No Matter What I Am Thankful and Live One Day At A Time!

650 Maple leaves in NF ©

After six rounds of chemotherapy, life started to move very fast.
I got stressed not only from the chemotherapy side effects, but from things to take care of: my computer crashed so I was not able to write a blog and newsletter for October; one of my dog family got sick and had to have surgery (she is recovering very quickly), and there have been more stressful incidents which I am not going to write about here.
Because of all the stress, I changed my PET scan date so I could feel all right while taking it. However, this was my third PET scan so I had gotten used to the procedure and everything went smoothly.

My oncologist, Dr. Mead, said it would be about three days to get PET scan results and she would contact me about them.
After five days, I still hadn’t heard from her so I was anxious and sent her an email.
She replied very quickly and said she had called me twice, but hadn’t wanted to leave her message on voicemail. Uh oh. She explained that there was an area on the PET scan she worried might be residual lymphoma. She wants me to do a biopsy and she asked me to come to see her next day.

My body immediately felt tight and my mind got dark. I was really hoping that I would receive “No more cancer” news, but the reality was not so simple.
It was a long 24 hours.

Eric and I went to see Dr. Mead.
She was not smiling like the previous times I’d seen her; I felt that she looked sad when she came in. She showed me PET scan test results and explained them to us carefully:

Here are three different PET scan results I’ve had in 2017:

 

  • April 27: Tumor size: 138mm x 82mm. SUV max 35.6
  • July 5: Tumor size: 57mm x 35mm. SUV max 2.4
  • November 8: Tumor size: 35mm x 32mm. SUV max 4.0

 

You can see that the tumor has only shrunk, and apparently a small amount of necrotic (dead) material left after chemo is not unusual, so the tumor size didn’t bother Dr. Mead. It was the SUV numbers that gave her concern.

So what is SUV?
It means Standardized Uptake Value, and it’s a measure of the amount of glucose that the affected area is taking up during the scan. The more glucose being absorbed, the more active the area is, and because cancer is very hungry for glucose, that can be a sign of cancer. The higher the SUV, the more aggressive cancer.

Dr. Mead explained that the normal limit of SUV is 3, so when I took PET Scan in July it was already within a normal range and Dr. Mead was so pleased with that result. However, in November, the SUV went up to outside the normal range, to 4.

Now 4 isn’t a very high number, and it could mean two things: either the Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin in my liver is very aggressive and it hasn’t been completely eradicated (yet), or it’s simply inflammation. Inflammation can produce higher than normal SUV numbers. In order to find out and make sure I must get another biopsy. Ugh.

 

I mentioned my first biopsy in my June 8th blog.

I had to be in a bed because of pain for one week and the pain lasted for more than three weeks (a liver biopsy has to go through ribcage so the side effect is a pain).

I am scared to take the biopsy so I told Dr. Mead about how I feel.
She said, “You were already very sick and weak the last time when you had the biopsy so hopefully this time you won’t have the same pain experience.”
She might be right because I am feeling better now than the last time I had the biopsy so I am encouraging myself to take the biopsy.

Dr. Mead explained also what would happen after biopsy:

If it is only inflammation, then I just do another PET scan six weeks later.
But if it is a relapse of the lymphoma, then I have to do a different chemotherapy.
It will be very strong so it has be done only in the hospital and I would also have to do a stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant).
It is scary to hear about a chemotherapy that’s even stronger than the one I just had!

People have told me how strong I am, how positive I am, and how I am inspiring them, but inside, I feel so scared.
I do not feel strong and positive.
I am not inspiring myself.

When I didn’t get a good PET scan result, I immediately blamed myself: “What did I do wrong?
Is it that oily Chinese food I ate when I went to Japanese friends gathering?

 

650 Happy Family everyone together CR

Photo: Completing six rounds of chemotherapy gathering for Japanese friends.

 

Or is it that vegan donut I ate?
Or vegan chocolate cookie I ate at Cafe Gratitude when I had English speaking friends gathering?”

 

Cafe G with dogs

Photo: Completing six rounds of chemotherapy gathering for English speaking friends.

