Stronger Than I’ve Ever Been

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

If you knock me down

I get up again, I get up again

Born unstoppable

I get up again

Now I’m stronger than I’ve ever been


<My version>

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


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

Thank Kaleena Zanders and Toyota!


Love with my strength of the recovery,
Sanae 💖

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