • 4 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 oz (4 tablespoons) rosehip, castor or jojoba oil
  • 4 drops of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy

Mix ingredients in a 2-oz bottle.
Massage the blend into the scalp. Leave in for 1–2 hours, or overnight, and then shampoo out.

Precautions to Take When Using Essential Oils for Hair Growth

  • If you are not sure how to properly use essential oils for hair growth, ask the advice of your doctor, a licensed natural health practitioner, or an aroma therapist.
  • If you are pregnant, suffer from hypertension, or have epilepsy, you should avoid rosemary essential oil. Again, ask your doctor, a licensed natural health practitioner, or an aroma therapist.
  • Although reactions are rare with proper use, always perform a skin patch test before using a new essential oil to ensure you will not have an allergic reaction to it.

Source

 

I started massaging my head with my blend everyday after chemotherapy.
Can you see how much my hair has grown by this photo which is after ten weeks since the last chemotherapy, and that my eyebrows are growing too, right?

Sanae Hair 01-2018 Fixed 650

 

It will take a long time for me to grow long hair again, but I am enjoying massaging my head and supporting my hair to grow beautifully again.

Now it has been about 16 weeks since the last chemotherapy, can you see my hair has grown so much!

Sanae hair 03-04-18 fixed 650

 

Another thing what helps to grow healthy, beautiful hair is eating sea vegetables.
I eat kombu (using kombu to cook whole grains and making a miso soup everyday), wakame, nori (I make condiment with wakame or nori) everyday.

650 Main Coast Wakame

I would like to share my recipes of Wakame and Nori condiment in the near future.
I post Red Radish & Wakame Pressed Pickle Salad recipe about one year ago so you can check it right now. Wakame is springtime sea vegetable!

Wakame red radish ume pressed salad CR 650

 

Eating sea vegetables also helps to make a blood alkaline, clear your skin and supports to build strong bones.

Also, eating green leafy vegetables (kale, collard green, mustard green, daikon and red radish top green etc.) cooking water sautéed or steam is the best. Using oil for cooking too often clog up the scalp.

Kale

 

As I wrote on my blog, “Shaving My Hair After Chemotherapy” when I shaved my head, I had an image of the famous Sinéad O’Connor’s shaved head and told myself it would maybe grow into a short Annie Lennox hairstyle after chemotherapy. They are beautiful women, so here I am. I feel beautiful without long hair. Don’t you think so?

 

Love,

Sanae 💖

 

 

 

Stronger Than I’ve Ever Been

I wanted to write a newsletter for December, but I was not able to write.
I started to write New Year newsletter in January, but I was not able to finish.
I felt I needed to rest and focus on my recovery.
So, here I just finished writing the newsletter in English and will send it this morning.

 

My newest PET scan (which I had on February 1, 2018) results were not bad,
but not as good as I wanted them to be.
It got 1.00 mm smaller than before, but the SUV brightness went up 0.48 (I explained what is SUV on my blog on November 21).
My oncologist, Dr. Mead, said I do not have to worry so much, because the biopsy I received on December 14, 2017, showed that this SUV is not active. But I was sad when I heard the results.

 

I have been taking care of myself everyday with macrobiotic healing foods and other holistic modalities.
I started feeling more strength around mid-January so I believed cancer had left my liver, but I have a high-grade lymphoma (Dr. Mead explained that lymphoma has different grades, which I did not know; high-grade is a more aggressive and critical cancer) and a very rare cancer.
I have learned that the cancer is still in my liver. I have to take another PET scan in two months, but I do not have to have more chemotherapy “RICE”, which is a blessing.

However, I wanted my SUV result to be lower than before so much.
I was sad and suddenly felt very tired all over. I know in my heart that my body needs more time to heal and I must support my body and mind, but I did not know how to continue.
I just felt I needed to rest from the full-time work of recovery.
I did not know where I could get the strength to keep going.

Then I heard this song, “Stronger Than I’ve Ever Been” by Kaleena Zanders.

MV5BYWIxYTM1MzctZDQyMy00ZjJhLWEwN2EtODk2NWFjMWFlNzQwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTg5MjY0MDg@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_
It was introduced to me by the Toyota Super Bowl 2018 commercial “Good Odds.”
The odds of winning a Paralympic gold medal are almost 1 billion to one. This film follows the journey of Lauren Woolstencroft, who beat the odds to win eight Paralympic gold medals. Some of you probably saw it. My body shivered when I watched it, and this song connected with me very deeply.

I am not a Paralympic gold medalist, but I am a gold-medal survivor of two cancers and a near-death car accident, and these lyrics gave me a similar feeling of all the challenges I have faced in my life:

If you knock me down

I get up again, I get up again

Born unstoppable

I get up again

Now I’m stronger than I’ve ever been

 

<My version>

If cancer knocks me down,
I get up again.
If chemotherapy knocks me down,
I get up again.
If neuropathy knocks me down,
I get up again.
Born unstoppable,
I get up again.
Now I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.

