How I Started Reiki for People and My Animal Family

I am originally from Japan.
I grew up there till I was 19 years old, so I had heard of Reiki before I moved to the US.
But I thought it was kind of a spooky thing because the word rei 霊 means “spirit,” and ki 気 is “energy.”
I was not sure what “energy of spirit” was about;
I could only think that it may have something to do with a ghost (hahaha), which in Japanese is yuu rei 幽霊.
I was scared and not interested.

The first time I received Reiki was after I was in a coma for three days at a trauma hospital in Phoenix, Arizona because of my near-fatal car crash outside of a little village of Hope, Arizona in 2001.
I had broken ribs, knees, ankles, feet and toes, and my heart and lungs were crushed and damaged.
I had a tube to my lungs and from my mouth to breathe.
I was not able to talk for a while because of the tube in my mouth.
Every part of my body was in so much pain.

Eric (my husband) told me later on that as soon as I came out of the coma and the tube was removed from my mouth,
I was telling him to move my intensive care bed closer to the window so I could feel the sunlight and heal.
When he told me he could not move me—since I was attached to so many machines—I cursed at him and said,
“Move the f***ing bed to the window!
I have to feel sunlight!!!”

Of course, he could not move the bed at all, so I was pissed off.
But I could not be pissed off for too long, because I was told by my doctors that I would not be able to walk anymore; my legs were brutally broken.
They had thought they’d have to amputate my left leg, but they were able to keep it.
I am so grateful for the doctors’ decision, but I did not know there were many years of physical therapy, daily massages, and positive affirmations to come.

After surgery, I had 3 thick titanium plates and 13 screws all over both of my legs and ankles.
My legs, feet, and toes were numb, but at the same time, I had so much pain.
How is it possible to have no feeling but extreme nerve pain?
I could not explain, but that was the way I felt (I still have some of the numbness and pain).

I was not able to sleep much, so my friend’s roommate, who was learning Reiki, came to give me my first treatment.
Reiki helped me relax and sleep.
I could not believe it, and I never forgot about it.

My recovery from that car crash was very long, but I experienced a long recovery already when I had ovarian cancer in 1993 so even I had to be in a wheelchair for many years I never lost my hope and I remember how much Reiki helped me at the trauma hospital in Arizona.
I really wanted to learn the practice, so I found a teacher in Redondo Beach in 2002.
I think I did not have a connection with that teacher, or I was not ready to learn something new.
My focus needed to be on healing from PTSD and learning how to live my new life with a wheelchair.

It was a big transition time, and I was not able to accept that I was going to be in a wheelchair the rest of my life.
I started to walk again with crutches and not use the wheelchair all the time, little by little.
After 17 years, I now only use a cane and no wheelchair, most of the time.
My legs, feet, and toes have still nerve pain all the time— sometimes so much that I can’t sleep.
But I have learned Vipassana meditation and learned to accept the numbness and pain and try to not get attached to it.
This practice helps enable me to do many things like bicycling, yoga, and hiking.
I’ve loved yoga since I was in my 20s,
so I challenged myself to take Yoga Teacher Training a few years ago, when I turned 60 years old, and become a yoga instructor.

Read my blog, Yoga for Life.

Back to the Reiki: I really wanted to learn it again with the right teacher.
I met Amanda Jaye, an English lady who lived in Japan and mastered Jikiden reiki (Jikiden means “directly handed down”) in Kyoko, Japan.
This is Amanda Jaye’s website.
Her teaching was more authentic, traditional Japanese Reiki.
I connected to it right away.
Amanda teaches using Japanese words, so we can feel kototama 言霊
the five precepts, or go kai 五戒, are all in Japanese,
and everyone has to learn to say them in Japanese).

I love reijyu 霊授, which is translated in English as “attunements.”
Below is what Amanda wrote about reijyu on her blog:

In the 1920s, Japanese founder, Usui sensei, devised a simple way to clear the connection we all have to this ability within.
Our natural state. His method has been passed down through generations for more than 90 years. 

