For one week in Japan

Adriaan and I are going for one week to Japan.

I am done with all the examinations. The second biopsy of a different mass, which they discovered in the same breast on the MRI, was negative: a fibroadenoma. But they discovered something one my bones. So, I had a bone scan. First, they inject you with some radioactive particles which circulate for 3 hours and are selectively picked up by the bones, before they scan. I was glowing all the time 🙂 :). Luckily, they also were all negative. They had seen my former fracture of my  right arm. So, no bone cancer.  My surgery will be May the 11th. They will of course examine all the tissue and cancer and know if and how many lymph nodes are involved. This will direct my treatment. They also test the cancer for molecular markers to determine the prognosis and if my cancer will respond to a certain treatment. My cancer is Her2 positive. This means it is treatable with medication, but it is an aggressive cancer. Before I left for Japan (yesterday) I did all my preoperative exams like X-ray and blood work.

It is strange. It feels like it is happening to somebody else. Of course, I feel it when they draw my blood, but somehow it doesn’t hit me yet. Only it dawned more when I heard that I also need chemo therapy. At the moment, I still feel really good and happy and positive. We always bicycled down the hill for ¾ of an hour to go to Stanford Hospital and the way back home for about an hour up the hill gave a good work-out and building up my physical condition. The weather was also beautiful and not too hot, and the hills with nice young green leaves, grass and lots of wildflowers, smelled so fresh. Then I feel so lucky that I also live here and that I am being treated in one of the best hospitals. I have confidence and faith that everything will be alright.

Now I arrived in Japan. It is somewhat cloudy, but sunny and somewhat humid. Inside the train it is warm, because they don’t turn on the air conditioner yet. People are very welcoming and are glad to see you.

We will of course meet lots of friends. I will bring my “Kamakura-Red” booklet to the stores in Kamakura, the Kogeikan Museum and the Ginnosuzu Gallery. I advertise them in my booklet and they are going to sell it.

Then on Monday we will go to Mashiko with Steve Tootell and meet with Ken Matsuzaki, Tomoo Hamada, Euan Craig and some more people to see how the situation is in Mashiko and to see how we can help. Of course, I also will go to the Toko Gallery and we will sleep in the minshuku for one night at the Togei Arts Center of Furuki-san. There will be the yearly Tokiichi Pottery Fair in Mashiko of about 400 tents and 50 stores and it is Golden Week in Japan. The Golden Week is a collection of 4 national holidays within 7 days. So, many people will be on vacation or have some days of from work.

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