Gorgeous Matsuno, who is also determined to be a donor… “A Second Life” to devote himself to serving others.
Posted the restricted diet he makes daily for his partner who suffers from serious kidney disease.
After a messy divorce from actress Ayako Sawada, he made his pro wrestling debut in 2002 under the ring name “Gorgeous Matsuno” and overcame depression and cardiopulmonary arrest, but overcame various hardships to return as a pro wrestler. Furthermore, in the Model Japan competition for physical and health beauty, Gorgeous Matsuno won 4th place in 2019 and 2nd place in 2021.
He told us about such a tumultuous life in an article in FRIDAY Digital in January 2021, and now he continues to post his daily meals on Twitter. The reason is that he cooks a restricted diet every day for his partner Junko Tashiro, an enka (traditional Japanese ballad) singer who suffers from a serious kidney disease. What in the world is the story behind this? We spoke with Gorgeous Matsuno again.
Junko Tashiro’s (Junko Tashiro’s) body had been showing signs of lethargy and a slight fever since around the end of the year before last, when she was interviewed by FRIDAY Digital.
However, she could not go to the hospital right away because she was in the middle of her corona, so she went to a hospital with an outpatient fever clinic at the beginning of the year and was told that it was probably just a cold. I went to a hospital with an outpatient fever clinic at the beginning of the year and was told that it was probably just a cold. I was still sick for about a month after that, and after undergoing tests at various hospitals without finding the cause, I was referred to a general hospital and underwent tests in late January of last year.
However, about two days before the results came back, on January 31 of last year, while I was in Tokyo for a wrestling match, her condition suddenly changed and she was hospitalized after calling an ambulance herself. I later heard that if the procedure had been delayed a day or she had held out, it would have been too late.”
In fact, shortly after the publication of the FRIDAY Digital article, a very serious situation occurred.
Her kidney function was in “Stage 5″…
The test results that came out after his hospitalization revealed that he had ANCA-related vasculitis called “microscopic polyangiitis,” which is designated as an intractable disease, and “rapid progressive glomerulonephritis,” which causes kidney values to drop rapidly and rapidly in a short period of time.
He said, “I found out that my kidney function, which is about 60 to 90 points in a normal person, had dropped to about 10 points, and that I was in stage 5, so first I had to do both treatments to reduce inflammation of blood vessels and to restore kidney function.
The treatment consisted of a one-week course of four days of massive intravenous steroid infusion and three days of pills, which is a drug with very strong side effects and is usually only given for up to three courses.
However, it was still not effective, and I was in a difficult situation with weight gain, difficulty sleeping, and diabetes caused by the medication. In fact, I later learned that some people die in that area because they can’t recover.”
In the end, neither inflammation nor kidney function recovered, so he was transferred to a university hospital on March 6 of last year to undergo more advanced tests and treatment. After undergoing temporary dialysis from the neck, treatment to extract antibodies for ANCA, and also using Rituxan, a drug for malignant lymphoma that is now covered by insurance for kidney transplants, his condition finally calmed down and he was discharged last April.
Decided to be a donor! There was no hesitation.”
However, he continued to go back and forth to the hospital until the summer, suffering from enteritis and urinary tract infection. Even after he finally regained his strength around fall, his kidney function did not return and he was going back and forth between stage 4 and stage 5. At the end of last year, there was talk of a kidney transplant.
My doctor told me that I would eventually need alternative kidney therapy, so I should be prepared for that,” he said.
To be honest, I was really shocked to hear that I only had about a year left to live, but I decided that if I had a choice, I would do a transplant right away, and I decided to become a donor.
I was told that a single kidney can retain about 70% of its function, but I am a professional wrestler, so if I had to take a kidney due to trauma to the kidney, the risk that I would have to undergo dialysis would increase. But I had no hesitation in becoming a donor.”
Then, in August of this year. Mr. Tashiro was hospitalized to prepare for transplant surgery, and his donor, Ms. Matsuno, was to be admitted about five days later, when he suddenly received a phone call from the hospital.
The attending doctor said, ‘Actually, I’m going to be admitted to the hospital for a blood test,’ and I was very nervous, thinking that the surgery might not be possible because of some bad result, but he said, ‘Your kidney numbers have improved slightly after the hospitalization and are stable, so the surgery can be postponed.
I was prepared and ready for this, so at first I was baffled and didn’t understand what he meant, and I hung up the phone saying I would talk it over with her and get back to him.
