Searching For The Right Treatment
On the TNM staging system, my laryngeal cancer was diagnosed as being T2, also known as Stage II. Not the initial phase, but early nevertheless. I did learn, though, that the way your stage is diagnosed is actually all up to the doctor’s interpretation.
The name of my illness: “squamous cell carcinoma of the vocal cords.”
“What the heck is that?” Well, it’s more commonly known as just laryngeal cancer.
What I needed to do was start thinking about how I wanted to have it treated, but my brain wasn’t able to process the information at all. “It’s happening to me…? This has got to be a lie…” These were the only thoughts running through my head. “And I took such good care of my health! I quit smoking ages ago! I’m only 45 years old! What did I do wrong?!” I was thinking about my past, trying to find the culprit.
At the same time, I also had to think about the worst case scenario: what could I leave my kids if something was to happen to me? What are the words I should leave my wife with? It didn’t feel right to be imagining such a dreadful future, but I couldn’t stop myself from doing so.
I felt like it was about time I posted an update. I know some of you don’t follow the site on Twitter or Facebook but choose instead to check on updates the old-fashioned way (though at this point I can only hope not many of you continue to do so daily). A majority of you must be wondering if I’m just lazing around with Wota in Translation, if I still have plans for it, or if I’ve forgotten about it altogether. The answer to all three questions is “no.“
I used to have a personal blog. Five years ago or so I made a post on it, titled along the lines of “I’m not a fan of idol music — I’m a fan of Tsunku music.” More recently, I translated a thread on this site that posed the question “would you still be an H!P wota if Tsunku quit as their producer?” It’s been a while, so I genuinely did not remember how I’d answered the question myself. But the other day — in light of recent news — I had a look.
This is what I said on the matter back in February of 2014.
Henkka: As for me? While a wota is something I am not, I’m quite confident my interest in Hello! Project without Tsunku would fade very quickly.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the news by now. Tsunku has stepped down as the producer of Hello! Project as of October 2014, but this information was only made public earlier this month. Looking back, my initial reaction to this now seems a bit cold and uninterested, as if I was saying “meh.“
But believe me: I don’t feel the least bit indifferent.
Note: read the Prologue first!
I had an anxious feeling in my chest prior to the start of Sharan Q’s 25th anniversary live tour.
When my throat was in good condition, I could go into the studio and have my demo vocals recorded in no time. But when it’s a tour you’re talking about, you’re expected to maintain your physical condition so that you can sing over 20 songs in succession per concert.
Demo vocals, by the way, are something I did when I was writing a song for an artist I was producing, like Morning Musume. They’re guide vocals meant to help the girls learn how to sing the song. I would always record the whole melody along with the finished lyrics. In the idol scene these days, the norm is having a hired professional vocalist sing the guide vocals, but in my case, I want to have the girls learn proper breath control and sense of rhythm, so I would always record the guide vocals by myself.
April 4th, 2015.
The weather forecast for Osaka had promised rain, but it was a cloudy day. By the time the ceremony was about to begin, there were even hints of sunlight.
I was in Osaka with my family where I was producing the 2015 entrance ceremony for Kinki University, my alma mater.
I woke up at half past five and had the breakfast I’d prepared for myself earlier. Today would be the first time in a while that I would be getting up on stage. “Huh, it’s been a year and a half since I last had to put on makeup.” That’s what was running through my mind as I started to get ready.