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.
I was able to come up with a little gig when I come to hike with them.
My gig is picking up their poo.
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.
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,