However, the next morning, I received another call from the doctor, and at a transplant review meeting on campus, the nephrologist told me, ‘Since you are in stage 4 now, it is not a number that requires a kidney transplant as soon as possible.
Even if the transplant surgery is successful, if rejection occurs, for example, I would have to go on dialysis immediately, and since immunosuppressive drugs are used, there is also the risk of infection and complications. Considering these risks, I think it would be better to go until the very last minute and operate when there is no other option.
The effects of the “restricted diet” prepared by Ms. Matsuno…
In the end, they decided to postpone the surgery once to next April, and to examine the progress and talk about it in about January next year.
One of the reasons for the improvement in his kidney function was probably the effect of Matsuno’s “restricted diet.
I started the diet when I was discharged from the hospital at the end of April last year.
I received about two hours of nutritional guidance from a dietician. Cooking meals is not at all troublesome, but it was my first time on a restricted diet, so I was scared at first. Now that I think about it, I think I was thinking stiffly at first and making bad food (laughs).
The hardest thing for me was the fact that potassium and salt were everywhere. For example, a glass of milk contains about 315 mg of potassium and 0.2 g of salt, and an egg contains about 69 mg of potassium and 0.2 g of salt.
The dishes posted daily are colorful and varied, and look like a breakfast at a Japanese inn, far from the image of a “restricted diet.
Fortunately, there are no specific foods that I am not allowed to eat. It is a matter of quantity, so I try to satisfy people’s eyes by adding a little spicy cod roe or a large number of items, while basically keeping the seasoning light. Basically, breakfast and dinner are all rice, and lunch is bread and milk. Once you get used to it, it’s not so hard.
However, isn’t it possible that sometimes when you go out you just want to eat ramen or yakiniku?
I have always controlled my diet because I am also a body make-up artist, and I eat ramen a few times a year, but I feel bad about eating alone because I feel bad for my girlfriend. Besides, I feel sorry that I make her endure various things that I want to eat, and I feel sorry for her.
The doctor tells me that it is okay to get off the hook a little once in a while, but I don’t really know how to get off the hook. If her kidney function deteriorates because she has been off her meds, a normal person can recover by going back to eating, but in her case, she is already at the bottom, so there is a fear that she will not recover.
It was all I could do then, and it’s all I can do now.
When I replied, “It’s love, isn’t it?
No, love is not a word that can be put to rest. If you have a disease that leaves you with no choice, but there are things you can still strive for, choices you can still make.
It is natural to reach out to your partner who has been with you for 20 years when he or she is in need. Of course, in both bodybuilding and wrestling, the body is capital, and there are times when you need to take a break from wrestling to have a transplant surgery. But if you take it to the extreme and weigh the work and the other person’s life, the work is still lighter.
The thought of sacrificing yourself? I don’t have any. In fact, since I am a qualified Buddhist monk, I consider it to be a path of trial and tribulation given to me by the Buddha, for which I am grateful. If I talk about it too much, I think I might be taken back (laughs).
Currently, Mr. Matsuno is also returning to pro wrestling competitions, and will compete in “Best Body Japan 2022” on November 23. Ms. Tashiro also plans to return to singing toward the end of the year.
His life has been tumultuous, but some people may still have an image of his divorce from his ex-wife, Ayako Sawada. Although he thought it was a ghetto question, when asked what the difference was between his former marriage and life with his current partner, Mr. Matsuno said, “At the time, it was all I could do.
‘That was the best I could do then, and it’s still the best I can do now.
But the weight of our relationship and the years we’ve been together are completely different. I think it’s a give-and-take thing. When I was in cardiopulmonary arrest and suffering from depression, she reached out to me. So now I am just reaching out to her. When we first met, I never imagined we would have this kind of relationship. She was always in good health, and I didn’t think she was the type of person who would fall ill (laughs).
(Laughs.) I had always been taken care of, so I am most grateful that she has not abandoned me at a time like this, and moreover, that she has lived this long with me. She is slightly older than me, and although she sometimes makes me mad, she has a cute side to her. She used to complain in front of the doctor about my cooking, saying, ‘I’m fed only food that looks like it was measured with a ruler,’ but I’m sure deep down she’s grateful to me.
Interview and text： Wakako Tago
Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. She interviews actors for weekly and monthly magazines, and writes columns about dramas for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKi Kids Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey! Say! JUMP 9 no Tobira ga Open Tokimono" (both published by Earls Publishing).