A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Archive for April, 2007

Proud to be a Tsukuban

Okay, so a guy emails me yesterday. He and his wife are in a bind because she has just been diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer. She is 34. He doesn’t have a car, so he can’t take her to the hospital. He lives about 30 minutes away from Tsukuba. We have good hospitals here, so she has to come here for chemotherapy. (At least I assume that is why they have to come here for treatment.) So, I write up a letter to send to a local mailing list that i belong to (TAIRA) and send it out. I sent it after 1am last night. It is now 6:45am. I have already received replies from 7 people who have volunteered to drive them. I have had a “somewhat challenging” week and have been depressed about the state of humanity, what with all the bad news lately. But this is helping to cheer me up immensely.

I am so proud of my fellow Tsukubans today.

There is a second “moral” to this story. If you are a woman, find a way to get tested for breast cancer. Here is an excerpt from his letter to me.


Even if no one is able to help, there is message worth reading. My partner has breast cancer, and we discovered it a little too late. She is in an advanced stage because it went undetected for about 7 years and has spread to her lymphatic system and sternum. She just turned 34 years old this month. What woman in her twenties thinks she should have breast cancer screening? Every woman should. Early detection is treatable and curable. Treatment for stages III and IV are just life-prolonging measures.


I believe that Tsukuba City Hall offers a women’s health checkup once a year, but I am not sure of the content of the checkup exactly. The next time I get a notice in the mail, I will check the contents of the checkup and post the information here.