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Possible Surgery for Fibroid Removal 子宮筋腫を取り除く手術かも
yoko katz August 11, 2017

Possible Surgery for Fibroid Removal 子宮筋腫を取り除く手術かも

This summer in June, I had my regular oncologist visit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.  There is no sign of cancer so far and that was good.  But my fibroid is getting so big that the oncologist requested me to test and check with specialists.  Over this summer, I have seen some specialists and it looks like I will have a surgery to remove it. My GYN said my fibroid is as big as a grapefruit, or my utrus with the tumor is about 4 month pregnant size. (The top picture, the hat I made, Hats by Yoko Katz, became a matching set to the hospital gown. LOL.)

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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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Day6: after my 1st Target Therapy: Mental Stability
yoko katz December 14, 2014

Day6: after my 1st Target Therapy: Mental Stability

It has been 6 days after my target therapy.  It has been a change here that I am adjusting.

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Day5: Teaching Monday
yoko katz November 24, 2014

Day5: Teaching Monday

Day 5 after my 6th chemotherapy.  I was not sure if I could commute with public transportation today as I felt so sick yesterday.  My legs have tingling sensation and are very weak.  My parents drove me to the closest station, which only takes 2 minutes ride.  A train to the NYC, and taxi to my office.  The same routine on the way back, too.  I minimized my walking distance so to make sure that I will have enough energy until tomorrow's teaching.

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Day19: Teaching Monday/Dr. Appointment
yoko katz November 17, 2014

Day19: Teaching Monday/Dr. Appointment

Day 19 after my 5th chemotherapy.  I always learn something when I visit doctor's office.

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Day5: After my 5th chemo
yoko katz November 3, 2014

Day5: After my 5th chemo

People who takes care of me very closely tells me that I am doing better for this cycle.  I look better, talk clearer, eat better and am out of bed for longer hours than my previous cycles.  That is right.  But I still feel nauseous and sick that I really wish there were a day that I would feel great.  I'd love to have a break, only a day would do me great.

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Day13: Legs Problem (Teaching Tuesday)
yoko katz October 21, 2014

Day13: Legs Problem (Teaching Tuesday)

My legs do not corporate with me.

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Day5:After 4th Chemo. Teaching Monday
yoko katz October 13, 2014

Day5:After 4th Chemo. Teaching Monday

Thanks to my husband for driving me to my teaching.  It made my day a little easier than that of 3 weeks ago after my 3rd chemo. 

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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...

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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!

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Day 10: Feel almost normal
yoko katz August 17, 2014

Day 10: Feel almost normal

Day 10 after my chemotherapy.  I feel almost back to normal today.  Yes, I still have mild nausea, but not that noticeable.   In fact, I thought I needed to start some exercises.  My husband is a dedicated runner, but I was not sure if running was my best exercise today.  I asked him to tune up my bicycle.  Bending over to reach ground makes me nauseated, I could not do it myself.  I went for a bike riding while he goes out for running.  I had to stop occasionally when I felt nauseous, but otherwise, I felt good about getting some exercise done.  We were out for over 1 hour. My appetite came back as well as my taste buds.  I quickly started putting some weight now.  Wow, now it is the time to focus on what I eat, finally.  I don't get hungry today, I believe because I eat small amount more frequently.  I felt lack of vegetables in my diet for the last 10 days, I craved for vegetables.  My friend brought me my favorite carrot dressing with ginger and honey.   I am set for vegetables! When I was on a bike, we passed by a store that sells felafels.  I started to explain how to make felafels to my husband as I was riding the bike.  I was excited to find out that "I am thinking about food!"  I greeted myself "Welcome back, Yoko!" [physically]: Almost back to normal (Oh, thank you!).  I felt some nausea from time to time.  When I am destructed, I forget about it.  A pimple popped out, but nothing noticeable happened for now.   I was afraid that being lower white blood counts could cause some situation, not today.  I don't notice sore mouth today. [emotionally]: As I felt normal and did some exercise, I felt great and thankful.

