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Cancer, Hats, and "To Live"  癌と帽子と「生きる」
yoko katz October 17, 2018

Cancer, Hats, and "To Live" 癌と帽子と「生きる」

I am really excited that my hats are on a musical stage, "Ikiru" in Tokyo, Japan since October 8, 2018, until October 28.  This made-in-Japan musical is called "To Live," (or "Ikiru," in Japanese) and it is based on the Akira Kurosawa's same title movie from 1952.  It really means a lot to me to be a part of that movie story.

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(JP language event) "Hair-loss with chemo" 「抗がん剤で髪が抜けたら」でお話します
yoko katz May 29, 2018

(JP language event) "Hair-loss with chemo" 「抗がん剤で髪が抜けたら」でお話します

(Sorry, only this event is in Japanese but) I will be speaking at an event at 6pm on June 11, 2018 at SHARE breast and ovarian cancer Japanese support group in NY.  The program invites a medical researcher to discuss mechanism of hair loss during chemotherapy.  I will be demonstrating turban wrapping. イベントでお話します。ニューヨークの乳癌・卵巣がんの日本語サポートプログラムSHAREにて、6月11日6時から、抗がん剤治療での髪が抜けるメカニズムの話があります。メモリアルスローンキャタリングの癌治療研究をしている田中先生のお話を中心にして、私は髪の毛が抜けたら、ターバンで素敵に変身できますよ というデモンストレーションをします。お会い出来たらうれしいです。

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Am I "Healthy" after Cancer? 癌治療後の私は「健康」なの?
yoko katz October 12, 2017

Am I "Healthy" after Cancer? 癌治療後の私は「健康」なの?

I had to think twice before I answered, "I am healthy today," 3 years after my breast cancer diagnosis.  Have you thought about what it means to be "being healthy?"  New definition is needed, let's think about that. 日本語は英語の後にあるよ

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My Weight Again after Chemo 抗がん剤後の体重増加の私
yoko katz December 8, 2016

My Weight Again after Chemo 抗がん剤後の体重増加の私

I somehow gained weight about 15 lb more than the most stable weight for many years before cancer.  Recently, I had an opportunity to talk to other survivors of my age.  All three of us discovered that each individual gained about 15 lb.  We are all about 2 years after our last chemo.

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Normal Nails Again (21 Months after Breast Cancer Chemo) 爪がやっと元に戻ってくる(抗がん剤終了から21か月)
yoko katz September 7, 2016

Normal Nails Again (21 Months after Breast Cancer Chemo) 爪がやっと元に戻ってくる(抗がん剤終了から21か月)

After 1 year and 9 months from my last breast cancer chemotherapy treatments (ended in November 2014), I finally feel that my nails gained again the strength I used to had.  Up to this summer, my nails had been chipping, cracking, and coming into multiple separated layers all the time.  I could not grow them at all.  But now I can!

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After Chemo, Tamoxifen and Periods  抗がん剤治療後の タモキシフェン口径薬と生理
yoko katz July 12, 2016

After Chemo, Tamoxifen and Periods  抗がん剤治療後の タモキシフェン口径薬と生理

My periods have changed to horribly heavy periods after chemotherapy and being on Tamoxifen medication for breast cancer.  

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PhD Graduation (with My Handmade Gown)! 博士課程 卒業式
yoko katz June 4, 2016

PhD Graduation (with My Handmade Gown)! 博士課程 卒業式

I had a PhD graduation ceremony!  I am even more officially, well... I had been since February... but, Dr. Yoko!  I started the PhD program in 2001, that is 15 years of my work.  I am so proud to be able to come this far.  Thank you so much for supporting me, my family, friends, colleagues, my blog readers, and my professors.  Along the way, I started to teach Economics at US colleges since 2004, got married, had a baby, had been raising my son in bilingual, got breast cancer, completed chemotherapy, finished reconstruction, completed my dissertation and the graduation ceremony was the closing of the PhD program!

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2nd Year Anniversary of Breast Cancer Diagnosis 乳がん告知から2年目
yoko katz May 19, 2016

2nd Year Anniversary of Breast Cancer Diagnosis 乳がん告知から2年目

I marked the 2nd year anniversary of the cancer diagnosis on May 19.  Today, 2 years ago, it changed me so much.

