I've gotten several inquiries from kind readers about the status of this site, which hasn't been updated much, as well as the status of JustBento, which hasn't been updated in 2 years.
The fact is, I have been having more health problems again. This past July I almost died, for real. I suddenly collapsed at home and an ambulance was called, but apparently my situation was so precarious that I could not be moved for several hours. The ambulance came in the early afternoon, and it was past sundown (I'm not exactly sure of the time, since I was barely conscious) before the ambulance could move me. That night I had emergency surgery to remove a huge and very fast-growing growth in my small intestines. By huge, I'm not kidding - it measured about 20cm by 28cm by 15cm, and weighed more than 2200 grams - the size of a smallish newborn baby.
The growth turned out to be a very rare sarcoma. Sarcomas usually don't grow in the small intestines, and small intestine cancer itself is not at all common. I always knew I was unique. ^_^;
So the upshot is, I'm facing 2 years of chemotherapy to kill off the rest of the sarcoma. This cancer is not a metastatis of the endometrial cancer I was diagnosed with in 2011, but well, another one.
This has affected me in a lot of ways as you can imagine, mentally and physically. On the food front, the most serious issue I'm dealing with is that for some reason my tastebuds have been badly affected. The first few mouthfuls of most foods are fine, but after that a lot of things have a terrible bitter taste - the bitter taste seems to coat the middle of my tongue, as if I'd been sucking on an uncoated pill. I have to really pick and choose what I eat - some fruits are okay, most vegetables are okay, some cheeses are okay. Most meat tastes really bad after the first few mouthfuls, and I simply can't tolerate any kind of processed food anymore - it's like I am tasting any chemicals in there amplified. As a lifelong food lover, this has really gotten me down. I've had to learn to adapt, and rely on those first precious 'normal' tasting mouthfuls.
The fatigue is an issue too. If you are a healthy person, it's really hard to describe to you what that dragging, heavy fatigue feels like - the fatigue that hits you so suddenly sometimes during the day. If you have a chronic illness, or are undergoing some kind of long-term medical treatment, you know what I'm talking about.
So, have I stopped writing about food? No - but my output is quite lower than before. However I am still out there, writing. I still write a monthly column for The Japan Times, called Japanese Kitchen. And I still regularly update my Facebook Page - it's somehow easier to write there than here, although I should write more in 'my' space I know. My Facebook Page is the best place to see what I'm doing actually. I'm also slowly working on another project, which I hope to be able to talk about eventually.
And...there's now a German edition of The Just Bento Cookbook! It is called Bento für jeden Tag: Kreative gesunde Mahlzeiten zum Vorbereiten und Mitnehmen. If you have bento or Japanese cooking friends who prefer German to English, please let them know! ^_^ (Amazon.de affiliate link.)
So there it is. I don't plan to end either JustHungry or JustBento just yet. I'm planning to get better. In the meantime, I'm also mulling the idea of writing more about non-food topics, for which I don't have to rely on my rogue tastebuds. I am posting fairly regularly to my Funassyi site, since Funassyi just makes me happy.
In any case, I'm still here. ^_^ Thanks for your patience.