The Battle Against Cancer-10(2008 Year end)




Dear fellows who are reading my blog in English,

I am sorry that I had written my past two blogs about The Battle Against Cancer-10 and 11 in Japanese. I am basically writing the series of The Battle Against Cancer in Japanese on Wednesday and in English on Saturday but I had mistakenly written two in the row in Japanese.

Thus, I will write it in English today and on coming Saturday to catch up.

Sorry again for the inconvenience but stay there….smile.


Ryo Tokura

While I was getting the combination treatment of the Chemotherapy and the Radiation therapy, the reports about the recession initiated from the sub-prime loan matter followed by the bankruptcy of Lehman, so called Lehman Shock, were on the TV and/or on the newspapers every day as the main topic. It was also widely reported the world had enter into a serious recession once in a hundred year.

Our company was also suffering from the sudden drop of the sales through the retailers.
I was getting and analyzing the matters from the daily reports I got from my staffs.

It was really an unbelievably painful matters to get various negative reports from various sources while taking the cruel treatment but I was following the information on TV as well as newspapers etc. as much as I could.

However, I was not able to do so for a week after I got the surgery as all I could do was just to stare the ceiling of my room of the hospital without being able to move.
It was really a stressful time as my concern towards my company was bigger than the concern about my health.

I was reading the reports I was getting from my staffs very carefully every day and was able to analyze that the sales through our internet division was tremendously great whereas the sales through the retailers was disasterous and pulling the legs of the company. It was clear that the stock in our warehouse that we were forced to keep for the major retailers was starting to become as a big burden.

I knew it was very negative and bad for my health but I was not able to refrain myself from being involved in the serious conditions that the company was facing.

The bad business customs in Japanese society was clear that the retailers were not taking any kinds of risks at all. The business style was mostly, so called “Consignment basis business”. They place orders only when they receive orders form the customers.

The relation between the big retailers and the suppliers was very awkward. The big retailers were forcing their suppliers to keep the stock only for them not to sell to anyone else.

The big retailers charge the suppliers penalty if the suppliers become out of stock for what they were forced to stock. But the big retailers never took a risk to take care of the remaining stock that they were not able to sell in spite of forcing to keep the stock for them.

We were dealing with over 250 retailers, when our sales through the retailers was at the peak point. Thus, the numbers of the stock that we had to keep for the respective retailers were quite large in figures. As the retailers were not taking the risks of their own, they tended to ask to keep the stock for more than they actually needed.

We had a strong voice towards the retailers since our products were very popular in the market.

Under such circumstances, I was repeatedly warning the boards of directors of the retailers that it is going to cause a very serious problem between the retailers and the suppliers unless we change this awkward relation between the retailers and the suppliers. I also warned that the retailers will become weaker and weaker if they didn’t take any risks and rely everything on the suppliers.

But the slow decision making process of the Japanese big companies had taken a long time before things were decided and my voice was not actually reflected at the working level staffs of the retailers.

I was thinking very seriously that we should change our sales strategy to sell directly to the end users not relying on the retailers.

I got out of the hospital just before the year 2008 was ending. It was Dec 28 I got out of the hospital. The year end and the New Year period was spent at the office where there were no people. I was checking the various documents about the sales as well as reading the reports of the staffs and the holiday flew away like an arrow.

In the beginning of 2009, the observation was started. When you get a cancer surgery and/or treatment, you are mandatory to take 5 year period observation.

I was getting the observation once a month at the initial year. You start to get nervous a few days before the observation day and I was always telling myself that I would not be bothered from whatever I hear from the doctor.

Things proceeded quite well for the first three months. But I started to feel inconvenience at my various body parts from the fourth month.

I was told by the doctor that since the cancer was level 4 advanced cancer when it was found, the possibility that they would find a new cancer within two years was more than 80% and that it was uncertain that I was able to greet the third January.

Our company was aiming for IPO in 2013 and I was going to leave the company and was going to let the company run by the staffs appointing new CEO.

I asked the doctor to tell me everything honestly as I was responsible for more than a hundred staffs. That was the reason that the doctor was telling me all the things in details that he would not tell in the normal cases.

Of course, it is not a pleasant thing at all to hear about the possible fate of yourself, how long that I would live in what percentage etc.

But it was an essential thing for me to know as clear as possible to run the company.

Accordingly, I was getting very sensitive in an every strange feeling that was detecting.
The first signal was a very dizzy feeling I was able to feel.

One evening, when I woke up and tried to go to the rest room, I fainted and hit my back side of the head against the desk and the blood was splashing all over the room.

It took very long time until they were able to suspect how my body condition became like that and I was spending the days very uneasily waiting for the answer.

After various examinations at various departments of the hospital, it was concluded, although not on a confirmed basis, the reason could have been due to the bad blood flow going up to my head as the result of the surgery where the ruin became very hard and was blocking the blood flow going up to the head.

Thereby, sudden drop in blood pressure had made the rate of Orthostatic blood pressure around 70 and this had made me become unconscious at once.

I experienced to faint a few times when I was trying to go to the rest room in the evening but fortunately I had fallen towards the bed so it didn”t make me any further damage.

For about two years, the rate of my blood pressure never went beyond 100 hundred and it was normally around 80, thus, I was taking two kinds of pills to get my blood pressure high.


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