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No more fussy hair after chemo, finally やっと抗がん剤後のボワボワ髪が無くなる
yoko katz May 11, 2016

No more fussy hair after chemo, finally やっと抗がん剤後のボワボワ髪が無くなる

Since my last chemotherapy about 18 months ago, I kept cutting my hair because it came out so unevenly strong wavy.  I used to have straight hair in natural, but it came out very very wavy.  Finally, it looks like much more of the hair I used to have today!  (This picture is just before cutting for the final time to say good-bye to my wavy hair.)

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Spring 2016 Semester Started 新学期の始まり
yoko katz January 29, 2016

Spring 2016 Semester Started 新学期の始まり

A new semester has started this week.  I have full of energy to kick off this semester. (Wednesday was my first day of classes.)

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Dissertation Defense: Pass! 博士論文口頭試験 合格!
yoko katz December 23, 2015

Dissertation Defense: Pass! 博士論文口頭試験 合格!

I passed my dissertation defense in PhD Economics last week!  My husband and son celebrated my achievement with a cake and Champagne on the same day.  It was a long, and sometimes rough, journey to come to this day.  I still have to make some minor revisions, but the major parts are all done!  A big relief! (Yes, this is THE big project I have been referring as a big project in this blog.) In the picture above, I took off my hat while defending it.  I tried to look moderately stylish, but hopefully looked smart to defend a serious paper.  How do you rate?

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Happy Halloween 2015 2015年のハロウィン
yoko katz November 1, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015 2015年のハロウィン

I remember the last year Halloween, I felt so sick that I did not even want to get up for bathroom.  It was two days after my 5th chemotherapy.  I had my nerve system started to be damaged, peripheral neuropathy, that I lost sensation with my finger tips and toes, and I could not walk uphill.  That was an scary experience.  This year, I was out in streets with my son, going along for trick-or-treating.  I could not help but to think, "I could not even walk this street last year."  I was happy to be able to do this again.

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Pregnancy after Chemotherapy 抗がん剤治療後の妊娠について
yoko katz September 23, 2015

Pregnancy after Chemotherapy 抗がん剤治療後の妊娠について

(My hair has been growing into bushes.  It's been 10 months since my last chemotherapy.  I used to have very long silky straight hair, but now look how curly it is.  I have no idea how to deal with this.  It is always going so bushy.  I don't feel this represents me and I cannot wait to have it grow much longer.) It depends on the types of breast cancer, but especially when one's cancer grows with hormone such as progesterone positive and estrogen positive breast cancer, getting pregnant raises some concerns.  Chemotherapy let alone is a concern for damaging ovaries, there are other things to worry about, too.  If a cancer patient is considering having babies after treatments, she should talk to doctors right upfront.  This information is only based on my experience, please consult your physician when it comes to details and whether it can be applied to your case.  Many cases, insurance companies may not cover this and it can be costly.

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My last injection treatment is over! 最後の点滴治療終了!
yoko katz July 28, 2015

My last injection treatment is over! 最後の点滴治療終了!

I long waited for this day to come: my last injection treatment for my breast cancer is all done today!  No more "chemo unit" visit every three weeks.  I did it! (I did the chemotherapy from August to November, 2014.  I had been on "targeted therapy" since then.  The targeted therapy, the side effects are very minor.  What I finish today is the targeted therapy.)

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Semi-Final US vs Germany Soccer in Montreal, Canada ワールドカップ女子 米VS独 観戦
yoko katz July 4, 2015

Semi-Final US vs Germany Soccer in Montreal, Canada ワールドカップ女子 米VS独 観戦

The past Tuesday, US won the semi-final Women's World Cup Soccer against Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  We were there to support the team USA.

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My period is BAAAACK!  生理が戻ってきた(涙) Pose#480
yoko katz June 22, 2015

My period is BAAAACK! 生理が戻ってきた(涙) Pose#480

I am super excited to have my period back yesterday after the breast cancer treatments.   I was told that chemotherapy could damage my totally healthy ovaries and could strip away my period FOREVER (at the age 36).  I welcome back my period with joy today!

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