 

Eric was in shock when we came home from Dr. Mead office.
He sat down and looked far away. I saw that he was not able to do anything for a while.
I did not want to see him suffer, so I said: “I am sorry that I am not healthy, or young (I am 12 years older than him) and am a bitchy wife.” That word caught his attention and he looked at me said “bitchy?” and smiled.

I talked to my good friend, Jessica Porter, who has been helping me with her friendship and hypnotherapy.
She, of course reminded me “one day at a time” and not to blame myself.
“We have all seen what you’ve gone through and no one else is blaming you”, she said.

 

650 Maple leaves in NF ©

My maple tree in North Fork is showing beautiful autumn color around Thanksgiving time- read how I save this maple tree – http://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2016/12/02/miracle-maple-tree-recover/

I realized Thanksgiving is coming soon.
It would be perfect if I had good news of my recovery here for Thanksgiving.
So it’s not a perfect Thanksgiving, but no matter what, I have one day at a time to live right now and I am thankful for my life with Eric and our animal family.

I received a list of appreciation from a new friend, Michael Sieverts, who teaches Qigong for the Cancer Support Community. He said if your appreciation list seems too small, change what you can so that you can appreciate more.  We need to spend at least as much time on cultivating our soul’s expansion as we do on what causes us suffering.
I really like what he sent me.

This Thanksgiving I appreciate whatever goodness life is giving me: friendship (that includes you); good health; plant-based macrobiotic foods; interesting career; my love for animals; interesting hobbies (organic garden, photography, writing, knitting, bead jewelry, calligraphy etc. ); good movies/ books/shows/theater, and whatever gives me joy (this morning joy is writing this and enjoying morning sun with my cat, Tin Tin. I am wearing my favorite flannel PJ and organic thick winter socks).

Am light with Tin Tin

Photo: Morning light with my beloved cat, Tin Tin.

I could go on and on with my appreciation list . . . I hope your list is long and gives you joy.

Thank you so much!

Love, Sanae💖

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support.

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraising to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.

Here are our books:

Love, Sanae

Love-Sanae-front-cover

Love, Eric and Sanae

love-es-front-cover

Love, Eric Revised

love-eric-revised-the-front-cover

Healthy Happy Pooch

HHP-book-front-cover

 

My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check:

2610A 23rd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.

Love, Sanae 💖

After the Sixth Round of Chemotherapy

with Dr. Mead

Before I started chemotherapy in May 2017, my oncologist, Dr. Monica Mead, said to me: “You have cancer of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV, and your PET scan showed that 90 percent of your liver has been taken over by cancer. You have weeks to live, so we must act right away. I recommend EPOCH + Rituximab chemotherapy—five days of chemotherapy for 24 hours a day, every three weeks. There will be six rounds of the treatments. As you receive each chemotherapy treatment, your body will become weaker, and the side effects might give you intense pain and symptoms.”

650 Dinner with Eric

Eating dinner with Eric at UCLA hospital in Santa Monica in May 2017.

 

I have had many clients come to me for macrobiotic nutrition counseling.
Some of them have had chemotherapy treatments, and I heard the side effects were very hard.
Cooking for themselves was sometimes impossible, and they were having challenges eating most of the foods that help them.
I could only imagine, but realistically, I did not know till I had my own chemotherapy.

I had no idea how much damaging impact my body and mind would receive—the suffering of pain, discomfort, and weakness—from the chemotherapy treatments. I had nothing to compare it to in my life, except heroin addiction withdrawal: achiness, pain, irritation, discomfort, fever, weakness, hopelessness, and more.

 

After this experience, I now know what my clients went through. I am sure everyone is different, so I do not know everything, but I can see where I was not able to help them now.
When I go back to macrobiotic nutritional counseling, I believe I can help a little better than before after this experience.

 

Back to my own experience of chemotherapy:

I wrote about my first chemotherapy experience My First Chemotherapy on my blog on June 12, 2017.
I was at UCLA hospital in Santa Monica. I started to feel better while I was there and in the beginning, I was curious and scared to see a new experience of chemotherapy. I had no idea the side effects were so painful experiences.
Especially the Neulasta shot caused really bad side effects of bone pain, which lasted more than a week.

