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April 19, 2017

Gratitude Key to Cancer Survivor

At San Francisco’s Cherry Blossom Festival last weekend I stumbled across a flyer advertising an invitation to hear a cancer patient tell her story of recovery at Konko’s Church of San Francisco in Japan town. Since cancer runs in my family across three generations, and most recently for my parents, I did not think twice about going to hearing her presentation. It was well worth going!

Doctors told Mrs. Fusami Kudo that she had end-stage ovarian cancer and had less than a month to live. She underwent excruciatingly painful treatment; she had to be physically restrained with a towel in her mouth to prevent her from screaming. She underwent 30 days of radiotherapy.

Once she passed the 30 days she was told she would live, she learned that she had to endure two more rounds of the same agonizing treatment. The thought of undergoing the pain again for several hours made her worried, anxious and depressed. Her doctors did everything that conventional medicine dictated. But they showed no concern for her emotional state and its relation to her healing. Hearing her talk about her cancer treatment, I could not help myself but cry.

Today, Mrs. Kudo is cancer-free, enjoys good health and runs two Nepalese curry restaurants in Japan. Her journey from a dismal diagnosis to good health began after her friend sent her Dr. Kazuo Murakami’s remarkable book: “The Divine Code of Life – Awaken Your Genes and Discover Hidden Talents”.

Mrs. Kudo said that reading Dr. Murakami’s book about the depth and complexity of any living existence made her suddenly realize the value of human life. Dr. Kazuo Murakami is one of the top geneticists in the world and Professor Emeritus at the University of Tsukuba, one of Japan’s leading research universities. In 1983, he decoded the human enzyme renin—a hidden factor behind hypertension—which won him international acclaim.

“I had never realized before how many things have to happen and click right in order for a human to be born,” she said. “There is one in 70 trillion chance that any of us sitting here or anywhere else in the world are born. Thinking about the universe choosing me to be born, I was struck by realization that my life, your life, is a miracle.”

“I was so thankful that I started to thank all cells in my body, including cancer cells, for supporting me until now and teaching me until now. Every day I was determined to practice and deeply feel gratitude to the point of feeling complete contentment and deep warmth in my heart. More I practiced giving thanks genuinely, more I could feel happy and embrace my cancer. Sure enough, next time I went for a harsh treatment, I felt no pain. That’s the time I knew something significantly shifted in my body. Three months after doing this, the cancer completely disappeared. My doctors found no explanation for it. I have not stopped practicing saying thank you at least 1,000 times a day until today.”

Mrs. Kudo continues to share her message of finding deeper understanding of life’s meaning through love and sincere, deep gratitude. I feel very thankful to Rev. Masato Kawahasu of Konko Church for making Mrs. Kudo’s visit possible. She is not affiliated with any religious organization.

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