In the west, you often hear the word ‘attunement’, yet this has a slightly different meaning than the Japanese ‘Reiju’.
There is nothing new to ‘tune in’ to. You already have Reiki running through you.
The easiest analogy is to imagine cleaning a pipe that is clogged – you do not have to build a new pipe or tune into a new frequency like a radio station. Reiju simply clears the pipe you already have so the flow is more abundant and can then have a greater effect when given to yourself or others. 

https://www.learnjikidenreiki.com/blog-1/a-question-of-reiju-attunements

 

Amanda and me when I received my Jikiden Reiki certificate in 2016

 

I practice and use Reiki just like I cook macrobiotic foods.
I used Reiki for my dog daughter Kula when she was diagnosed with spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) two years ago.
We were told she would live about two weeks to two months.
I included Reiki in my healing modality of making macrobiotic food, Chinese herbal medicines, acupuncture, moxibustion, Bach Flower remedy, homeopathy, and essential oil for her, but I was not confident enough to communicate with her yet since I started to study animal communication eight months before she got sick.
I also did not know how deeply and powerfully beneficial Reiki really would be that time.
I felt Kula liked Reiki, but I was not sure how much it was really helping her.

Giving Kula Reiki

Now I can see now that I did not give her enough Reiki time everyday for her to get the benefit because I was too busy with my work and worried about what to cook for her.                                                                     She departed to heaven 2.5 months later in my arms.

 

Last year, I received Reiki twice a week from my friend Sally, to help me heal from cancer of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV.
My blog “My First Chemotherapy

I was suffering so much with pain in my liver, and the chemotherapy was the most discomfort I’ve ever experienced.
I was not able to sleep.
I was sad, and I cried a lot.
But every time I received Reiki, I was able to sleep and deeply relax.
I was able to feel happiness again through the sessions, and I felt I had my hope of getting better.

Finally, I experienced how Reiki is truly a deep, powerful modality for my body, mind, and soul (spirit).
From that experience, I decided to add Reiki to my practice more seriously once I got better.
I have also been using moxibustion, which helped me relax and able to ease my pain,                       so I decided to combine the two together for myself everyday continuously.
Reiki and moxibustion combination have been helping me so much to release the pain and relax me deeply.
Another thing helping is meditation so I practice it everyday.
Reiki and moxibustion with meditation combination for my recover from Lymphoma is a big key for me everyday.

Since I had ovarian cancer in 1993 I was not able to have a baby.
My husband, Eric and my joy of life is having dog and cat family so we live with six dogs and two cats.
In order for me to get my strength back after chemotherapy for Lymphoma I started to hiking with dogs.
My animal family has been teaching me and helping my life so much.
Now going to hiking with my dogs became a therapy for me.
Here is my blog of “Hiking with Dogs“.
Now about once a week, I hike with my dog’s hiking friends so there are usually more than 10 dogs.

Two months ago, Kula’s sister Oro was diagnosed with the same spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma).

See my blog, “Oro Came To My Life The Day My Mother Passed”

I have been giving Oro Reiki, with combinations of massage and moxibustion with Bach Flower Remedy and aromatherapy guided by holistic veterinarian Dr. Lane.
I can see how much Oro likes them, how much she can relax and she is getting benefits.
I am also able to communicate with Oro better than two years ago when I was communicating with Kula.
Other important things are I have more time to spend with Oro and learn to trust her to give me direction so I am not worried about what I need to cook for her so much. I am leaning to see how much Oro is teaching. I always feel my animal family (six dogs and two cats) is teaching me and they are my teachers.

I started to help some of my clients and offer Reiki, combining with shiatsu and moxibustion.
My clients who have experienced Reiki recognized how much benefit they got.
I also use Reiki to help my husband, Eric relax.
I am very happy that I am able to help my husband and animal family and other people with what I believe and what I experienced.

 

This past weekend, my teacher Amanda came to America to offer her seminar again.
It was so good to attend it to review my practice.
I met wonderful Reiki practitioners too.