 

The second chemotherapy was another new experience—doing outpatient and getting chemotherapy at home.
So again, being a curious person, I was focusing on new things. Of course, the side effects were very bad—which I wrote about Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Neulasta on my blog on June 14, 2017.
But I was still an inexperienced chemotherapy patient, so I was able to hang in there.

650 Sanae with chemo bag

Wearing Chemo bag (black).

Inside chemo bag

Inside the chemo bag – orange color Epoch chemo drugs mix.

By the time the third chemotherapy came, I was getting tired and wary of more.
I was experiencing sleepless nights and going to the bathroom six to seven times during the night.
Experiencing irritation and the inability to do anything but breathe, lie down and feel pain.
I was learning the suffering of pain all over again (as when I had ovarian cancer in 1993 and a life-threatening car crash in 2001).
I was too weak and fatigued and felt too much pain, and I had to have the first blood transfusion.

The fourth and fifth chemotherapy treatments were unbearable each time.
I had to get another blood transfusion.
I got depressed and almost lost hope and belief.
I wrote about “Emotional Side Effects of Chemotherapy and How to Help Them” on my blog July 10, 2017.

 

In order for me to overcome the side effects, I have been taking care of myself actively at home, eating macrobiotic foods, taking remedy drinks (Azuki tea, Green Leafy drink, Burdock tea, Lotus tea etc.) and doing external remedies (body, facial, and head scrub, foot and hands bath, etc.). I have been receiving Reiki every week from my friend Sally Barns (Giorgio Bosso and Kiyo Okada also gave me Reiki too), acupuncture from Dr. Kaneko, moxa by Emily Kiba, cupping and gentle massage by Vladka Zboril, therapeutic massage by Sal Venice, shiatsu by Asi Shnabel, and hypnosis by Jessica Porter. I am also taking care of myself daily with moxa over the kidneys, intestines, and liver—which has helped me not have to go to the bathroom so often at night—and doing neck, hand, toe, and finger exercises and Do-In whenever I can. Eric has been giving me leg and back massages before I fall asleep every night. I do vipassana meditations—even a short one or while lying down—whenever I can, everyday.

650 Azuki Tea L1040932

Azuki Tea

 

When the sixth round of chemotherapy came, I finally saw the light in the dark tunnel, because this could be the last chemotherapy. It took much longer for me to start feeling better after this one because my white and red blood cells and platelets were so low, and I was not able to even move much. I had to remind myself once again that the key to my successful recovery was to be patient!

Last chemotherapy

I was seeing the light in the dark tunnel during 6th round chemotherapy so able to knit and relaxing.

 

 

I was so sure I’d have to go for a third blood transfusion, but my white blood cells and platelets came up a little bit, and Dr. Mead wanted my red blood cells to recover on my own this time, instead of getting a blood transfusion. I really appreciate her decision to trust my body would recover on its own.

 

Dr. Mead said, “You did very well with all six chemotherapy treatments. What do you think—it was not too bad, was it?”

 

I replied, “It was so hard and bad, and I did not know if I would make it!”

 

Her eyes got big. She said, “I am surprised to hear you say that. You had no complications, so I thought you did very well.”

 

“I guess I had no idea how hard it would be before I started,” I said.
“I love to be active, but I could not do anything.
I had to be lying down so many days with pain, and that was so hard for me.”

 

“I understand that you were healthy before and took care of yourself well,” she replied. “But this time, you had lymphoma cancer, and yours was very bad. Do you remember almost all of the liver being taken over by cancer cells? When you came to see me the first time, you could not even walk. I diagnosed that you had only weeks to live, but you look so much better now. You did not have to go back to the hospital with any serious issues, and you were able to eat without vomiting while you were in treatment. So, I would say congratulations for completing your sixth chemotherapy treatment successfully!”

 

She continued: “Your strength is going to come back slowly, but you must take it easy still and not do too much.
I know you want to go back to your gardening, walking with your dogs, teaching your cooking classes or yoga—but you must take time to heal. You have to have a PET scan test in the beginning of November to see how the chemotherapy treatments helped get rid of the cancer. I have a good feeling it is gone, but we need to make sure and see what we can do next, and also take care of your hepatitis C. Now, go home and rest till all your blood cells are back to normal, and enjoy yourself. Again, remember not to do too much!”

