fbpx
Back to top
Share

Lifestyle

Category
Day 5: After 3rd Chemotherapy
yoko katz September 22, 2014

Day 5: After 3rd Chemotherapy

Today's Style: Just relax. Fashion came last... WOW, I never thought that day would came. It was so tempting that I wanted to cancel my teaching class today. Very strong nauseous. No appetite means I have not been eaten well for the last days. Fatigue. My husband, who is usually a very decline guy, suggested me to stay, so my parents were worried ans asked if I can ever have that as an option. I thought about it, but I had a doctor's appointment in the city anyway. When I can, I should be teaching as much as I can, period.

Read More
Day 19: Dr. Visit and Teaching
yoko katz September 15, 2014

Day 19: Dr. Visit and Teaching

Oncologist's appointment was in the morning and everything seems to be good. 98.6F temperature for my vital check-up. In US, it is considered normal, but not in Japan. Anyway, I was considered normal.

Read More
Day 14: Resting Well
yoko katz September 10, 2014

Day 14: Resting Well

No plan! I just rest well for a day. I will have to prepare for the next three weeks amount of teaching before the next cycle comes up soon. Tomorrow!

Read More
Day 13: Teaching Day
yoko katz September 9, 2014

Day 13: Teaching Day

Another teaching day today. Today, I look back, I was OK, not great. Oh Well... My face was a bit puffy in the morning. Maybe because I could not sleep well for the last two days.

Read More
Day 12: Teaching day
yoko katz September 8, 2014

Day 12: Teaching day

The class was exciting with a lot of students who give thoughts to the lecture. Discussing with them was fun to do. Nausea is mild but persisting through out the day.

Read More
Day 11: A day gradually being active
yoko katz September 7, 2014

Day 11: A day gradually being active

No medication for the last two days. I feel constant nauseous but it has been a manageable level without medication. I don't like taking medications all the time.

Read More
Day 19: Vegetarian Restaurant GOBO in NYC
yoko katz August 26, 2014

Day 19: Vegetarian Restaurant GOBO in NYC

2nd day of teaching for my the other Fashion Economics course today. I teach the same subject Mondays and Tuesdays, 2 sections with two different groups of students. (Japanese Translation is later 日本語は英語の後に記述あり。) I don't know how other professors are, but when I go to a class room on day 1, I get anxious to find out how I do with a new group of students. Each group can be really different. I started to notice my heart beat goes faster than usual. That made me wonder, if I was doing OK. (and I was OK.) One of a side effects of my chemo treatment that is explained to me was I might have some heart problems. I did not ask exactly what or how it was. Because there were so many side effects that I did not have a capacity to comprehend all details of how each side effects potentially do to me exactly. Just understanding the list of possible side effects. A baseline of my heart condition test has done before my first chemotherapy. I will do the test regular to make sure I don't develop anything serious. Knowing that I may have a heart problem, faster heart beating makes me worried if I am doing OK. This time, I knew the reason of my fast beat and I was hoping that it was a separate incident from the side effects. It happens many times especially on the first day of teaching. Nothing serious happened, no worries. A visit to a vegetarian restaurant; GOBO in NYC (http://www.goborestaurant.com/west/index.htm) After the teaching, I got together with a good friend of mine. She introduced me to this vegetarian restaurant. She knew I wanted to catch up with vitamins and minerals with vegetables and fruits. A vegetarian restaurant!? sure why not. I have never be interested in going to a vegetarian restaurant myself. But if is for the first time, during chemotherapy sessions will be an ideal time to dine. WOW, it opened my eyes! What a great surprise I had. "If that is for everyday, I can become a vegetarian!" Clean, sleek, modern, but warm and cozy inertia decorations. Presentations of meals look very attractive. AND of cause, the taste and WOW, the texture of vegetables, bravo. The menu had mixture of Asian and Italian. Gobo, the name of the restaurant, comes from a root vegetable called gobo in Japanese, but the food was not Japanese. Soy bean paste pate's texture was just like chicken nuggets. King Oyster Mushroom had light cuts on surface and it's texture was just like squid. Seitan -wheat gulten, seemingly a good source of protein- was like a piece of beef. So interesting! I was really content of what we had. She told me that there are other restaurants like this in the city. Interesting. No reason to avoid vegetarian restaurants any more, I am sure some of them are so satisfying for non-vegetarians, too. Vietnamese spring roll: Home pressed ginger ail with pomogranate Soybean with brown rice King Oyster Mushroom with vegitables Seitan, Kale and coconuts rice Passion fruit creme brulee and chocolate cake

