On March 8 I flew to the US to be there for 2 weeks to see my sons and do the taxes, and some work and meet with some friends. Our original plan was that Adriaan would join me in the US and we would return to Japan on the 22nd of March.Then on the 11th the terrible disasters happened and lots of my friends were affected. My first reaction was of how I could help or go back as soon as possible or start a fund raising.
Most of the thoughts I still have, because I had my own little quake.
I am not a person who would tell the whole world, but I remember a friend who blogged about her illness. You help yourself with writing and getting it out. Also, so many people ask you about it, so it is also good they can read about it and then you don’t have to repeat yourself all the time. I have many friends around the world, so, when they go on my website, they are interested in me. And also this is part of life, and happening to a lot of people. I am not ashamed and want to be open and share also the bad news with my friends.
Normally, I have every year a mammogram in March, but because I had a breast infection in August and I had been to the doctor a few times, I thought everything was alright. Then I started to cough terribly and after 2 weeks I visited my doctor. He gave me some antibiotics and cough medicine, but also told me to have a mammogram anyway. Well, a good thing I did, because they called me back for more mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsy. And last week, they told me I have early stage breast cancer. In the meantime, I had an MRI and another ultrasound and another biopsy is scheduled for next week. It is like entering a roller coaster, what is not about to stop yet. I am quite a realistic person and for myself it is the best to do everything and all the exams possible right away to deal with this. Adriaan supports me with every step, and is wonderful.
Next week, I would like to go to Japan for a week before the operation to settle some pressing issues, visit some of my close friends and go to Mashiko and still see how I can help. Hopefully, then I can relax and concentrate to get healthy.
I left thinking to be gone for 2 weeks, but then it all changed. I canceled my exhibition, but try now to reschedule it as a combined show with my Japanese potter friends from Mashiko. I canceled my horsehair workshop for the 14th of May and I planned to help 2 publicists/writers from a Dutch clay magazine with interviewing ceramic artists from Mashiko in Mashiko. I think it is now even more important that the visit and interviews happen. They show the world the beautiful pottery and culture of Mashiko and Japanese people. It also demonstrates that people still could and should visit Mashiko. Hopefully the publicity and exhibition will be helpful as a small step in helping rebuilding Mashiko.
My good friend, Euan Craig, will still help with the interviews, despite what has happened to him in the earthquake (his blog: http://euancraig.blogspot.com/). My husband Adriaan will be with Euan instead of me. I feel very fortunate.
Concerning me, it is incredible all the help, understanding and support I get from my husband, children and family and so many friends. Thank you all very much.
I started exercising again and it feels good. I turn on the music which just flows through me and which makes my body move. With that I just think that all the bad energy flows away and the sunny, light energy flows in. I like Cascada and such, for rhythm and especially when they are singing: it will be alright or it is going to be better, I sing along out loud!