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Tree Of Life

By Takako Iwabuchi

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 it impossible to enjoy swimming – life turned to torture me.

A few years later my father got diagnosed with lung cancer, and after battling against the cancer for two years he died at 82.

The 7th day after my father’s funeral, I unexpectedly came across sport climbing.  I was strolling around a shopping mall as I usually in my free time, and suddenly found a huge climbing rock standing in front of me.

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

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

I started going to the gym and joining in climbing courses.  I kept climbing for two years at my own pace with occasional pain from congenital dysplasia of the hip, and bipolar disorder which came about following my battle with cancer.

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

To my pleasant surprise, 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

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