Liver Healing Remedy Drink

Spring is here. 
Chinese medicine and macrobiotic practice that spring associated with the Liver organ.  (One of my books, “Love, Sanae” has a list of five transformations of each seasons’ organs, foods, emotions, and temperaments, etc.)
 
I was diagnosed Only Weeks to Live with stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the Liver almost four years ago. 
I just went to see my oncologist, Dr. Mead at UCLA hospital in Santa Monica. She told me that lymphoma has a recurrence record after 3~5 years of treatments so I have passed the first step and she was very pleased. 
 

Photo: with my oncologist Dr. Mead (too bad that you can’t see our big smile because of wearing the mask).

 
 
This lymphoma was my second cancer (the first one was ovarian cancer). I was very sick and weak this time and felt that I might die. I was over 60 years old so even though I did not want to take chemotherapy, but the holistic approach was not catching up with cancer.   I wanted to live so I decided to take chemo treatments with my macrobiotic practice.   It was one of the hardest things I had experienced. (My blog “Chemo Sucks!“)

Dr. Mead does not know what is holistic approach nor macrobiotics practice, but she has seen what I applied to help my conditions when I was taking chemotherapies and through now with healing remedy drinks, macrobiotic plant-based foods, holistic modalities, meditation, etc., and she trusts me that I have been taking care of myself. 

 I would like to start sharing more about what I have been doing to help my conditions. 

 The first one is my morning ritual remedy drink.

 I have experienced that this remedy is helping me even with side effects from chemotherapy too.

  I really hope you try taking this remedy for yourself.

 
Liver Healing Remedy Drink
 

It is best to drink one cup in the morning before you drink or eat something. After you drink this remedy, 30~60 minutes later, you can eat breakfast or drink something else.

4 cups spring water.                                                              
1 tablespoon organic dried burdock root                              
1 tablespoon organic dried dandelion root                            
1 tablespoon organic dried nettle leaves or organic dandelion leaves
 
 
1. Add all the roots first in the water and bring the water to boil and when it boils, turn the heat to lower, then add nettle or dandelion leaves to simmer for 15~20 minutes.
 
 

Photo: add roots ingredients first.

 

 

 

Photo: Bring the roots ingredients to boil.

 

Photo: Add leaves to simmer.

 

 

 

 

2. Strain the tea and drink one cup at a time/day and cool the rest of the tea to storage in the refrigerator and heat one cup at a time to drink.

3. I recommend drinking this without sweetener, but if you must, then I would recommend one teaspoon of brown rice syrup, a half teaspoon of maple syrup, or beet sugar. No honey, brown sugar, white sugar, palm sugar, or cane sugar.

If you are going to use a teabag, then use one teabag of each ingredient with 2 cups of spring water.

I make mine with also red clover and horsetail to support bone health since I broke my bone after chemotherapy while I was hiking with my dogs. You add 1 tablespoon of each ingredient and add one more cup of spring water. You add them with nettle or dandelion after boiled roots.

All the ingredients can be purchase at Natural Food Market that carry dried herbs near you. I usually get mine from  Co-opportunity Market (this website is near me in Santa Monica and Culver City in California, but if you have Co-opportunity Market then I think you can buy there too ) and Online herb stores: Mountain Rose Herbs   and   StarWest Botanical

Below is itemize what all these ingredients help.

Burdock root – Antioxidants, which remove toxins from the blood, may inhibit some types of cancer.

Dandelion root – Potent antioxidants. help fight inflammation. aid blood sugar control. help reduce cholesterol. may lower blood pressure. promote a healthy liver. aid weight loss.
 
Nettle leaves – Reduce inflammation, hay fever symptoms, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
 
Dandelion leaves – Antioxidants, reduce inflammation, reducing cancer risk, boosting the immune system.
 
Red clover – Osteoporosis, arthritis, hot flashes, skin and hair disorders.
 
Horsetail – Supports bone health, acts as a natural diuretic,  promotes wound healing and nail health, promotes hair growth.
 
 
The liver is one of the organs that really important to support your health. It is always working to regulate most chemical levels in our body blood and excretes a product called bile. This helps carry away waste products from the liver. All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver.
 
Anybody who has taken any medication, not eating balanced food, oily food, drink alcohol, sugary juice, living in cities, and experience frustration so on…means everybody, right?
 
 
 
You can check online easily about how to take care of your liver, etc, but here are what I read so I want to share them with you.
 