 

I was happy to hear what she had to say.
I replied, “Thank you! You really helped me so much!”

with Dr. Mead

With Dr. Monica Mead

 

In the beginning, I had a different oncologist who I did not feel understood my needs.
I wrote about him a little bit as “Cancer is Back” on May 21, 2017.
It was very difficult to communicate with him, and I felt I did not receive a fair consultation from him, since neither he nor his assistant contacted me when my PET scan result showed 90 percent of my liver taken over by lymphoma cancer in May 2017.

I am glad I did not give up and found Dr. Mead, who understands my lifestyle of macrobiotic nutrition and holistic approaches.

 

As I am starting to feel better, my mind tells me to do many things: “Do this, let’s do that”—but my heart and body say, “NO, not YET! Take time to heal fully first.”
I am learning to listen to my body and heart so I feel connected and comfortable with myself.

 

I am so grateful to everyone who has been supporting my recovery.
Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.
There is the PET scan test soon so I hope to give you good news after mid-November.

 

With all my love,

Sanae 💖

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support!

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraising to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.

Here are our books:

Love, Sanae

Love-Sanae-front-cover

Love, Eric and Sanae

love-es-front-cover

Love, Eric Revised

love-eric-revised-the-front-cover

Healthy Happy Pooch

HHP-book-front-cover

My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check (check payable to Eric Lechasseru):

2610A 23rd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.

Love, Sanae 💖

 

Advice from a Sunflower

650 Sunflower with waterdrops ©

Advice from a sunflower:

Be bright,

sunny,

and

positive.

Spread seeds of happiness.

Rise, shine, and hold your head high.

I have loved growing many different flowers since I was a child. My grandmother grew chrysanthemums every year for the chrysanthemum exhibition award.

 

Chrysanthermum

Photo: This is similar chrysanthemum my grandmother was growing

 

I really admired how she grew them so beautifully.
She inspired me, and I grew my first flower, “canna” when I was 7 years old.

Canna

Canna flowers

 

The following year, I grew a beautiful “amaryllis” in an apple crate, which I got from a fruits market, and got a soil from the back of our place, where it was all empty lots. They bloomed so beautifully and so many of neighbors were impressed that I was the one to grow them.

amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers

I also enjoyed growing “morning glories” in the summertime, seeing them bloom in the morning and close in the afternoon when I was 10 years old.

morning-glories

Morning glories flowers

 

“Lilac, cosmos, freesia, chicory and native plants like white sage, Cleveland sage and gooseberry” – are another my favorite flowers to grow.

lilac

Lilac flowers

 

cosmos-flower

Cosmos flowers

 

freesia_2

Freesia flowers

 

Chicory

Chicory flower

 

White sage

White sage

 

Cleveland sage

Cleveland sage

Sierra-gooseberry-flowers-600px

Gooseberry flowers

 

For a while I learned how to grow lotus flowers.

Lotus

Lotus flowers

 

The last few years, I really enjoyed growing plumeria.

Plumelia

Plumelia flowers

 

As my feelings change and moods change, what I grow has changed.

This year, it has been all about sunflowers, so I got the seeds and planted them. The first time, all the sunflower seeds were eaten by squirrels and birds. The next day, there was nothing in the pots. I was amazed how they knew I had just planted sunflower seeds. I had to cover the pots with nets after planting the seeds again.

Here are some photos of my sunflower seeds for planting to blooming.

650 Sunflower seeds planting

Planting sunflower seeds

 

650 Sunflower sprout

Sunflower seed has sprouted

 

650 Sunflower sprouts

Sunflower seedlings

 

650 Sunflower green bud ©

Sunflower bud – beautiful even before open the flower

 

650 Sunflower bud open ©

Sunflower is taking time to bloom

 

These are all quotes about sunflowers that I love.
They are all perfect for me to go #6 (last) chemotherapy this week.

 

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.” —Helen Keller

 

“I want to be like a sunflower; so that even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight.”

 

“Be happy. Do the best you can. Be good and kind.”

