Adopting a Puppy Brought Cheerfulness to Cancer Household

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…


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


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, Eric and Sanae


Love, Eric Revised


Healthy Happy Pooch


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 💖


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1 comment

  1. 1

    glad you have a new family member to love you, she looks beautiful. Hopefully you will get lots of love and kisses from your furkids to help you thru. Prayers for your healing annette

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