Hiking With Dogs

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.

Cecilia with other dog walkers and dogs, dogs and dogs!

 

I was able to come up with a little gig when I come to hike with them.
My gig is picking up their poo.
Isn’t cool?
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.

These are the small dogs I take care of when I go 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,

Sanae 💖

Hepatitis C Medication Harvoni & Mercury Retrograde

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.

Hiking with dogs including my Lumi & Nalu!

 

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?

 

Photo from https://www.findyourfate.com/planets/mercuryretrograde-july2018.html You can find about Mercury’s retrograde!

From Everything You Need to Know About Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde periods would not be good times to do anything involving communications, such as launch a magazine, website, or an advertising or publicity campaign.

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?
My DNA?
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.
What?
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.

Guess what?

It showed it was delivered at 12:29 pm and signed by Kari.
What?
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.

 

Harvoni of Hepatitis C Med. was delivered at my front gate

I could not believe it.
But am I glad that I received it?
Yes!

 

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:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Weakness

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.

 

Love, Sanae💖

Homemade Brown Rice Cream for Special Healing

The first time I made Brown rice cream was when my mother was very ill and couldn’t eat much of anything.
I remember when she put the cream in her mouth and was able to swallow it, she said with tears in her eyes, “So good…thank you.”
Later, she remarked how warm and better she felt inside.

To me, this experience exemplified what I believe “true healing” is all about.

When I started chemotherapy for Primary Liver Diffuse Large B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (caused by Hepatitis C that I got from the blood transfusion when I had a  life-threatening car crash in 2001) last year, I had no idea the side effects included a change in my taste buds.
During chemotherapy, I  was not able to eat many of my favorite foods, including miso soup, leafy greens, sea vegetables like hijiki and arame, soy sauce, umeboshi plum seasoning, etc.

I was very weak, and not only was I not able to eat anything, I could not digest the food, so Eric made soft rice porridge.
One day I remembered how much Brown rice cream helped my mother, so I asked Eric to make it for me.
This was the best thing I could have asked for!

Homemade brown rice cream is very digestible, and when I put it in my mouth in the hospital room during my first chemotherapy, I felt that the warmth and creaminess of brown rice cream gave me comfort deep inside.
My feeling of tightness out of fear and sadness were lifted away.

Homemade brown rice cream is, on top of these benefits, is very nutritious for special healing.

I have been eating it for breakfast every day for over one year.  I love the soft gentle texture, which makes me feel calm and at peace.

 My mother was right.  I feel warm and better each day.

Hope you try it someday!

With Love,

Sanae 💖

B rice cream with gomashio

With gomashio (sesame salt) condiment

 

Recipe

HOMEMADE BROWN RICE CREAM
for special healing

1 cup brown rice

10 cups purified water

pinch of sea salt

condiment (option)

  1. Wash and soak the brown rice for over six hours to overnight.
  2. When soaking is completed, transfer the rice to a cast-iron or stainless steel frying pan over medium-low heat. Using a wooden spatula, dry roast the rice until it is uniformly golden brown and the rice releases a nutty fragrance.
  3. In a stainless steel or ceramic pot, combine the toasted rice and the water over a medium-high flame until the water begins to boil. Add sea salt, and cover with lid.
  4. Place a flame deflector over the flame, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours, or until half the water has evaporated.
  5. Wait an additional 5 to 10 minutes, remove the lid, and allow to cool.
  6. Transfer rice to an unbleached cheesecloth or a very fine mesh stainless strainer (food mill) that is placed over a bowl. Squeeze or mash the rice cream to separate it from the pulp.
  7. Transfer the cream back into the pot over a medium flame to reheat.
    Serve hot. You can add condiments* if you like

* Condiments:  Varieties are gomashio (sesame salt), an umeboshi plum, scallions, chopped parsley, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds etc.

Recipe from Love, Sanae cookbook

B Rice Cream with umeboshi 650

with umeboshi plum condiment/pickle

 

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.

IMG_5624

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.

 

IMG_5615

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”.

IMG_0853

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.

IMG_0690

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.

IMG_0858

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 💖