The primary functions of the liver are:

  • Bile production and excretion.
  • Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs.
  • Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
  • Enzyme activation.
  • Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors.

The symptoms of poor liver function?

Symptoms

  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling.
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Dark urine color.
  • Pale stool color.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
I really think that you do not need to wait for till showing any symptoms. Once a liver is showing symptoms, it will take a long time to heal so the key is to proactive and support the liver. In my case, I did not have any symptoms and I was very sick with lymphoma.

Here are 13 tried and true ways to achieve liver wellness

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. … 
  2. Eat a balanced diet. … 
  3. Exercise regularly. … 
  4. Avoid toxins. … 
  5. Use alcohol responsibly. … 
  6. Avoid the use of illicit drugs. … 
  7. Avoid contaminated needles. … 
  8. Get medical care if you’re exposed to blood.
  9. This is my liver wellness…enjoy your life and take a rest!

I believe that taking care of your liver saves your health and life.

Have a supportive liver healing remedy drink!

Love, 

Sanae❤️


 

Loquat Leaves Body Scrub/Rub

I moved to the house where I live now in 1985.
When I moved, I noticed right away my next neighbor, the older couple, Joe and Virginia, had a big beautiful loquat tree ( I think it was about 20 feet) in their back yard.

I just moved and I did not know them yet, but I had to give my compliment to them about their loquat tree. Joe and Virginia did not know much about loquat except it produce fruits. I told them leaves have health benefits in Japan and Asia. 

The loquat trees that I see here in the Santa Monica area produce smaller and little sour fruit than those I saw and tasted in Japan.  But I am grateful to see loquat trees are here.

I got loquat leaves from Virginia and made tea and extract for wound and skin inflammation like my mother made in Japan. Later, I got a seedling of a loquat tree from the next neighbor and started to grow my own loquat tree in my garden. It took time to grow, but it has been growing well and I have been using their leaves for making medicinal teas, skin compresses, medicinal hot water for body scrub/rub, and moxibustion treatment.

Loquat tree in my garden

Photo: Loquat tree in my garden with morning sunlight

* Loquat (<i>Eriobotrya japonica</i> Lindl.) is a subtropical fruit tree with high medicinal value native to China. Different organs of loquat have been used historically as folk medicines and this has been recorded in Chinese history for thousands of years.

** Also, Loquat leaves are listed for their health benefits in Japanese Pharmacopoeia (Nippon Yakkyoku-hō,) the official record of approved medicinal herbs, published by the Government of Japan since 1886.

* sauce from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187783/

** sauce from https://wawaza.com/pages/how-to-make-loquat-leaves-tea-biwa-cha-japanese-way/

 

Loquat flowers are modest-looking and the color is very pale cream.  It is the season right now to bloom here.

Loquat flower bud spread

Photo: Loquat flower buds

Loquat flowers

Photo: Loquat’s blossoms

Loquat flower finished

Photo: When loquat flowers completed

Most people here in America don’t know much about loquat leaves benefits so I want to introduce what I use for it every day as body/rub today here. I will write about loquat tea some other time.

Generally, in macrobiotics practice, we recommend body scrub/rub.
The body scrub/rub helps activate circulation and better energy flow through the entire body. It helps to discharge excess fat accumulated under the skin and open pores to promote smooth and regular elimination of any toxins. It also promotes clean, clear skin.
The body scrub/rub can be done once or twice daily, in the morning and/or at night, before or after a shower or bath, but apart from it.

I add loquat leaves because in Japan, where I grew up using loquat leaves as a traditional cure for preventing and treating respiratory ailments and have many benefit of preventing and treating respiratory ailments.
Also, loquat leaves contain compounds demonstrated to lower blood lipid and sugar levels and alleviate inflammatory skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis (eczema.)

I love the earthy greenish  (when you use fresh leaves) aroma of loquat leaves when I apply scrub/rub to my face and body every morning. 

I did it when I was taking chemotherapy, when I broke my legs, when I was going through PTSD, when I was feeling “shit” and sad, and loquat leaves body scrub/rub always have helped me and lift me up to start my day.

If you are going through your hands/fingers or legs with side effects from chemotherapy (neuropathy, nerve pain, numbness, or weakness) like I did or/and other medications,  you soak your hands and legs in loquat leaves hot water (it should be very hot, but not too hot to get burn yourself) and rub/massage them inside the hot water.

Doctors don’t know this kind of holistic healing method so if you ask them, they might not recommend it. You are taking medication so you have to do this for yourself with commitment.  It works for me so I do this every day. I hope you try it for at least three months and get the benefit.