Last weekend’s Jikiden Reiki seminar with Amanda and other Reiki people

 

 

Reiki class is also offered at Cancer Support Community in West Los Angeles once a month (every third Thursday at 6 pm, but call to make sure  310.314.2555) at no charge.
I enjoyed the class when I attended there.
If you do not know Reiki and you are going through with cancer, this is a good place to start.
Also, I think many classes are offered around your area so you can find it and learn for yourself.

 

Giving Oro Reiki

When I found out Oro had spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) at the end of July,
I started to give Reiki right away and also looked for Animal Reiki class for me to take.
I never saw Animal Reiki sight before, but it was meant to be for me to find it this time.
So I just started to take Animal Reiki level 1 with Kathleen Prasad.
Even though I have taking Reiki classes with the certificate of Reiki practitioner and giving Reiki to many people and been giving Reiki to my animal family already, I thought I could learn more.
This will be a great addition to my studies in animal communication with Lydia Hiby.

There are eight people from all over not just in the U.S. in Animal Reiki level 1 class.
There are eight classes to meet on line every Monday morning.
I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s story and receiving Reiju from Kathleen.
Kathleen has over come breast cancer and she has already taught me a lot as also cancer survivor like I am cancer survior.
I know learning Reiki for animals will help my dog and cat family even more and perhaps help rescued dogs and kitties in the future when I am a fully recover from Lymphoma.

Below is one of Animal Reiki level 1 homework from first week to reflect on one of the Reiki precepts while completing the turtle zentangle.

For today only:
do not anger
do not worry
be humble
be honest in your work
be compassionate to yourself and others

My Reiki Precepts reflection on Turtle coloring

I choose the third one – do not worry.
Since Oro was diagnosed cancer I am worry a lot about her.
I choose the colors that this turtle is living in Maui (Hawaii) and swimming freely and happy without worry. I liked the colors I choose.
I repeated Reiki precepts while I was coloring many times and spent more than three hours to complete.
I noticed that this simple exercise homework of coloring the turtle helped me to calm and not worry about Oro so much.

 

“What is Animal Reiki,” from Kathleen Prasad’s website:

https://www.animalreikisource.com/animal-reiki-information/what-is-animal-reiki/

  1. This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.
  2. Animal Reiki is mindfulness meditation practiced “with” our animals, rather than an energy therapy done “to” them.
  3. Animal Reiki meditation is taught as a state of mind with flexible physical forms.
  4. Touch is used only when animals seek it out, and then only as a compassionate support.
  5. Mental focus techniques develop an “All is Well” state of mind for the practitioner that sees the animal’s perfection in this moment. Kathleen calls this seeing with your “Animal Reiki eyes,” in other words, seeing more deeply, with your heart.
  6. This method acknowledges and honors each animal as a spiritual teacher and healer in his/her own right. Practitioners learn to listen to animals and become receptive to their spiritual wisdom and healing gifts.

 

I am happy to share how I started Reiki, where I am now with it, and where I might be going in the future.

 

Love, Sanae 💖

 

 

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 💖

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

 

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

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 💖

Shaving My Hair After Chemotherapy

My mother had beautiful, long hair when I was growing up. She told me, “Your father loves long hair,” and she smiled. Her beautiful hair stays in my memory, so I enjoy growing my hair long, too.
I also found out that by having long hair, I did not have to go get my hair cut too often. It was perfect for someone lazy like me to go get a haircut every two to three months.

 

650 My long hair

Before I cut my hair

 

When I had ovarian cancer 24 years ago, one of my good friends said, “It will be so sad to see you lose your beautiful, long hair from chemotherapy.” Fortunately, I did not have to take chemotherapy to treat the cancer, so I didn’t deal with losing hair that time.

Recently, I was diagnosed with 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.

I did my best to heal with macrobiotic food and other natural remedies, but the cancer was growing too fast, so I had to make a decision to take chemotherapy. There are many side effects, and one of them was losing hair. I did not know what to think about losing my hair. It was a somewhat scary thought, since I’ve loved having my hair long most of my life. But when I saw my hair was falling out slowly everyday, I knew it was time for me to just shave.

