25 August 2013

今日の日はさようなら Kyō no Hi wa Sayōnara

Title: 今日の日はさようなら Kyō no Hi wa Sayōnara
English Title:
  • Today is Goodbye Day
  • Today is the Day to Say Goodbye
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
Episode: 01
  • 大野智 Ohno Satoshi
  • 三浦友和 Miura Tomokazu
  • 岸本加世子 Kishimoto Kayoko
  • ミムラ Mimura
  • 深田恭子 Fukada Kyoko
  • 木村文乃 Kimura Fumino
  • 山田涼介 Yamada Ryosuke
  • 嶋田久作 Shimada Kyusaku
  • 光石研 Mitsuishi Ken
  • あがた森魚 Agata Morio
  • 田中理勇 Tanaka Rio
  • 池田英 Ikeda Hana

Fujioka Kōta works as a chef in a small restaurant. He still lives with his parents Fujioka Kenjirō and Fujioka Yasuko, and older sister Fujioka Koharu. His girlfriend Tanabe Etsuko is in good terms with his family, and she always comes over at his house for dinner.

One day, while walking Etsuko home after having dinner at his house, Kōta collapses on the street. Kōta was rushed to the hospital, and after undergoing tests, he is diagnosed with malignant lymphoma or cancer of lymphatic system, which are part of the immune system. According to the doctor, the prognosis for medical cases similar to Kōta is around 80 percent of the patients get better.

After undergoing chemotherapy, Kōta's diagnosis is down to 40 percent survival rate. His sister Koharu is a donor match, but prior to undergoing the transplant, the prognosis for Kōta's case is further down to 20 percent survival rate.

Kyō no Hi wa Sayōnara is about a person who suddenly finds out he is sick, and how he and his loved ones deal with the aftermath: the treatment with side effects that are sometimes unbearable, the agonizing wait for test results and donor matches, and the physical and emotional toll on the patient and his primary caregivers.

Fujioka Kōta, like the rest of his family, is shocked when he finds out his illness. I understand Kōta's disbelief, because to accept it just makes everything more real.

I don't really know how to explain it but it's like you're standing in front of a door and you're rooted at the spot, and you're not entering because you are aware of the complications and troubles that await you inside. It's not like you can leave and go somewhere else, because the only way for you to move is to go forward and open that door. So you're in that state of limbo, stuck where you are. You have to go forward sooner or later, but you'll probably do that later, and for now you'll just... stay where you are.

Anyway, I know it is important to inform patients with terminal illnesses about their survival rates considering their condition, so that the patients and their families can manage their expectations. But, I can't help wonder at times if giving such absolute numbers are not detrimental in some way to the patients.

What I mean is that doctors are naturally medical experts, and most people rely on their judgments. If they give a patient a high survival rate, perhaps that patient would be more inclined to undergo treatments. If they give  a patient a low survival rate, maybe that patient would be more likely to lose hope about getting better.

But I understand how some people would just rather not go through the trouble of undergoing treatments, whether they have a good chance of getting better or not. Some people just have a lower threshold for pain compared to others. And some people would choose to focus on the quality of life rather than the quantity of life, or how long they live.

I have some relatives with grave illnesses, and while some are choosing to undergo surgeries and what not, some are content with living their lives as normally as possible. Is there a right way and a wrong way when dealing with illnesses? I don't really know but I think it's important to honor the patient's wishes as to how to deal with his own illness; it is his own life after all.

今日の日はさようなら Kyō no Hi wa Sayōnara