Loquat pot

Photo: This is my pot to make loquat leaves hot water. It has changed the color and shows a loquat presence.

Here is how to make and apply medicinal loquat leaves hot water for body scrub/rub:

  1. Add two heaping tablespoons of loquat leaves (dried or fresh) to 4 cups of cold water in a stainless pot.
  2. Heat to a full, rolling boil.
  3. Turn heat down and let simmer for 15~20 minutes.
  4. Strain the leaves and put medicinal liquid in a bowl of glass or stainless  (not plastic).

    Loquat leave hot water

    Photo: My loquat tree leaves and its medicinal warm water is ready for body scrub/rub with organic hemp fabric washcloth that I have been using for many years.

  5. When you can put your hands in, then dip your organic washcloth (cotton or hemp), squeeze or wring out excess liquid and start scrub/rub your whole body one section at a time and dip the cloth and squeeze or wring out the liquid again. 
  6. If it gets cold, must heat it.
  7. I start from my face, ears, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, fingers, belly, back (you might need a longer cloth if you want to do it all by yourself), thighs, legs, feet, toes, and I go back up and also do the area I have pain, pressure, or discomfort. 
  8. The skin should become pink or slightly red. This result may take a few days to achieve if the skin is clogged with accumulated fats.

 

For your animal family:

When you apply loquat leaves scrub/rub for animals (puppies/dogs & kittens/cats) make medicinal hot water shorter simmering time of 5 ~ 10 minutes to make it less intense and make sure to cool it down so it is not too hot for them. If they taste or drink it, there is no harm, but if they are especially puppies and kittens, I will not encourage them to drink because it might be too stimulating. After all, their digestive system is too venerable.

It is beneficial if your animal has skin issues and fleas’ itchiness. It will soothe their skin and help and preventing fleas if you apply every day.

Especially, puppies and kittens up till 1-year-old at least are fragile and fleas love their skin. I would never recommend any chemical flea treatments and flea shampoo to puppies and kittens so instead, I gave them gentle scrub/rub using this loquat leaves warm water for them after I comb with a  flea comb. I will write about this subject another time that how much these chemical is harming our beloved animal family.

Below is Lani, who is four months old, getting loquat leaves body scrub/rub and he enjoyed it so much and was getting sleepy. You can see the liquid I made for him is much lighter than the one I use for me above photo.

Lani is receiving body scrub

Photo: Lani is receiving body scrub/rub and so relaxed

I do this for myself every morning, almost no matter what.
I also recommend and offer it for my family including animal family, friends, and my clients, whenever I can.

If you do not have loquat leaves, you can scrub/rub your body with sea salt hot water: 4 cups hot water with one tablespoon sea salt. For animals, use one teaspoon sea salt.

If you do not have sea salt then just do with hot /warm water.

I know that scrub/rub helps my skin and my bloodstream move smoothly and purify and activate my blood. Also, help my animal family getting benefits for their health.

I hope this blog helps you and your animal family’s health.

Love,

Sanae ❤️

My New Path…

Writing makes me feel most connected with my soul.
But I was not able to write for over one year.

When I was going through challenging times, I usually write my journals.

After I was diagnosed with only weeks live with Stage IV Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin of the liver in the spring of 2017.
(I wrote about it on https://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/)

Holistic medicine and macrobiotic healing foods were not helping to shrink cancer as before because the cancer was spreading too fast. Hence, I decided to take chemotherapy to save my life. The pain of the liver got worst, and I was not able to bear. All I could do was closing my eyes, breathing, and lying down every day. The nights I could not sleep, I just laid and wrote often and posted my blogs and sent newsletters to link in with my friends and people who were supporting me. The writing was also a way to protect me from my loneliness and fear.

After completed six cycles of chemotherapy, I was getting better physically slowly, and  I started to do a few things that I could not do while I was in chemo. Then, I did more and more physical work, and I lost the time to write.

I have been posting Instagram and Facebook with short descriptions, but I love writing with detail.
I realized that taking the time to write how I feel and what I do and share my photos carefully is my style, so writing a blog and send newsletter was something I enjoy.
There are many reasons I lost touch with writing my blog and sending newsletters.
Whatever the reason I have had, I just wanted to get it back on again and looking for my new path. I wish I could pick up where I left without any reservation, but in my case, I needed motivation.