 

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 I did not feel so bad. I also researched famous women who shaved their heads, and surprisingly, there were so many of them. You can check also, if you are curious like me.

 

How did I do it? First, I cut my hair shorter to adjust my emotional shock. I let it stay that way for one week and got ready to shave.

650 In my garden

Cut my hair shorter first and enjoying gardening

 

Who shaved my hair?

Eric!

He has been shaving his hair, so I asked him. First he said, “I don’t know how to shave nicely.” I said that shaving is one way: just shaven. There is one style I am looking for: “short.” So he said, “Okay, let’s see.”

 

It was a perfectly warm day to be out on the back deck. Sunlight was reflecting off my head, and I felt warm as he was shaving.

 

650 IMG_8120

Beautiful day to be out on the deck to shave my hair

 

 

650 IMG_8121

The first shaved!

 

650 Eric shaving my hairShaving my hair with fun!

 

Most people said I look like a Buddhist monk. I am not sure if I got enlightenment from shaving my head, but I am getting used to it. Now I scrub my head every morning and night when I do my body scrub, and I love it. I also massage my scalp, and it feels so good.

 

 

650 CR IMG_8160

Shave head is done!

 

My everyday goal is making this chemotherapy period be one of my best experiences.

 

Love, Sanae

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support!

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraisng 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 💖

Only Weeks to Live

After a CT scan, biopsy, and one more test to do—a PET/CT scan—I was going to decide what kind of treatment to do for the cancer I was diagnosed Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV (cause was Hepatitis C that I got from the blood transfusion result of the car accident in 2001).

650 After biopcy

Biopsy: Two areas of the liver

I was already so weak from the CT scan test and biopsy procedure (I had so much pain after biopcy). I was not able to take the PET/CT scan test as I’d planned, but finally I got strong enough to go on April 27. I am very sensitive to chemicals, synthetic medicines, household products and skin products, so it is a challenge for me to take any test at hospitals or clinics.

Everytime I had to take CT or PET scan I had to drink a liquid that contains either barium or a substance called Gastrografin (diatrizoate meglumine and diatrizoate sodium liquid). Barium and Gastrografin are both chemicals that help doctors get better images of my stomach and bowels. Barium has a chalky taste and texture. They had natural flavor one, but it was artificial flavor of course and I had to drink two bottle of 450ml. I felt vomiting, but nothing comes up since I had to fasting for 20 hours.

One of the two barium sulfate containers I need to drink before my CT scan

Photo: One of the two barium sulfate containers I need to drink before my CT/PET scan

When a nurse put iodine into my vein, I felt a sensation of pain all over my body. I felt that I needed a human touch, so I had to ask him to hold my hand. He looked at me first like, What are you asking me? That is not in my job description. But he held on to a few of my fingers. I wish he’d held my whole hand, but it worked, and I felt much better in a minute or so. I let his fingers go and said, “Thank you!” He did not say anything and walked away. It is a simple human act to me, but it may be the first time a patient has asked him to hold a hand.

 

After the PET/CT scan procedure was done, I asked the technician when I would get the results. He said not too long—that my doctor’s office would contact me when it came out, so I should wait. I wanted to make sure, so I repeated, “I do not need to call? They will call me?” He said yes.

 

Most of the test results took a few days to one week, so I was waiting. On May 10, I realized it had already been two weeks, but I had not heard from my doctor’s office. I called the hospital and found out the shocking news. The results were out on May 1 (10 days prior), but the doctor would not release them unless I made an appointment to come see him. I told them I was not instructed do so and was waiting, waiting and waiting. They also said he would be out on vacation, so I would not be able to see him till June 6. What? What did I hear now? I just could not believe what I was hearing. I needed to know the result now, so I would know what is going on.

 

They said someone would contact me to take care of the matter. I got a phone call from my oncologist’s assistant, who said the doctor could see me on May 30 instead of June 6. She would send the test result by post mail, since the record would not be online for another week. I could not believe it, but I was so exhausted with all this nonsense that I had no strength to argue.