 

“We’re all golden sunflowers inside.” —Allen Ginsberg

sunflowerfield-1000

 

 

I am a sunflower and will conquer #6 chemo. Here I come!

 

Love, Sanae 💖

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support!

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraising to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.

Here are our books:

Love, Sanae

Love-Sanae-front-cover

Love, Eric and Sanae

love-es-front-cover

Love, Eric Revised

love-eric-revised-the-front-cover

Healthy Happy Pooch

HHP-book-front-cover

My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check (check payable to Eric Lechasseru):

2610A 23rd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.

Love, Sanae 💖

 

Adopting a Puppy Brought Cheerfulness to Cancer Household

650 Eric & Nalu on the beach bench CR

Oh… it took a while for me to feel a little better after #4 round chemotherapy in beginning of August. #5 round chemotherapy after mid-August was very challenged also even I got one week off before I started because of pneumonia.

I think pneumonia is gone for now and I got another blood transfusion for my red blood cells a few days ago. I am ready for #6 round chemotherapy (the last one!!!!).

Before I go to the round 6 I want to share something that important for me to share here…

Since I got cancer of Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV (because of Hepatitis C that I got from the blood transfusion result of the car accident in 2001) in the spring , not only my husband, Eric, but all of the animal family have been under so much stress with fear and worry.

650 Sanae in bed with cats & dogs

Photo: Before my first chemo I was so sick and weak so I was staying my bed all the time and most of my animal family was around me.

 

I have lived with multiple dogs (right now five) and two cats for many years. I was usually very active before I got lymphoma, so I did many things with them. I took the dogs for agility classes and K9 nose work, trained them to be therapy and service dogs, and went to a senior home and hospitals with them as a volunteer. I also went hiking and did yoga in the park, swimming, and stand-up paddle (SUP) boarding with them. I work at home most of the time, so I spent more time with them than anybody.

 

After I got lymphoma, and as chemotherapy treatments progressed, I got so weak and unable to do much around the house, and of course, I could not walk with the dogs anymore.

On June 17, one of my cats Mai Mai suddenly passed to save me (please read my blog, Cancer Is Shrinking).

650 Mai Mai by the window

Photo: Mai Mai loved stayed the window of the bedroom where I stayed all day.

 

All of us were sad, and the energy in our home was very heavy, but I was too weak to change. Everyone was tired, and nothing inspired us—except Eric was going SUP surfing every weekend to release his stress. The most sensitive of our dog family, Lumi and Leo, started having eye issues and weight problems. Lumi had too much eye liquid and was overweight, while Leo had dry eyes and lost weight.

 

I was checking about adopting a kitty online, but I somehow found a puppy who had Kula’s smile and eyes (Kula was my service dog and one of our dog family who passed last year on August 1). I told Eric about adopting the puppy. He said at first, “You are crazy—NO.” I explained to him how much we need cheerful, happy energy to lift up our souls. My animal family and I are not able to go SUP surfing like Eric. While I am always resting or suffering from pain in my bed to recover, all the dogs and Tin Tin (the other cat) are all so worried and depressed.

 

He finally said okay, and we adopted the puppy and named her “Nalu”.
(Nalu means “surf” in Hawaiian. Kula’s name was “gold” in Hawaiian, so we decided to pick from the same language to remembering Kula).
Nalu is very cute and happy all the time.
Every dog said to me in beginning, “Mommy, are you sure?”
But once they knew Nalu could play with them, they were so surprised and happy.
Nalu was not scared to play with mature dogs of Lumi, Oro and Happy right away and everyday.
She is also very nice to Bubu and Leo.
I am sure she would love to play with Tin Tin, too, but I am not sure about Tin Tin.

650 Nalu & everyone

Photo: Taking the first dog family photo, everyone was nervous.

 

Just watching her everyday makes me feel happy, and somehow I can believe I am able to overcome this challenge by spending time with her and all my animal family, while Eric is working very hard to make ends meet.

 

Many people might think I am crazy to adopt a puppy while I am receiving chemotherapy, and I already have five dogs and one cat, but I did it because my soul said so.

I have been following my heart, and I really believe Nalu came here to rescue and heal us. She lifts up all of our souls and brought cheerfulness to our house.

