Monthly Archive: October 2018

Costa Rica 2017








January through March, 2017 – Facebook posts

I have rented a little casita in the jungle for my sabbatical to work on my books. I am taking a holiday from western medicine (my monthly infusions, scans, doctors, etc.) and going to forget for three months that I have cancer.

Travel Update: An auspicious start to my Pura Vida gratitude tour… you can’t make this shit up! After driving through a blizzard for six hours to the airport and taking a red eye with a five-hour layover, my connecting flight to Costa Rica is canceled due to volcanic ash and they can’t book me on another flight until Sunday… three days from now! All I wanna do is sleep so I book a hotel with a pool so I can sleep and tan. I take my firstever Uber which was a disaster. A 12 minute, $12 ride from the airport turned into a $40, hour and a half ride.  Halfway through, I looked up and asked, “Why are we going to Boca Raton?” She spoke not one word of English so I got to practice my Spanish. I had input the address as Fort Lauderdale but Uber had sent it to her phone as the same address in Boca Raton! We had completely different maps generated by the same request!

Update #2:  I finally get to the ‘resort’ (which is a dive), run up and get my suit on, and go down to the pool which is closed for three hours because they’ve sprayed chemicals everywhere. I am literally dead on my feet and can’t climb two flights of stairs so I wander into the vacant lot next door, spread my sarong and pass out tanning in my suit. I wake up sunburned, with a grasshopper trying to make a nest in my ear. I stand up in my swimming suit to the querying stares of the tourists walking down Ocean Blvd (that I had somehow been oblivious to). Tomorrow, I am going to camp out at the airport and make a pest of myself until they get me on standby. 3 nights in Ft. Lauderdale costs the same as two weeks in my jungle casita…. Guess where I would rather be? Oh well, at least I escaped the blizzard. I just missed the mass shooting at Ft. Lauderdale airport (2 hours earlier, I used the bathroom the shooter came out of and we were the last plane to leave before they closed the airport). The adventure continues.

Update #3:  I. Am. The. Horse running for the barn. Four days. Blizzards, erupting volcanos, mass shootings. I took public transport and rolled my suitcase over a mile through sleeping winos to the bus station only to find out that the last bus had no more seats. I will have to stand for five hours on curvy mountain roads. Luckily the bus driver took pity on this old lady with a broken hip and back and I am sharing the single jump seat with my new best friend who happens to be the next door neighbor to the people I rented a casita from and has a bum knee. He doesn’t speak English so I get to practice again. He is currently sleeping on my shoulder and the bus has wifi so I get to catch up. Pura vida! Cant wait. To. Sleep.

Update #4: No rest for the wicked… After the four days of blizzards, volcanos, mass shootings, dodging winos and five hour bus ride from hell, I arrived to a very sleepy town and my landlord had left town, leaving the job of picking me up to his little brother who forgot to wake up. So picture me rolling my suitcase for several miles at midnight with pigs and monkeys rooting me on. Luckily, I had my new best friend, the neighbor, to keep me company. Hey, it’s all frosting on the cake… every moment I live, even the sucky ones, is a moment I wasn’t supposed to have. Live until you die, babies!


Update #5:     The moral of this story is… one should never be where    one does not belong. – Bob Dylan
The travails of my travels were not eased by the comfort of my accommodations. While it is in a lovely setting with horses roaming the streets, a cute iguana family living in the huge tree out my front door, and howler monkeys serenading me, the shower didn’t work, the stove didn’t work, there was no comfortable place to sit besides the hammock which wouldn’t work for writing long periods of time. Plus, it was advertised as a standalone casita but it was really a duplex with a shared wall… and Ticos are noisy!


I swear I’m not a princess but, in my old age, with an irradiated thyroid, I can’t handle the heat. I tried walking to the beach and nearly passed out. On the way back, I passed a very gringo apartment complex with a pool and people sitting around it drinking cold drinks. As I gazed longingly through the bars like a street urchin, I realize it’s high season, rates are sky high, everything is full, and the only availability are small pockets of days here and there.The heavens opened and I was blessed with perfect timing. I have moved into that very complex. I have two bedrooms, a full functioning kitchen, two fully functioning bathrooms, hot water and air conditioning, padded seats galore, a view of the ocean, a shorter walk to the beach, and a pool. My decision to move was confirmed when I was packing my things on the kitchen counter to move and felt something wet in my hand. I have to admit to a full on girlie scream when I realized I was holding a large, brown frog! Pura vida, babies!

My new digs…


































Tropical cooking: I just invented the BEST nutritional bullet! You know how you always throw those slimy papaya seeds away? I know papaya seed extract is really good for you…full of good fats, protein, minerals, and polyphyls and flavonoids which are strong anti-oxidants. Plus, parasite killing properties. So, I washed them, tossed them with olive oil, salt pepper, cumin, oregano, chill flakes and lime juice and toasted them in my toaster oven. I sprinkled them on my salad and ooh lala…. crunchy toasty spicy healthy goodness!