I have been taking art classes from Santa Monica College Emeritus off and on for a while.  It took time after all the chemotherapy treatments, but when I got the strength back, I went back to retake Calligraphy class. I just did what I could,  so mostly nothing serious, and just for fun.

At the end of the last year, I found out that I may be able to enter my artwork for the Student Art Exhibition.  The exhibition was for spring 2020, and the due date was February 2020, so I wanted to try it even my artwork was chosen or not.

But I was going through another challenging time of PTSD (PTSD from my childhood and also near-death car crash, etc. ) at the beginning of the year, so I did not think I could put together my artwork. I am a turtle, so I am not a fast pace person to do anything. I need a decent time and focus for me to finish my artwork.

When I get PTSD, I have nightmares, and I am not able to do much nor go out nor talk to people. I also cry and get moody a lot and not able to focus.

Sanae with Leo IMG_0916

Photo: with my dog son, Leo

 

I was feeling disappointed at myself, and I was just about giving up on my artwork; I got lots of love support from my animal family, especially from Leo, who was one of my dog sons.
He had health conditions of nasal cancer for more than one year and also vestibular disease condition, which caused him not able to get up his own. Still, when I worked on my artwork, he wanted to be with me in my art room and stayed until I was satisfied to finish my artwork each time. That is how I was able to complete my artwork and submit it on time. I was not sure it was good enough for the Student Art Exhibition, but it did not matter because, in the end, I had fun creating and spend time with Leo. When I sent my artwork with an original frame I have asked to make. Leo smiled at me and he said, “Mommy, good job!”.

thumbnail-1

Photo: with Keith of GRAYHORSE PICTURE FRAMING http://www.grayhorsepictureframing.com

Three weeks later, I found out that they chose my artwork. I was very thrilled and told Leo that because of him, my artwork would be at the Exhibition.

He said that he already knew it and he was delighted.

I got a big idea of making a plan to invite everyone who supported me for my recovery if they could come to the Student Art Exhibition opening reception in April.

I was so excited, but the pandemic happened, and the exhibition got cancel.

My big idea of seeing some of you in person and able to say “Thank you!” directly did not work.
I understand that so many people died and got sick.  Coronavirus pandemic has not solved yet, and still many people are going through so many challenges, and many other issues are coming to must change the last few months.
Many people are standing up valuable to move the country and the world toward a new normal a future better than the old dysfunctional “normal.”
I wish I could do more to help others, but my focus is to do my best to take care of myself to stay healthy and safe right now, and this is my contribution to others, and this is my new normal.

Leo departed on May 24th peacefully in his sleep.
I miss him a lot.
He taught me so much how to fulfill life, and he told me that “Mammy, just be,” which sometimes means being irritable, exciting, tired, sad, and worry.
It is all good because they are all of you, and deep down inside, you are happy and content no matter what.
He is continuously teaching me.

Soon after his departure, I received a letter about Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition will be Online.
Online means not only people who can come to the exhibition but anybody from all over the world can see my artwork and see my new path.

Wow!

I think Leo did it.

Emeritus art exhibition online. 150+ artworks on view by Emeritus students.

A live Zoom Launch Event — hosted by Emeritus Associate Dean Dr. Scott Silverman and Emeritus Gallery Curator Jesse Benson — was recorded when it was held on June 25.

Here are a link and info on how to see my artwork.

View the recorded Zoom event: Launch Event for Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online

View Artwork and Artists: Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online

 

In case you are not able to see this Online Exhibition, here is a photo of my artwork close up and detail.

My New Path only Lotus

Photo: Watercolor Hanga with lotus root

Title: My New Path

Medium: Watercolor and Sumi Ink

Size: 14″h x 11″w x 3/4″d
The frame is white birch and linen material (you see the bottom photo).

It is a simple watercolor of Hanga print with lotus root and Sumi ink calligraphy with my haiku poem. My aiming was “Zen modest state to find a new path to move forward”

 

My New Path only calligraphy

Photo: my haiku poem with Skim letters

The letter of calligraphy style is Akim.
(Akim is created by German calligrapher, sculptor, and musician, Hans-Joachim Burgert. This lovely, gentle hand that is said to replicate the rhythm of the human heart) I did not know how Akim was created at first when I started to use it for my calligraphy, but I felt so familiar and it is my favorite calligraphy letter. So I have been using it for my website cover and business card, etc.

I wrote this Haiku Poem for me and everyone to thrive and live a new path (new normal).

I hope you enjoy it and find your new path.

I am grateful to Leo, who gave me the motivation to start writing again.

