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[personal profile] snarp
There have actually been several new posts on Minekura's blog since I last translated one here, but I haven't had time to do them, and may not for a while. I apologize for the especially rough quality of this translation - I haven't been reading much Japanese recently, so I'm completely off my game. As always, if you have corrections, let me know. Passages I'm not sure of are marked in gray text.

Minekura says this in the entry itself, but I'll reiterate it here: her condition's extremely unpleasant, and she doesn't mince words in describing it. If you think it'll upset you, you really shouldn't click on the cut.

-

"I'm home."

This is Minekura. With your help, I've come back to life.

My family carried your gifts to me every single day in the hospital. The thousand-cranes... no, the tens-of-thousands-of-cranes filled the room until it was overflowing. The nurses said they'd never seen so many. After the surgery, when it hurt so bad I wanted to scream, the bright colors of the decorations in the room were incredibly encouraging. They tell me that my scar has healed very cleanly, and I give the credit to my good luck charms. I thank all the people who have supported me from afar from the depths of my heart. I'm so grateful to all of you.

I've been allowed to come home from the hospital, but my wound has yet to heal (it'll be about half a year before it settles down enough), and there are a number of things I physically can't do; it takes all my energy to get through my day-to-day tasks. ...But when I look around at all my beautiful good luck charms (<- I'm bragging), it gives me hope. When I put my manga on hiatus, I was so miserable I cried, thinking that people would be disappointed and angry with me. I feel honored to have received so much support and understanding.

Below the cut I explain my condition in detail. I feel I ought to give an explanation of why my manga are on hiatus, but those who don't want to see shouldn't click.

I talked before about the operation to remove the tumor from my face (my upper jaw). In this operation, I lost half the bone in my face (my right upper jaw). In brief, I've presently got no bone on the right side of my face, leaving it caved in. I have almost nothing left of my upper jaw and teeth, so there's nothing separating my nose and mouth. I can't eat normally, and I also can't talk clearly.

Though the fundus of my eye was just barely saved, they had to shave off part of the bone surrounding my eye, so some of that's gone. I've lost nerve sensitivity of most of my face in that area, so I have no feeling in the right side of my face, which will be a permanent condition. (I do have muscle control - it's just that the surface of my skin has no sensation.)

All the test results seem to say that mine is a very unique situation. The tumor is a form of ameloblastoma - as Wikipedia says, not only are these most common in young men, but they're extremely unusual in the upper jaw. Because of the likelihood that this sort of tumor will relapse and spread across and destroy more bone is very high, there was no choice but to cut out all the bone in the area in which it occurred, and I can't receive a bone transplant... It's a very frustrating disease.

Right now I have an artificial upper jaw to replace the bone I lost (I can take it out just like a set of dentures), but it's a temporary thing, so there aren't any teeth attached - anything I drink leaks out my nose, and anything I eat fires out my nose, (laugh) and I can't pronounce words properly (but, eh - I can usually manage conversations). When the wound has healed more and the swelling's gone down, I should be getting a very carefully constructed artificial jaw (with teeth). When that happens I'll be able to talk a little better... we think.

On the same note, when the wound has settled down again, I should be getting some kind of artificial structure to hold up the collapsed side of my face, so it'll be more something you can actually look at. (bitter laugh) Actually, I'm already going out to the neighborhood grocery store and convenience store in sunglasses and a hat, feeling like I'm in disguise. (laugh)

There's a very visible scar still on my face, but it'll apparently fade within a few years. So I'll be going out in disguise for a while.

I feel like I'm being annoying writing about myself for so long, but with regard to my right eye (and I can see fine out of it) - as I said before, they shaved off some of the bone there, and some of the muscle around my eyes went with it, so I can't close my lower eyelid well anymore... I'll try to blink, but because my eye's not working right, it gets intolerably dry... Since I lost my tear gland, they installed an artificial one, but even with that, that eye can't handle drawing for long periods. My doctor says that I'll slowly regain muscle control in that eye and be able to use it as before again... when that happens, I'll be able to get back to drawing a little. But I've kind of already started drawing. (laugh)

Just after the surgery, when I couldn't even swallow my own saliva, and breathed in blood and phlegm while I was trying to sleep, I thought, "How can I live this way?" I panicked, a light feeling of despair. But human resilience and adaptibility is amazing - by the fourth day I thought, "...Well, all right, I guess I can live." My spirit had reached an equilibrium.

I have all this artificial stuff in my mouth (the artificial jaw), and at first I didn't think I could get used to it. But now there are times I even forget it's there. It's even started to feel natural when I gargle and the water comes out my nose. (laugh)

The doctor's warned me not to, but I'm practicing anyway. (laugh)

Still, I haven't entirely gotten used to the discomfort - getting an attack of pain that shocks me (it's not the lost bone, but the lost nerves), and dejectedly looking in the mirror at my crumbling face (The healing process causes muscle spasms, and my face will apparently warp more over the three months after the surgery - it's horrible.)... but I've got to keep moving ahead.

With my kind, wonderful mother and my husband who loves my however I look, and has a taste for maniacs, here to support me, I can't do nothing but complain - I'd invoke divine retribution... Still, as painful as my body is, what I really hate is that I can't draw manga.

...And that's how things are right now. I hope to get back to work soon, though it seems hard now - I really feel disappointed in myself that I can't do it yet.

But I've already gone back to work on things other than manga for next year and on (illustrations, a novel, and various other things). I feel like I should use this opportunity to challenge myself a little and branch out into new areas - I'm going to keep moving forward as I go into the new year. Anyway, even though manga's impossible right now, I've got to draw at least a little, [???] (laugh), I really want to draw a lot. Of course, it's all for the sake of the day when my beloved children once again rage across the field of manga.

Please keep thinking of me and supporting me in the future. ...Oh, uh, I couldn't do it for three weeks, so excuse me for smoking now. (bitter laugh)

Looks like I'm going to live.

Date: 2011-01-01 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com
Wow, poor Minekura. Thanks for the translation.

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