 

I was trying to think that maybe the result was better, and that is why he did not contact me. As I wrote in the last blog, I did not think this doctor was a match for me. But I’d found only one doctor who’s had experience with this type of cancer; he is in Boston, and it was not easy for me to make a telephone appointment with him. So, I was sticking with the first doctor I had.

 

I received the PET/CT scan result by post mail, and it showed that cancer was taking almost all the liver.

I was getting weaker, day by day, and after May 10, I had so much pain throughout my liver. Every morning when I woke up, I looked at the sky and said, “Maybe I will not make it today.” But I said, “Sanae, not today! Today is for you to live!”

650 Sky & clouds

I love sky and clouds

 

Every morning when I woke up, I looked at the sky and said, “Maybe I will not make it today.” But I said, “Sanae, not today! Today is for you to live!”

 

When I had a near-fatal car crash in 2001, I felt like I might die. It is not a feeling you can explain, but you just know inside—feelings of fading away and not being able to grasp the moment of spirit here with my body on this earth. I was not really scared at that time, but I felt that I needed to choose what I want to do.

I felt that this was happening again—that I might not make it, and I have to do something.

 

I managed to celebrate Eric’s 50th birthday on the 15th. We had a quiet but great time by the ocean, our favorite place. (I had planned a big party for him at the end of the month, but it never happened, since I ended up being in the hospital.)

650 Eric & B Card 05-15-17

Eric’s 50th birthday by the beach

 

But when the next day came, I really felt that my life was coming to an end unless I find a new doctor/oncologist and act now!!!

 

I contacted good friends who could act right away and help me find a new doctor/oncologist. Two days later, the appointment for a new doctor came out of nowhere on May 19, at 1pm because the doctor had a cancellation. I was so weak, but Eric and two of my friends coordinate to take me with a wheelchair to a new oncologist’s office at 3:30 pm.

 

The oncologist explained the test result of PET/CT Scan very carefully, but directly and clearly. I felt she was a very compassionate person. When she found out I live a vegan, plant-based, macrobiotic lifestyle (no refined sugar) have not taken any medications for many years, have had no alcohol for 32 years, and do not smoke or consume coffee/caffeine, she said it means I am taking care of myself and am healthy, which is a good thing.

 

She gave me a choice of treatments. Since the cancer is so big and taking over almost all the liver, she suggested I do an aggressive, 24 hours a day five-day chemotherapy *EPOCH + Rituximab in the hospital right away.

* E – Etoposide
    P – Prednisone
    O – Oncovin (vincristine)
    C – Cyclophosphamide
    H – Hydroxydaunorubicin (doxorubicin)
    R – Rituximab

It is 24 hours a day and a long five-day treatment, but it is not big doze at one time/one day like R-Chop (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone, plus the monoclonal antibody rituximab – this was recommended by the first oncologist) so you receive treatment slowly and can monitor while you are receiving chemo to adjust the medications.

 

Eric asked what would happen if I did not do the treatment. Without hesitation, the oncologist said, “Sanae will die.”

Eric asked right a way, “How long does she have?”

The oncologist said “Weeks.”

I could hear Eric’s voice….“Not even one month?”

The oncologist confirmed: “Yes, less than one month.”

I could not see Eric’s face, but I could hear he was crying.

 

When I hear or see really scary things, I freeze and am not able to feel. I was not scared to hear I will die, but it is scary to see my love crying because I am dying. I never meant to harm him.

 

I was ready to take the treatment already, after wondering each morning whether or not I would make it. So, there was no question; I went to the hospital right away. The oncologist took care of everything, and I was admitted to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital by 5:30 pm.

 

It happened so fast, but I was feeling all right. Everything was good, even though I was not able to go back home to let my animal family know that I was going to be away for a while. I contacted them telepathically, and they all want me to get better.

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support.

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraisng 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 💖

 

To be continued: My First Chemotherapy