Read More
Day 18: Teaching went really well
yoko katz August 25, 2014

Day 18: Teaching went really well

Day 18 after my 1st chemotherapy. (Japanese translation is at the end. 日本語での記入は英語の後にあります。) School has started and it was my first day of teaching for the semester. I had full energy today. Each class lasts less than 3 hours with a break in between. I started out as usual routine, introduction of the course. When I introduced my syllabus which include schedule for the semester, I made an announcement of my health condition to my students. I did my best to be honest about what is expected every three weeks after my chemo cycles. I explained what I experienced from the first cycle. There are some days that I won't be as energetic as I am today. I appreciate my students reaction that they all looked sincere to me. I am thankful for that. I am excited to be able to teach the subject! First day of teaching: Be active, when I can!

Read More
Heal in Sneakers
yoko katz August 24, 2014

Heal in Sneakers

It was my last day of summer 2014 with my son. Technically, for my…

Read More
Good Nutrition, When I Can
yoko katz August 23, 2014

Good Nutrition, When I Can

Balanced meals with lean protein and a lot of varieties of veggies and fruits are the good approach even during chemotherapy. Many breast cancer patients gain weight because patients become less active during chemotherapy, while they eat the same amount of calories as they used to have. Or it is also being said that patient's friends and families bring over food to help her out. (Japanese translation is at the bottom. 日本語は英語の後に記入してあります。) My tonight dinner was perfect for me, an ideal one and it is food that I grew up with (almost). Thanks to my parents who set some of them aside in freezer in advance. For some of these, all I had to was to defrost or heat up. 1. black bean rice (whole grain) 2. Tofu with Myoga (Japanese herb) 3. Eggplant from today's farmers market with Bonita fish flakes 4. Hijiki (seaweed) with Fried Tofu 5. Burdock with Sesame 6. Zucchini Pickles with Kombu Seaweed 7. Chicken Lever (for a source of iron) 8. Salted Salmon with Shiso Herb 9. Miso Soup with Wakame (another kind of seaweeds) and Radish 10. Fresh Corn from Farmers Market I know that was ideal meal during chemotherapy for me - I mean with the quality of nutrition- it did not have to be Japanese meal. However, most of the time, I could not prepare or have meals in this way. During 3 weeks of in-between chemo cycles, for about 2 weeks, either feeling sick to cook, or having completely no appetite and what ever served, I ate as I could. Food became low on my priority list. On top of this meal, today, I received a surprise delivery. More great nutrition source came in just in time before the next cycle, which I cannot eat much at all for another 1 week. A beautiful bouquet of fruits from my relative lives at a distance (so many thanks!). Just looking at this gave me some positive energy. It was so fresh and sweet. This is the very short period that I want to catch up with my vitamins and minerals for healing from chemo and especially for my pimples, and for preparing for the next chemo. It was a perfect timing for me. I was feeling good enough to enjoy eating. [physically] great. Minor nausea, very minor. I was very active, before my next cycle. Farmers market in the morning. I took my son and his friend to fishing in the afternoon. They setup a tent in the backyard for a sleep over in the tent. I was thrilled to see my son having so much fun and enjoying a little piece of summer 2014. [emotionally] Feeling great. As next Wednesday seems to me right there, I felt like no time to waste...