Wait,
as I was just finishing writing this blog, I received an email from Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition organizer, Jesse Benson.

I can’t believe it.
I had to read a few times to understand the detail: he was asking me to speak at the Online Art Exhibition Opening Reception about my artwork on Thursday, June 25th.

There are over 90 artists and 161 artworks (students can submit up to 2 artworks) in the show.
I heard they only asked a few people to speak.

Is it true they choose me to speak about my artwork?
Amazingly, they want to hear what I did.

Leo must help me again.

My New Path by Sanae Suzuki

Photo: Complete my artwork of “My New Path” with the frame

Now I honestly want everyone to see my artwork; art is one of healing therapy that has been helping me to recover.
Please watch the Online Art Exhibition reception.

I want to finish writing my blog that I was able to finally write after over one year with gratitude for “My New Path!”

I am grateful, thank you from my heart!

Love,

Sanae ❤️

Bucket List

It has been almost two years since I was diagnosed with “only weeks to live” https://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/
by my oncologist, Dr. Mead, because of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver Stage IV.
It was a terribly hard (actually, “hard” is not a strong enough word for what I went through) time of darkness, fear, pain, suffering, and sadness. Even now, everyday, I face dying—and this is not exaggerated.
But I am still living with the feeling of my life more than ever.

There is the phrase “bucket list” in English.
(There is no Japanese phrase like that so I did not know until I came to America.)

I wrote my bucket list for the first time after I was told I had only weeks to live.
My first item was to recover from lymphoma of liver.
Since I love to do many things and enjoy my life, so I wrote many other items on the list.
The fifth item was “Going to a live concert of Yuming,” a Japanese singer/songwriter who has been my favorite since I was in high school.
Her song helped me a lot when I was going through late teenager challenging time.

As you see on the top photo I took Yuming’s newest 45th- anniversary special CD “Love songs from Yuming” with my stainless steel bucket (I use this bucket every morning for my body scrub) and one of my favorite flowers, freesia from my garden which was planted when I was taking chemotherapy and blooming now.

I still listen to Yuming’s songs very often and I am listening right now as I write this.

I found out that Yuming has started her 45th-anniversary tour, and she’d added an extra show in my hometown of Nagoya on December 30 last year.
The only way to purchase a ticket was by lottery, so I said to myself: If I win, I am supposed to go just like I wrote on my bucket list.
So, I entered the lottery.
I could not believe it, but I won.
I really wanted to go, but my health was not good enough yet.
I was very sad, but I gave the tickets away.

 

The new year came, and I was able to go see the new year sunrise, as I used to do until two years ago.

2019 New Year Sunrise

New Year Sunrise in 2019 with Eric, Kai and Nalu with other frineds.

 

At the sunrise, I made a wish that I would win the lottery again and be able to go to Yuming’s concert in the spring.
Can you believe it?
I won again!
I felt heaven and even God supporting me, and I was so moved!

My birthday is April 4, and the concert is on April 7.
Going to Japan and Yuming’s concert are gifts for my birthday and my survival.

I’d prayed that my most recent CT scan results would be good, and when I received the news from my oncologist, I was so happy. The mass of lymphoma in my liver is now only 2.8 cm x 2.5 cm (it was 13.8 cm x 8.2 cm two years ago), and I have no new lesions.
I have not taken any medication since chemotherapy.
I make remedy drinks, cook macrobiotic foods, do my body scrub, exercise (walking with my dog family, yoga, qigong, do-in, etc.), and do moxibustion, reiki, and other holistic modalities.
I also started helping other people who need my healing work.
I am so grateful to be able to share my experience with others once again.

There were times I was depressed and impatient because I was not able to go places I wanted to go and do the things I wanted to do. Blamed myself for getting another cancer even it was after 24 years and I was doing macrobiotics with my best ability. Suffering from what other macrobiotic teachers/people/students said. Started to doubt what I was doing was not good enough to get well.
Got lonely that I can’t see my friends as I used to, also was jealous of seeing everyone going to many places on FaceBook and Instagram, but I could not.
But I knew the deep down inside of me that it was important for me to focus on getting better and acknowledge all these feelings even they were not comfortable feelings.
I am truly happy to see that the seed of recovery that has been sprouting and growing.

Now my top bucket list item is “To know when to let myself take a rest, not do too much, and fulfill my bucket list slowly but surely”.

Bucket lists are not only for people who are sick and/or older,
so how about writing what your heart desires and making your dream come true?

With all my 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 💖

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💖