 

Here are some photos of Nalu with the other dogs and Tin Tin.

Nalu with Tin Tin Happy & Oro

Photo: Nalu with Oro, Happy and Tin Tin(cat)

 

Nalu & Lumi with bamboo

Photo: Nalu and Lumi are chewing bamboo

 

They are having fun! and sleep…

IMG_0089

Photo: After good meals and play…must take a rest!

IMG_0185

Photo: Nalu loves Tin Tin

 

Nalu with Tin Tin on bed

Photo: Nalu wants to be closer to Tin Tin…

 

 

I can’t wait till Nalu goes to SUP with Eric and Lumi soon.

Of course, I will join them when I get better as below photo.

My first paddle board with Lumi

photo: My first paddleboard with Lumi before I got Lymphoma

Here is a site that I found if you are concerned about having your animal family during chemotherapy.

Is It Safe to Keep My Pet While I’m Being Treated for Cancer?

Also, Dog Care When You’re Down has a good information.

Hope these help you.

 

I am off to my #6 round chemo now! Wish me luck!!!

Love, Sanae 💖

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support!

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraising to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.

Here are our books:

Love, Sanae

Love-Sanae-front-cover

Love, Eric and Sanae

love-es-front-cover

Love, Eric Revised

love-eric-revised-the-front-cover

Healthy Happy Pooch

HHP-book-front-cover

My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check (check payable to Eric Lechasseru):

2610A 23rd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.

Love, Sanae 💖

 

Pneumonia – Chemotherapy Side Effect & Eclipse

Similar to eclipse on 08-21-17 Mon

Thank you so much for many of your supports. I really appreciate your kindness and love for me to recover. I was able to come out from sucky feelings now and continue to write my ups and down of my recovery to share my real life with you.

 

Before my fifth round chemo treatment scheduled, I was able to see my oncologist to talk about how I have been feeling weak and very fatigued, with new side effects. I asked her if I could take a one-week break from chemotherapy.

She said, “No—it is not recommended to take a break from chemo.”
The reason was that my blood test results are all good. The cause of my weakness and fatigue is, unfortunately, because that’s what chemo does to my body.

She reminded me of what she’d said before I started chemo: “Feeling weak and fatigued will be a part of chemo. As each chemo progresses, you will feel weaker and more fatigued.”

Many of cancer patients go through much worse than what I have been going through during chemotherapy. They have been hospitalized because of infections, kidney failure, liver complication, damage to lung tissue, heart problems, and more.

My oncologist also said I do not have any serious issues so far.
I am a healthy person overall because I have lived a healthy life with plant-based foods and yoga before I got sick. I am still taking care of myself with holistic approaches and good foods, even now.

I told her I have been craving all kinds of foods I usually don’t eat—salty, spicy, and sweet foods. I have different tastes – metallic and bitter tastes in my mouth and I am not able to enjoy most of the food I like, so I am not able to keep up my standard macrobiotic, healing foods. (Believe it or not, I get a really bad taste when I eat hijiki, arame, kale, and collard greens. I recently had to stop eating miso, soy sauce, and so much more.)

She said, “You’ve never had lymphoma cancer and chemotherapy (I was diagnosed cancer of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV because of Hepatitis C that I got from the blood transfusion result of the car accident in 2001 and receiving EPOCH + Rituximab chemotherapy  which is five days chemotherapy for 24 hours a day every three weeks since May 2017) , and your body is not like before. So, just don’t be so strict with your foods, and eat what you enjoy. Of course, moderate between what you think is good and what tastes good.”
She was so right; I was trying too hard to eat the “right foods.” I was feeling stress and guilt.

I was also taking my body temperature in the morning, afternoon and night, and I was worried when I had a little fever. She told me to stop taking my temperature so often because physiologically, I was setting up stress. I thought she was right on this one, too.
I felt much better after I talked to her. I am so appreciative that I have the right oncologist, who understands my lifestyle and supports me.

One thing she recommended I do before I went home that day was a chest X-ray because I’d started to have a little cough and low fever at night after my fourth round of chemo—so I did.