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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.

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Day 6: Killing my time while healing
yoko katz August 13, 2014

Day 6: Killing my time while healing

It was better, again, than yesterday.  I really hope this improvement in the past Day 5 and Day 6 will be my cycle for the rest of my 5 chemotherapy.  In the next cycle, I will be teaching on Day 6.  When there is some "must do" things that I care, I should be able to pull myself together on Day 6, I can tell.  The course is called Fashion Economics.  It is a field of economics, but main theme is about fashion.  I created the course outline, proposed to and approved by collage and NY state.  It is brand new and only run for 2 semesters yet.  This will be my third semester teaching that subject.  This semester, it expanded into 2 courses.  I am excited about it.  I am the only one who can teach that course and no other economists can replace me.  I must do it! [physically] My body is 1/4 of my regular energy level.  A light fatigue.  Laying down most of the time.  Nausea around lunch time and I took a medicine.  No appetite.  Never feel hungry without eating any snack during a day.  Talking is not too tiring (it used to). I will contact doctor's office tomorrow to inquire about my continuous spotty period, still going on.  Today was it's 8th day. [emotionally] BORED.  I feel like a day after my fever is gone after catching a cold (yes, that is more emotionally).  Slightly positive.   Comments and e-mails from friends made me smile :-)! I am so bored, but I don't want to be actively moving around.  I tried to go out for a walk, but it started to rain and I turned around to head home.  I finally cleaned our kitchen casual dining table.  I did not realize but if I don't do it, things just pile up!   Dishes are served on top of them.  Table glass was sticky, I could not stand it any more and I could move and clean it.  I can see my husband is handful with taking care of me and our son while he does his job.  I will do what I can. My boredom set a light on my photography again today.  I don't want to walk around much.  I am afraid of contacting many people as I am more prone to infection today.  Photography requires some time and now it is a perfect time.  I had not done that for awhile. 日本語で

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Day 5: I feel a little better than yesterday
yoko katz August 12, 2014

Day 5: I feel a little better than yesterday

Day 5: I wake up feeling a little better than yesterday.  I got up to do necessary chores, including eating.  Sadly, no appetite makes eating as a daily chore for now.  For a record, I lost about 4.5lb (2kg) since before the chemotherapy in a week.  A day after my chemotherapy, I was 8lb (4kg) heavier than today.  I don't understand why.  Possibly, all the liquid that I took and they injected me weighted plus 4.5lb.  Over the course of chemotherapy, patients seem to put more weight on average.  I am guessing my appetite will come back before the next cycle (in about 2 weeks).  Let's see.  I focus on eating mainly more lean protein, vegetables and fruits, and try not to skip Vitamin D & Calcium liquid supplement. My husband took me out for a short walk.  Thank you for asking me!  As we got ready to leave home, it started to rain some.  Great... But that did not stop us from walking.  That was a nice walk and refreshing, and it was really short.  But it caused some mild nausea afterwards.  I took Metoclopramide, anti-nausea, medicine, rested in a couch and it went away.  No make-up, my hair is not really set... Oh well, at least I brushed my teeth.  I am afraid of saying it out loud, as a fashion fun, but that was not important today! I noticed I started to get pimples around my nose and mouth.  I may have skipped some face wash in some mornings.  I know I did it before going to bed.  I will see how it goes. [phsically]  Less fatigue than in the last 3 days.  Persisting lack of appetite.  I have been sleeping well at night, even if I take naps during day.  Gassy.  So many burping, I mean so many.  I took 1 anti-nausea pill.I still have spotty period, makes me concerned. [emotionally]  Not bad.  Things are looking slightly more optimistic today.  I am concerned how I will be able to teach in 2 weeks.  I will have to manage the scheduling in advance to prepare material way in advance, when I can.  I just hope tomorrow will come a bit more brighter. 日本語は こちらから

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