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The results of the 3rd Summer Vacation Book Report Contest organized by the Palliative Care Center, Aichi Cancer Center

The results of the 3rd Summer Vacation Book Report Contest organized by the Palliative Care Center of Aichi Cancer Center have been announced.

The book report contest was started in 2019 as a part of cancer education, and this year we received 9 entries from both students and the general public.
Due to the closure of the Kanoko Library due to COVID-19, we received cooperation from the main hospital library to lend books to the general public.
Among the seven members of the palliative care team, six other than Komori, who kept track of the applicants' actual names as an assistant, and one librarian conducted a rigorous judging.

We hope to hold it again next year at the same time, so please feel free to apply. 

(Written by Yasunaga Komori, September 10, 2021)

commentary

All of the entries were wonderful, showing that they had experienced intimate reading with "Mom's Cancer". Intimate reading is an encounter with a book that makes you feel that it was written for you, that it was written about you, or that you wrote it (or should have written it). That's the meaning of life, I suppose. Masterpieces don't always provide an intimate reading experience because there is no resonance between the reader's life and the book. 

This time, Aga's work, which won the Gold Prize in the general category, received overwhelming praise from the judges. This was probably because everyone felt that it clearly described the inner reality of "team medicine. "Team medicine is the need of the hour, and it is obvious that the patient is at the center of it. It is obvious that patients are at the center of team medicine, but it is rare to imagine patients asking themselves what their role is. The word "researcher" is also striking. Not "medical person." 
When I read this, I immediately thought of the story of the administrative director of Sapporo Minami Tokushukai Hospital. The hospital has a philosophy of "a hospital that values the heart of hospice. "He said, "The heart of hospice is a heart that serves the weak. ” He said, "Office workers, who tend to be demeaning because they don't have a lot of time to be on the stage," don't have to be like that at all. This is because they "see patients with smiles on their faces and clinical staff working lively" and "take pride in their work that leads to these smiles. ” “They are proud of the work, which is connected to the hospice. The "Heart of Hospice" is sometimes like a divide mark. All of the staff here, whether they are professionals or office workers, have the "Heart of Hospice" in their hearts. And when you put them together, they become one big "Heart of Hospice. None of them should be missing. It gives each of us a task and a meaning to our work. And strangely enough, it does not refuse to accept more and more people holding it. It gets bigger and bigger." (Hiroshi Maeno, "Hospice-minded Medicine," p.210-212) Puzzles and a divide mark. 
In the last paragraph, Aga is looking at the people in the lobby, just like a scene from a movie. One of the school nurse teachers who is interested in the Cancer education and read her report said, "This is a living episode”. I think that is exactly right. If I may be so bold, it is because "Mom's Cancer" is a living text. This is not a top-down "teach and educate" cancer education. The words of an educator who is not "taught and nurtured" by the people involved and the people who are supposed to learn, sound hollow. I would like to at least have ears that can distinguish such emptiness.

 (Written by Yasunaga Komori, September 11, 2021)

2021 Student Gold

The page that left the biggest impression on me when I read "Mom's Cancer" was the scene on page 72 where mother was suffering from the side effects of the anti-cancer drugs that she voluntarily increased. I was impressed by the fact that she was a strong person who wanted to cure her cancer and increased the dosage of anti-cancer drugs.
In that scene, I thought the author was thinking about the agonizing choice of which would be the real salvation for his mother, that she had made a decision even though she knew it was painful, and the son could not change her opinion and respect it, and that she was determined to be strong, but that it would be better to give up halfway because of his mother's too much pain.
I was interested in how mother kept her spirit up to overcome the painful side effects of cancer drugs. Until I read this book, I thought that people who were trying to overcome their illnesses were trying to maintain their spirit to live anyway, but as written in the "Afterword," mother regretted her decision to continue smoking and made a single-minded determination to "overcome smoking," in other words, to overcome her past mistakes. I learned that there is such a way to maintain one's spirit even though one is in an extreme state.
From this scene, I discovered that it is important to find a mental axis in order not to be defeated mentally when it comes to fighting illness. I believe that the reason mother survived the low probability of survival was because she had a mental axis that helped her overcome her past mistakes, which gave her the energy to work hard in difficult times and the power to take action to heal.
From this reading experience, I decided that I would not only find a spiritual axis for myself when I was in a difficult situation such as an illness, but I would also be there for my acquaintances when they were in such a situation and try to find it together with them.
(High school freshman, Musashi Yamamoto)

