Mr. Satoru Nakajima, was a post-heart transplant patient who had a surgery at UCLA Medical Center in 2003. The following is his encouraging email translation.
“I usually let my wife e-mail you, but this time I am hitting the keyboard as I ‘d like to share about my illness with you. Knowing you are fighting with breast cancer, I thought I had to stay continually strong, too. It has been 7 years and 9 months since I had a heart transplant, but I have been fighting with liver cancer, also, for three-and-a-half years.
Because I had hepatitis B virus, I was cautious, but it was quite depressing when CT scan found the cancer. Multiple cancer cells were spread in my whole liver and an operation was not an option. By a procedure called TACE, chemo drugs were injected directly to my tumors and blood vessels were blocked. Immunosuppression was also changed to a new drug, Certican, which was introduced from Europe to Japan recently. I am in remission right now and stable. When I was told that I had liver cancer, I got devastated. –Why do I have to go through so many diseases? It was daunting. Yet I said to myself, “ I can’t be beaten by this. My life is not only mine, but the life saved by so many people; and more importantly this is the precious life received from my donor and his family.” And one more—I have a beloved family. Living being positive without giving up is the most important thing I can do for my family.
Kathy, you also have a wonderful family. Every time I see your family picture on the blog, it makes my heart warm. Cancer treatments are tough. Yet never give up! I’d like you to have a happy life with your family for a long time. There are so many people who are on your side even in Japan. I will visit L.A. to see you sometime again with my wife.
Let’s fight and beat cancer!
A new organ transplant law in Japan is in effect, finally ,and organ donations are slowly increasing. Although it is controversial, I think we need more systems to take care of donor families. Anyhow, I am pleased with this advancement.
Please send my regard to kind George. I pray for your successful treatment and quick recovery!
Mr. Satoru Nakajima with a volunteer right before a heart transplant operation @ UCLA M.C. in Jan. 2003