Dental health and cancer: On top of all the challenges to get here, I had a raging toothache. Someone took pity  and gave me some antibiotics and painkillers which got me here. I went to a dentist who took x-rays, couldn’t see anything wrong, but gave me stronger antibiotics, which didn’t work. I found a huge bolus of infection above the gum line in the bone. I started coconut oil pulling which gave me more relief than anything else. I couldn’t chew anything and I was worried.  When I had brain metastases. I had had an asymptomatic infected root canal next to a tumor in the parietal lobe of my brain. When I had the tooth removed, a raging infection was revealed and treated. Within two weeks, the tumor had disappeared! It was clear there could be a link between tooth infections and brain tumors.

Our overall health, and cancer, in particular is very tied to the health of our teeth and gums so we want to make sure we take care of chronic infections we may not even know we have. (see The Root of Some Evil?) Since I’ve gone rogue, running away from my immunotherapy infusions, I should probably stay on top of this.

For those of us with bone mets, we may be on bisphosphonates (Zometa, e.g.) and have been warned about dental work and osteonecrosis. We should not have any dental work for 3 weeks on either side of a bisphosphonate infusion or we risk osteonecrosis (google for some horrifying pictures). Zometa can accumulate in your bones. After 20 doses I am likely “saturated for life.” The longer I wait to remove the tooth, the better. The dentist requires I consult my oncologist before having it removed. I did coconut oil-pulling morning and night and it was far more effective at fighting the infection than two different rounds of antibiotics! Then the tooth broke in half and the infection completely disappeared.

Costa Rica is truly a beautiful country. My son just visited and I managed to have some fun. We went zip-lining and the coatimundis swarmed us to beg for food. Saw howlers and iguanas too. Here is me treating myself with adrenaline! Live until you die…































Cannabis cured my meningitis by accident: Cannabis has played a part in my miracles (see Cannabis and Cancer) and I just discovered an amazing new benefit that I am very excited about. For 30 years, I have suffered from chronic encephalitis triggered whenever a shingles virus that sleeps in my spine wakes up. I have had two very serious bouts of spinal meningitis from it that almost killed me. Doctors have been of no help. I have learned to recognize the early signs of an attack as it attacks the nerves in my legs. I then meditate, relieve stress, and thus avoid a full on attack of meningitis.

Here in Costa Rica, I began to get the first symptoms of encephalitis. I took Acyclovir and Lysine which usually helps but didn’t. I was getting painful nerve spasms and couldn’t walk very well. I was going to be trekking the cloud forest and was worried about my ability to do so as intense attacks were happening every minute or so.

I brought cannabis oil with me here to Costa Rica but the maid broke it so I have been without for the first time since I got cancer. I bought some raw pot and made cannabis oil out of it. Because I couldn’t get a high enough grade of alcohol to extract the cannabinoids, it was very weak. I was left looking at the leftover herbal material, thinking, hmmmm, I’ll bet there are still lots of medicinal cannabinoids in there. So, I made pancakes out of them. I don’t like to be high. But since I was buying it off the street and the street wants to be high, it was a high THC strain (beggars can’t be choosers).

Entering the cloud forest, I ate a “pot pancake” and, much to my chagrin, got very  high. Wait for it….


Hahahaaaa… the amazing news is that it immediately and completely dispelled the oncoming attack of encephalitis that would have crippled me for days, maybe even hospitalized me. I thought back and realized that I hadn’t had an attack the past few years since I’ve been taking CO. Having been doing without must have set up a situation where I was vulnerable to it. The ramifications of this are greater than just me… chicken pox, shingles, Herpes, viral encephalitis are all members of the same family of viruses. In fact, I have found anecdotal stories, like mine, that have shown that Cannabis helps with all of them. You can put topical Cannabis on cold sores and they go away quickly! We have to fully legalize this wondrous medicinal herb so that it can be properly and exhaustively researched.


If you are sitting in that chemo chair or a waiting room or waiting trepidatiously for results of some test, please look for the beauty that surrounds you and inhale it deep into you, filling your cells with healing energy. And remember, so far your record for getting through bad days is 100%! And dream of a future beyond your current reality. You will experience joy again.

Disclaimer: Nothing contained on this website should be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor. I am a Stage IV breast cancer thriver who is currently NED/NAD and simply sharing what I did, and do, and why. Please research anything I share to determine if it is a good path for you. Bless you all on the path you choose.

All original content contained on this web site, I’m Gonna Live Until I Die!, is copyrighted, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Kaiulani Facciani.