Photo Copyright: Maggie May
My granddaughters were born in Japan and have memories of a life there before they came to England. They obviously love their Japanese grandparents and are in regular contact via Skype.
We were totally dismayed when we woke up on Friday to the terrible news that a mammoth earthquake, the largest ever to be recorded, had not only shaken Tokyo, but had caused a 30ft tsunami to devastate part of the city of Sendai on the north east coast of Japan.
My ex daughter in law, Kaiko has many relatives in Sendai.
We knew that the grandparents and Kaiko's sister were safe. They work in Tokyo but live in another city just south of it. They had managed to Skype that they were well but that they were very worried about all the outer members of the family, aunties, uncles and cousins.
As all the trains stopped in Tokyo and there was no transport of any kind, Kaiko's sister had to trek a long way to her home and this took several hours.
However, they were safe.
As my granddaughters watched the terrible scenes on TV, (they were everywhere and we really couldn't avoid seeing some of it), they were extremely worried about their grand parents but this morning they talked to them via Skype. Their minds have been put at rest.
As for the relatives in Sendai, the grandparents think they are alright because they shouldn't have been near the sea at that time. However, because there are no phone signals or electricity, there is no communication and there is also the worry about their welfare. Basic things like food and water, not to mention the problem with the power stations in the surrounding areas.
I know that there will be help going out to them from other countries and the Japanese are well able to help themselves as they have had many calamities and recovered from those, but it is a bit chilling for us to see all this in a land where we have family links and where I visited and had very happy memories not so long ago.
I guess Japan will always be a bit close to my heart.
I am so glad my immediate family are in England though.
I have seen the Consultant at the hospital that I attend and I am now waiting for a CT scan. However, they seem very pleased with me and think that I am not at all typical of most people with CUP (unknown primary) and that the terrible statistics of that diagnosis, should not be taken by me. They stressed that I am very unusual in my treatment and recovery and the way I am at present. I am not in pain at the moment and feel quite well.
I am in a good position, they say, so I have to be optimistic.