The results of the 3rd Summer Vacation Book Report Contest
(p72)

2021 General Public Gold

I like the impressive story of "The Puzzle" (p.66-67). ”. The author seems to be communicating this through the jigsaw puzzle in the waiting room.: People close to you, as well as strangers, are playing their part in your struggle.
I am a cancer patient. My family supports me with pieces of love, and the researchers establish cures with pieces of wisdom, each playing their part”. So, what role does my part play? What piece do I have?
Many times in the course of treatment, I find myself sinking into uncomfortable and unbearable days, as if my body and mind have been turned into rags. However, I have managed to rebuild myself, little by little, by searching through my memories for events that give me strength, by getting lost, by being happy and sad. It's like putting together a puzzle. Surely, my part in this is to make myself look upward and take the next step forward. The events and thoughts that come to me are important pieces to that end. I think even bad memories are important pieces.
As the test results depress me, I sit in a chair in the lobby and watch the people pass by. Most of the people here are either cancer patients or family members, and many of them must be trapped in anxiety. When I see them acting normally, I think to each and every one of them, "Don't worry!”, I'm silently saying to them, "There will be good things to come”. And I'm able to get up and say, "It's going to be okay”. Now that I've read "Puzzle," these strangers seem to be my friends as we move forward together. I can feel that this event is one of the irreplaceable pieces. Every day is filled with friends and events. As I cherish these days, I will continue to work with people close to me and with strangers, "Together. One small piece at a time," I want to move forward toward my goal.
(Aga)

The results of the 3rd Summer Vacation Book Report Contest
(p66)

2021 General Public Silver

I realized that regardless of whether it is the East or the West, patients with serious illnesses and their confused families are the same. The first half of the story is about accepting reality. We see the children's efforts to accept the reality, and the anguish of their mother, Barbara. Then, as the treatment begins, the patient's physical pain and mental strength collapse. The situation became more and more miserable as the family became involved.
As a cancer patient undergoing treatment myself, I could easily imagine how the patient felt, looking back at my past. And it was extremely difficult to maintain mental stability in times of physical pain. Fortunately, after the painful treatment, Barbara was able to overcome her cancer, thanks to her strong spirit and the deep love of her family. After that, she left her familiar place and started a new life in a new place, which is a wonderful development.
I chose page 104 as the most memorable page in the book because it is a very ordinary portrait-like picture of an ordinary family of four. They are all smiling so calmly that it makes you forget that they had a hard time fighting the disease. It is written that the story of death has become one of hope. Even the author himself is surprised. Perhaps the thought that he had done what he had to do filled his heart.
I believe that the family is at peace after the treatment as a result of facing the disease head on and working on it, even if there is a small chance. It does not mean that aggressive treatment is always justified and refusal of treatment is wrong, but if the treatment was the conclusion that the patient wanted, I think she was happy that she was able to carry it out.
Life is an accumulation of ordinary days, and today, with the new corona disaster, I feel this even more keenly. Even if you are ill, if you can spend your days with a smile on your face and be grateful for the little happiness you have, there is probably no greater joy than that.
I have one last wish. I hope that all cancers will become curable.
(Miho Kato)

The results of the 3rd Summer Vacation Book Report Contest
(p104)

2021 General Public Bronze

It was an eye-opener because it was written in such a way that I could read it at a glance without making it too serious, making mother look like a clown.
The anxiety and horror of suffering from side effects is expressed by crossing a rope.
I am tired of being discouraged by the same side effects and am exhausted from even thinking about it.
Now that I believe in the possibility of treatment, "Mom" is me.
I have no choice but to accept it and live with it.
While the lives of patients and their families have changed drastically due to serious illnesses, recurrence, metastasis, and the rising tumor markers.
I have the support of my doctor, nurses, pharmacists, and my family, and when I feel anxious, I want to overcome it with "Mom's Cancer" as my bible.
(Sachiko Nagata)

The results of the 3rd Summer Vacation Book Report Contest
(p60)

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