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 ❤️

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 – https://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 💖