About Kaiulani Facciani

About Me

My journey with breast cancer began in August 2007. After a roller coaster ride from hell, I thought it was over after 6 months. But 5 years later, it reared it’s ugly head with a frightening terminal diagnosis of Stage IV metastatic cancer. By 2012, tumors had crushed several vertebrae in my neck and spine and split my sacro-iliac joint apart. I lost the use of my legs and one arm. I had lesions on my liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. With nothing to lose, I threw everything I could at healing. I employed a strict naturopathic regimen, received chemotherapy and radiation, and meditated on spiritual healing. I worked hard to rebuild joints and muscles and survive the cancer and toxic medicine. 13 months after diagnosis, most of my tumors were gone and I had regained 99% mobility. Although still considered terminal, I felt like I was going to live forever.

Then, Halloween of 2013, they found a rare and dangerous type of brain metastases with an average survival of 2.8 months after diagnosis (leptomeningeal carcinomatosis). The tumors were inoperable, not eligible for radiation, and the blood-brain barrier prevented the targeted immunotherapy that had been keeping me alive from entering my brain to kill the cancer within. I had to get creative.

I’m still alive… for now… and I am NED/NAD (No Evidence of Disease/No Active Disease)!
By sharing my journey, I wish to encourage and empower you to take charge of your life and to defeat the obstacles that may face you. Perhaps my path will spark you to take note of your own experiences in a new way. One that allows you to incorporate the lessons you are learning into a formula for positive change.

Cliff Notes version of Diagnoses, Western Medicine Treatments, and alternative remedies of note:

• October, 2007 – Diagnosis of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ – stage 0)
• March, 2008 – Preventive unilateral (right) mastectomy, MD Anderson. 6 sentinel lymph nodes unremarkable except for slight trace of cytokeratin
• October, 2012 – Diagnosis of Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, HER2+, ER/PR-. Mets to lungs, liver, lymph, many areas of spine and pelvis. Prognosis less than 2 months survival. Lost full use of legs and one arm from tumors crushing vertebrae and splitting sacro-iliac joint in hip. Began strict changes to diet and ingestion of naturopathic remedies.
• October – January, 2013 – Carboplatin (5x), Taxol (13x), Herceptin (4x), Zometa (4x). Radiation treatments to pelvis (21x), to neck (15x), to T11 mid-spine area (10x). Against doctors’ orders, joined fitness club, and began to work out carefully.
• January, 2013 – present – Herceptin & Perjeta every 3 wks, Zometa every 6 wks (now every 6 mos).
• November, 2013 – 9 metastases/tumors identified in parietal lobe and cerebellum. Leptomeningeal involvement implies just weeks to live. 1 dose of intrathecal Methotrexate administered. Not expected to do anything but perhaps buy time. Tried Tykerb (crosses blood-brain barrier, Herceptin and Perjeta don’t), liver, pancreas, and heart couldn’t tolerate. Increased daily ingestion of CBD tincture. Infected root canal tooth removed. Intensive daily meditation.
• December, 2013 – Largest tumor (parietal) and 3 mets gone without a trace. 1 more IT Methotrexate dose administered.
• March, 2014 – Of remaining 5 mets, 3 stable, 2 show significant progression. 1 IT dose Methotrexate.
• May, 2014 – 5 stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatments to cerebellum.
• September, 2014 – Brain MRI NED (no evidence of disease)
• January, 2015 – PET scan and Brain MRI – NED!!

  • Present – While periodic brain MRIs occasionally show new suspicious masses, they have thus far turned out to be scar tissue from the radiation.

Here is a link to my story in Radical Remissions