I had only two more rounds of chemo left, so I was to just get lots of rest everyday and not worry so much before my fifth chemo round so I relax a lot.

650 Ralaxing with Lumi

Relaxing with Lumi

 

I went to my fifth chemo round last Monday, Aug. 21st. Just as I arrive an infusion station, my oncologist called. She said, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, I can give you what you requested, which is one week off from chemo. So, today you go home and relax, and come back next week. The bad news is: The chest X-ray showed that you have pneumonia. There is no medication or anything I can give you since this is a side effect from chemo. So, you need to get lots of rest and enjoy one week.”

I could not believe what I’d heard.
I’ve never had pneumonia and did not know chemo could cause it.
I am not sure if this is good or bad, but since I was coughing so little, I did not think it was that bad. And since I stopped worrying about taking my body temperature, I do not have a low fever at night anymore. So, I decided that I just got my wish, which is one week off from chemo.

I wish I did not get pneumonia, but I got my wish.

Worrying it right now is not going to help me so I searched about pneumonia with chemotherapy on the Internet to learn more.
I found out that pneumonia is the most frequent type of infection during chemotherapy and Chemotherapy related pneumonitis could cause a have long-term side effects. So I am concerned.
Here are symptoms of pneumonia that I found from Chemocare.com

Symptoms of Pneumonia Include:

  • You may notice chest “tightness”; difficulties getting a “good breath”, feelings of breathlessness, or that you are hungry for air.
  • You may have chest pain on the side of your infection
  • You may notice that you are “wheezing”, when you breathe.
  • You may have fever, shaking chills, or a headache.
  • You may feel confused, or have a heart rate that is faster than normal.
  • You may have pain in your muscles, or pain in your lungs when you take a deep breath, especially if you are coughing really hard, for long periods of time.
  • You may be overly tired, or very weak (fatigued). It may be hard for you to do any kind of your normal activities.
  • You may have sudden onset of  “coughing spells”, or a long-term (chronic) cough. You may or may not be able to bring up any secretions (sputum) at first, or you may bring up greenish-yellow, or rusty-colored sputum.
  • You may experience shortness of breath, either at rest or while performing any type of activity. This may include walking to the door, or climbing stairs.
  • You may have trouble lying flat in bed, and you may have to sleep on 2 or more pillows. Your shortness of breath may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/pneumonia.aspx

I only have had a cough at night mostly and low fever with tiredness. But having a break from chemo and taking rest last few days I am already gaining my strength with no fever and almost no cough now.

I have started to practice breathing exercise for getting better from pneumonia “Breath in slowly through my nose, hold breath for 5 seconds and breathe out slowly through my nose. Repeat this at least a few times or more each 4 hours.”  I think it is helping me a lot. The key is slowly.

 

I am just going to continue enjoying this week and taking it easy and being good to myself.

 

Because of the fifth round chemo got reschedule and I came home, I was able to see eclipse on Monday 21st. It was so exciting to see it with my own eyes. It was so orange just like the color of Epoch chemo that I have been receiving (I wrote about it on My First Chemotherapy. ) I felt that all is a good sign from now on.

I tried to take a photo, but it did not get a good shot so here is a similar image of eclipse I saw.

Similar to eclipse on 08-21-17 Mon

https://sunshinecoastastronomy.wordpress.com/tag/solar-eclipse/

Love, Sanae 💖

 

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support!

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraising to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.

Here are our books:

Love, Sanae

Love-Sanae-front-cover

Love, Eric and Sanae

love-es-front-cover

Love, Eric Revised

love-eric-revised-the-front-cover

Healthy Happy Pooch

HHP-book-front-cover

My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check (check payable to Eric Lechasseru):

2610A 23rd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.

Love, Sanae 💖

Chemo Sucks!

650 Tear big 08-20=17

I closed my eyes and tears are there silently.

 

Can I be honest?

No matter how positive I feel inside of me most of the time—and even with the good news I wrote in my last blog, that the Cancer is Shrinking—some days, sometimes it’s sooooo miserably hard, and I feel that getting chemo sucks.

 

I feel lots of guilt, and I feel like a burden to my husband, Eric. I get jealous of everyone who is enjoying life as I check Facebook, Instagram, etc., and everything irritates me!!!

