Tree of life

It was autumn of 2007, when I was informed that I had breast cancer.
Although it was low-grade, I agreed with my doctor’s advice to totally remove my right breast because of the diagnosis that showed spreading calcification along with cancer.

After the surgery, my right arm could hardly move upward and it made impossible to enjoy swimming – life turned to torture me.

A few years later, then it turned out that my father had lung cancer, and after battling against the cancer for two years he died at 82.

Seventh day after my father’s funeral, I unexpectedly came across sport climbing.
I was strolling around a shopping mall as usual as ordinary holidays and suddenly found huge climbing rock standing in front of me.

I tried to climb the artificial rock belayed by a store clerk.
When my hand reached at the top of the rock, I found my mind feeling exhilarating with the sight 10 meters high up from the ground.

This fortunate encounter with sport climbing made possible for me to enjoy wearing clothes with small skin exposure.

Going to gym and joining in climbing courses, I keep climbing for two years at my own pace with occasionally pain from congenital dysplasia of the hip and bipolar disorder which underwent and came up with the experience of cancer sufferings.

But while those symptoms do not appear, I am not a patient but a climber.

It is surprising and my pleasure, the nerve pain from congenital dysplasia of the hip has almost disappeared since I started climbing and training.

My dream is to try climbing overseas… and climb trees in the woods that my father has planted and left for me.

With love to the world and all wonderful people I have met through sport climbing!

Takako Iwabuchi,
Tokyo, Japan