Read More
yoko katz August 21, 2014

Breast Cancer in Summer 2014 with a Kid

For the last 3 days, I was doing fine. Not great, but just fine. Nausea had it's peek on 2nd to5th days after the chemotherapy. Today, not much. Occasionally, there was some moments I was thinking, "oh, I can feel it." It is extremely mild today. Once as I feel recovered, almost!, from the last one, now I can see my next chemotherapy 2/6, second one out of 6, coming up on Wednesday, August 27. Now I know how I will respond to it, I started to prepare for it, mainly 2 things I have to do before next Wednesday. 1: prepare for my fall semester teaching material. 2: Give my son some summer treat. Being a breast cancer patient while kids are still young, it is difficult to find a good balance. Here I need to focus on me, while it is recommended to maintain a kid's life as "normal" as possible. How do I do that? 1. Keeping up with daily routine schedule for a kid (my son 8 years old) I could not do it alone! If you are the one who manage, kid's scheduling, it is a good time to give the schedule to husband/partner/sitter ahead of time. Assure him/her to trying to keep it up with the daily routine as scheduled. Well, I still do participate, because I care about it a lot. But there were times, when I devoted myself studying about my disease and treatments. I also had to look for professionals whom I can trust. I needed to discuss or just talk with my family and friends over coffee or the phone for hours (in total) to search for different opinions or just for comforting me. I need to rest and recover. It has been so helpful when friends take my son out for a play date. Meanwhile, I can focus on me, not being a mother. No worries about snack or screen time. Keeping up with daily routine schedule for a kid can provides him/her a good security feeling. His mother might be fighting with cancer, but his life does not change, the same as before. The same old time. Kids can be also scared when their mother face possibly deadly disease. Mother's appearance may change, not being able to move around, or hair loss. 2. Planning play dates with his friends It looks to me he enjoys a lot to be with friends. Seemingly worrisome issues are discussed over the phone with specialists, insurance companies, and friends at home, when he has somebody accompany with him, his focus is on the play date. I made a lot of play dates during this summer. I could not really go for swimming while my son loves swimming, some friends took him for a pool. Those play dates have been helpful. 3. Unfortunate summer 2014. Mini trips, instead, when I can. We were initially planning to visit his grand parents in Japan for 6 weeks. We had a plan to sending him to a Japanese public school for 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I needed to cancel the trip. Instead, I had to face the cancer. I know that it is purely a social pressure, but when I hear other families go for VACATION, I felt sorry for my son. All 9 weeks of summer break, we are in town, wait, almost. I had my left mastectomy 4 days before my son's summer started. We just had to stay around. I wanted to take him out for some trips. When I felt good, I tried to take him out for mini trips. Some highlights are: We visited our friend's home in beach, a day trip. We took him out for a theme park. I took him out yesterday for an off-broadway, "iLuminate Artist of Light". (So much fun, I really recommend it. Visually so appealing. http://iluminate.com/artist-of-light/ ) Maybe this weekend, we will take him out for a hiking (before my next chemo and it is our last summer weekend). We enjoyed a lot. I just really wanted to provide him some summertime feeling. At least, it had been so helpful that my parents from Japan were here to help us out for about 6 weeks. That was fun for my son. Thank you, my parents! [physically] For the last 3 days, nausea had been almost unnoticeable. It is there though. Well... once I thought my period was over, it has still going on, very very light. It has been over 2 weeks. Pimples are there on my face. I gained back weight as my appetite is back. My left underarm has been numb since the surgery and it bugs me. I keep touching there lightly, hoping my nerve to come back some sensation. [emotionally] Sort of steady... I now started to feel annoyed that my next chemotherapy is right around the corner... Next Wednesday. My teaching is coming up next Monday, I am getting ready for it!

Read More
Day 7: A short trip to NYC
yoko katz August 14, 2014

Day 7: A short trip to NYC

A week ago, I had my first chemotherapy. Today, I felt even better than yesterday. It was best among the last 5 days. I wake up with a slight feeling of nausea, but very mild. It was like morning sickness. (My posture has been pretty good. When I am nauseated, I noticed I walked in bad posture, but I could not help it.) After a breakfast, friend's homemade banana muffin and scrambled eggs, I went back to watch a movie; "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel." A story about a woman who used to be an editor in chief of Harper Bazaar, Vogue and head of The Costume Institute of Metropolitan Museum. That made me think of different head piece solutions I have to think for near future. I wanted to go to the NYC. My husband wanted to come with me to make sure I would be OK. I really appreciated about it, I myself was not confident either. We made a short trip, 2 hours stay in the city. Oh, I was happy. I felt nauseous but when I was looking into different hats, I was not thinking about nausea. A brief moment of nausea-free without medication! Bravo, fashion. I had some inspiration, and I will make some, too, when I can. Soon to be seen here, I hope! (Or not hope... I am talking about after my hair falls off.)   [physically] My weight hit the lowest record ever I remember since I am at this height. A mild nausea, consistent but tolerable. I could eat more today. No appetite. Burping. Not much fatigue. My face still has pimples for the last 3 days. My period still goes on. A nurse called me and told me that it could be irregular during chemotherapy. She did not sound concerned about it. Every night, nausea gets worse. [emotionally] Very steady. It may be still too early to say, but the first week of the chemotherapy is rough and tough. If that is the case, 5 more weeks of that to overcome. I have 6 cycles every 3 weeks, that makes it about 4+ months. It is not like 5 months of rough and tough time, more like 5 weeks in total. That way, emotionally it is easier to cope with this. In the train heading back home, I exercised an "escape" that my physiotherapist had told me how to calm me down.

Read More