 

I finished #4 round chemo. It was the hardest, most painful time for me to go through. After this round, I felt so damn weak, and I got depressed. My red blood cell (RBC) and hemoglobin (LabDAQ) levels got too low; that was the reason I was so weak and fatigued. I had to get another blood transfusion.

 

I have had PTSD since this whole cancer came from a blood transfusion in 2001 when I had a car crash in Arizona and was in a coma for three days. I was injured so badly, the doctor said I’d never walk again. I was in a wheelchair for three years, and it took a long time for me to overcome it. But what I did not know at the time was that the blood transfusion gave me hepatitis C and led to cancer I have now.

 

After round #2 of chemo, when I was told that I had to have a blood transfusion for the first time since 2001, I freaked out. I got so scared and could not think about anything.

I had to do deep meditation and hypnosis (by Jessica Porter) to calm down and make sense of receiving a blood transfusion to save my life. It did help my RBC and LabDAQ normalize, and I felt better, with my strength back again. One problem I had was that it gave me a rash all over my face for about one week, like when I eat sugar or dairy, so you know the blood I received was not a macrobiotic person’s blood—hahaha!

 

This second time receiving a blood transfusion, I was told my RBC was way too low—more than the last time. I am weaker than ever. I was not scared to receive the blood transfusion this time since the last time helped me a lot. There is always a risk, but I had no choice and there was one bit of good news: Eric donated his blood this time for me since he has the same blood type and it worked I did not get rush this time.

Blood Transfusion

Eric donated his blood for me!

The blood test results were also good after the blood transfusion again, but I am still weak and very fatigue and did not get any better day this time. I only feel a little better one hour or so everyday so I go out to my garden (watering my flowers and herbs), be with my animal family and talk to Eric for a little bit.

When I get this weak I am scared and sad, and I am unable to think of good things. I feel that I may never get better. Besides all the side effects I have already been having, there are new ones: pain all over my mouth, nothing tasting good, sudden sharp pain in my legs and spine, and fever. I felt so miserable from time to time, all I could do was lie down and let my tears come out.

Chemo sucks. I am not sure if my body is able to take more chemo treatments – I have two more to do.

 

I noticed that when I was quiet, I could hear a buzzing noise in my head. It was like an insect noise; I was trying to remember what the sound was. It was like a quicker version of a cicada sound; a very common summer insect in Japan, it has an exceptionally loud song, produced not by stridulation, but by vibrating drumlike tymbals rapidly [Wikipedia]. This noise drove me crazy, and I was unable to sleep.

 

I watched Eric and felt the great stress of his fear, frustration, and sadness.
I had an argument with him over unimportant subjects.

 

I said to myself, “This too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass.”
One moment at a time.
I breathed out deeply and prayed and visualized to release my fear, pain, the sound of my head, and unwanted feelings of anger and sadness.
I visualized breath in good recovery, happiness, and wellness.

One moment at a time.

I breathed out deeply and prayed and visualized to release my fear, pain, the sound of my head, and unwanted feelings of anger and sadness. I visualized breath in good recovery, happiness, and wellness.

 

I am not sure how long it took, but the noise calmed down, and I was able to fall asleep for a while.

 

I gathered my strength and went out to my garden for watering.
My plumeria plant was showing beautiful flowers. The beauty of these flowers saved the moment.

650 Plumeria with water 2017

Beautiful Plumeria flowers in my garden.

 

Yes, chemo sucks, but the plumeria said to me, “I am here for you. Thank you for watering and taking care of me even you are going through chemo. I want you to enjoy my flowers. I love you so much!”

 

Accepting my negative, sucky feeling is not easy at all.
It is so f** hard.
But this too shall pass…

and I will not give up.

 

Love, Sanae 💖

 

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support!

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraising to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.

Here are our books:

Love, Sanae

Love-Sanae-front-cover

Love, Eric and Sanae

love-es-front-cover

Love, Eric Revised

love-eric-revised-the-front-cover

Healthy Happy Pooch

HHP-book-front-cover

My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check (check payable to Eric Lechasseru):

2610A 23rd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.

Love, Sanae 💖