 

This song was in my head all night, even while I was sleeping, so I decided to write about it here.
I am grateful for this song.
When I got up this morning, even my legs had been giving me much pain from neuropathy. (Both my legs are seriously injured from my 2001 car crash, and I have been living with neuropathy pain. The chemotherapy I received last year added more neuropathy, so I have more pain everyday, and it is hard to get up.)
I am ready to start the morning with my recovery routine, singing this song and feeling stronger than I’ve ever been.

Thank Kaleena Zanders and Toyota!

 

Love with my strength of the recovery,
Sanae 💖

Happy Valentine’s Day 2018!

My first Valentine’s Day memory was when I baked cookies the first time, I was sweet 16!
The cookies were for a man I admired, Richard Kermode, who played keyboard for Santana. I had met him when I went to see Santana’s concert. He was also in a band of my favorite American woman rock singer, Janis Joplin and played Woodstock concert (The Woodstock Music & Art Fair) in 1969.
Since my mother did not do any baking, we did not have an oven, so I asked to get a small toaster oven for our house. I had to wait to use the kitchen after we finished cleaning up dinner.
I think I started after 8 pm and finished after midnight.
February in my hometown of Nagoya, Japan, had no snow, but it was cold.

 

The cookies came out delicious, and I packed them to send to Richard in San Francisco.
I was so exited to go to the post office the next day, but I caught a cold, and a few days later, I got really sick with a fever. My mom thought it was because I’d stayed up so late making cookies. I got a high fever and ended up being in bed for one week.
But I got a phone call from Richard and was able to talk to him because I was sick and did not go to school. He really loved the cookies, so it made my cold go away.
When I was a teenager, I was fat (had a bulimia) and did not have a boyfriend, so this was a beautiful memory of Valentine’s Day.

 

Since I met Eric, he has been taking me out to Valentine’s Day dinner and giving me gifts. I usually make my own calligrahy card and a gift for him (a part of my Valentine card for Eric this year I put on the top of this blog – A heart wreath with many small hearts by water colors and Italic calligrahy).

This year, I told him I wanted to stay home, so he surprised me with a new ukulele and a card said,
“To my Valentine, Sanae…All my love on this special day and everyday! Love, Eric”.

How sweet Eric is and I really felt how much he loves me even I was diagnosed cancer twice (in 1993 & 2017), and became disabled because of the car accident I had in 2001. I am learning true love with Eric’s love. I am a lucky person to experience his love so I have a mission to get well.

Ukulele sounds were always so soothing and healing to me, ever since I went to Hawaii for the first time when I was 17 years old. Eric and I started practicing ukulele a few years ago and taking classes. Eric plays very well, but I am not so good yet. I just enjoy being with him and doing something together.

 

Because I was diagnosed lymphoma (Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma -DLBCL Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver)  last year, I could not practice anymore, so we stopped going to class. When the new year came, I felt I had enough strength, so we decided to try going back to class just a couple times a month. But I found that my ukulele had cracked; I had a soft case, so it must have bumped into something. It was still okay for practice, so I have been using it, but I knew I had to get one sooner or later.

Cracked ukulele

Photo: You can see a crack just around Jake’s autograph.

 

Eric found a ukulele specialty store, U-Space in Little Tokyo (in Downtown L.A.), so I just wanted to see what they have there.

U-Space Eric Nalu and Jason

Photo: Eric with our Nalu (she was a little shy) with U-Space’s Jason.

 

Jason CD

Photo: Jason’s CD!

 

 

U-Space

Photo: With Jason and owner of U-Space, Patrice.

 

We met Jason (who is a ukulele teacher and has a CD) and the shop owner, Patrice; they were so kind and attentive. They has so many beatiful and great sounds ukulele. Of course, I loved some of the ukuleles there, so I thought I would save up money to buy one for my birthday in April. But Eric said, let’s get one with a hard case now for a Valentine’s Day gift.
I was surprised and so happy.
I promised myself I am going to practice everyday, even just 10 minutes, so I can play better with Eric.
I also think ukulele sounds help me to recover from Lymphoma smoothly.

Kohaleha ukulele

Photo: My new ukulele, Kohaleha!

 

Now our friends Masako and Michiyo have joined our ukulele class, and our friend Kyoko will join soon.
Would you like to join us?
Our teacher is Dan of Dan How Music on 17th Street in Santa Monica. He has no website or Facebook page, so you’ll need to contact him at Dan How <danwayn@gmail.com>.

Ukulele with Dan

Photo: With uur ukulele teacher, Dan.

 

Ukulele class

Photo: With Masako (right) and Michiyo (next to Masako).

 

We would like to have a ukulele recital potluck someday.
Hope you come!

Love,
Sanae 💖