Here’s the story…

This blog, started in August 2015, is dedicated to my journey with metaplastic breast cancer, and to sharing how I continue living without my beloved husband Steve who was murdered on October 5th, 2015. In essence, it is a spiritual journey whose insights apply to all of us, regardless of our circumstances.

During a routine early detection examination in October 2014, a tiny spot was found on my ultrasound images. I had a core needle biopsy and results came back benign. Six weeks later, by the time Steve and I moved to Costa Rica, a large lump had grown in the place of the biopsy.

At the earliest possible time, I saw a breast oncologist in San Jose, Dr HB. He performed a second biopsy, cutting out the entire lump. Again, the results came back benign. Two months later, yet another lump had grown. This time with skin infiltration. It was very painful. Ultrasound examination revealed a hematoma. I treated it accordingly. It did not disappear. It was not a hematoma.

My  next appointment in May with Dr HB led to another core needle biopsy. Results: benign. I was prescribed another ointment, Bepanthene for external wound healing. The symptoms of intense pain in the breast and heart continued. My sleep was disturbed and I was getting anxious.

Steve and I then traveled to the USA to teach in NY, followed by a visit to my ailing father and family in Germany. There, while I enjoyed every moment, I experienced the most intense pain and the lump grew. Couldn’t sleep, couldn’t sit comfortably. So I went to see my sister’s gynecologist. Blood tests and ultrasound exam revealed nothing new – benign. I contacted Dr HB in Costa Rica, and he recommended I begin using Lansinoh ointment, to soften the skin.

The growth and pain continued.

Finally, I returned to Costa Rica and went to see Dr HB again. On July 16th, he performed a surgery with general anesthetic to remove the entire lump and reshape my breast. The pain was gone. The new breast looked great. They suspected a serious bacterial infection, or a fungus. Living in Costa Rica, everything is possible!

The shocker came at my next visit to Dr HB. Without a warning, after removing the stitches and telling me pleasantly how nicely my wound was healing, he informed me that unfortunately, the pathology diagnosis was malignant, that I have rare form of aggressive and advanced invasive breast cancer – triple negative metaplastic carcinoma. He proposed a treatment and sent me on my way. Without even so much as a handshake. Oh, and he asked for my forgiveness. Right.

I felt like a little bird who just flew full speed into a glass wall. Steve immediately traveled the five hours from Montezuma to San José where the doctor’s offices are located. We decided that it was best for me to go back to the US, take all my biopsy tissue samples with me and get a second opinion.

I arrived back in the US on Saturday, August 1st. I underwent a variety of other medical tests. The tissue samples were reanalyzed here. The very first biopsy in October 2014 was correctly diagnosed as benign. The first two done in Costa Rica showed evidence of cancer; meaning that the pathology team in Costa Rica gave not one but two misdiagnoses!

The pathology team at UCSF reviewed the tissue sample from the third biopsy in Costa Rica, and it was confirmed that I have triple negative metaplastic breast cancer.

Then I had a breast MRI, diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, blood tests, a PET/CT scan that determines if the cancer has spread to other parts of my body, a lymph node biopsy and a BRCA gene test.

I am so very happy to write that the PET/CT scan and lymph biopsy showed no cancer outside the breast. And the BRCA gene test came back negative.

My chemotherapy treatment began on August 20 with four cycles of Adriamycin /Cytoxin dense dose infusions, set two weeks apart. This is followed by 12 weeks of Taxol and Carboplatin infusions.

For the record, I chose the “traditional” medical model because everyone else I knew who went the “other” route is no longer alive, plus the cancer I have is very rare, aggressive and notoriously difficult to treat.

Oh yes, almost forgot – a small, smooth growth near one of the incisions on my breast kept my mind busy enough to have yet another needle biopsy on September 21st. The pathologist analyzed the tissue samples there and then, and informed me that he could not find any malignancy. Thank goodness.

After the chemotherapy treatment is complete, I will have a mastectomy, followed by 7 weeks of radiation.

This is life’s radical opportunity for me to meditate upon the fact that I am not my body. Who am I, really? We are all going to die some day. What is the part of “me” that will never die?

October 2015 Postscript. What is the part of Steve, indeed of all of us, that will never die? Steve was murdered on October 5th while hiking with our dog Coco on a popular hiking trail in Fairfax, Marin County. Coco was shot also but survived.

December 29, 2015. My last medical update of this post talks about the September biopsy being benign. Well, the cancer grew back, the chemotherapy proved ineffective, yet another biopsy confirmed malignancy. And another PET/CT scan confirmed that the cancer stayed local in the breast. I had a mastectomy on December 15th, and am now cancer free. However, treatment will continue in early 2016 with radiation and a different chemotherapy, to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Coco was returned to me on Christmas, after being in the veterinary hospital for almost three months, and undergoing several surgeries. She is doing well.

October 20, 2016. I continued with the different chemotherapy, had horrible side effects, ended all that on February 26th, the same day my mother died from breast cancer in 2007. Then I received 25 sessions of radiation that were completed on April 20th. After that I had to testify in court in the preliminary hearing of Steve’s murder case, and then I traveled to Germany, to be with my family, for a long rest and recharge. Finally, on August 26th I had total knee replacement surgery, followed by four 1/2 weeks of in-patient rehab.

Today I am beginning, at last, to feel better.

50 replies
  1. Brenda Cole
    Brenda Cole says:

    Dear, dear Lokita

    I am greatly saddened by this news, yet hopeful you will beat the disease attacking your place of abode. It is true that you are not your body, and I am sure we are all in for some great lessons as you journey forward. Know there are many people in your corner praying, and offering their love & support.

    I had hoped to connect with you as Pratt & I recently bought s second home in Costa Rics. Maybe after you heal, that will still me possible.

    Much love & hopefillef thoughts!

    Pratt & Brenda Cole

  2. Michelle Prince
    Michelle Prince says:

    Thinking of you, Lokita, and sending you much love and healing energy. You are such a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  3. Jolene
    Jolene says:

    Oh, dear Lokiita! I am so shocked… like that bird flying into the window. You’re writing is so tender, precise, eloquent, angry, full of love and hope. I am with you. Even though we have never met in the flesh, you have touched me. That’s the part of you that will never die. Sending love, Jolene

  4. Lines of Beauty
    Lines of Beauty says:

    Lokita, I’ve read your every word on I Am Not My Body and we’re both sending love and light to you and Steve. At Omega I sensed something was concerning you even before you asked Steve to be careful during your demonstration. We pray for the best and will be here sending you good energy and healing every step of the way. With love to you both, Louise & Tom PS- you’re a wonderful writer as well as a teacher.

  5. Patrick
    Patrick says:

    Thank you for the gift of including us in your journey and sharing your discoveries and insights about life on this path. You have been teaching for many years now. I personally appreciate you continue doing so. Listening. Feeling. Thinking. Appreciating you.

  6. Kate Sutton
    Kate Sutton says:

    Dear Lokita, you are beautiful and divine, full of light and grace. You are a gift to the world . I am so grateful for the work that you do and how kind and loving you are. With your permission I will send you healing Reiki energy- please let me know.
    Much love and blessings to you,

  7. Utchi Frank Schubert
    Utchi Frank Schubert says:

    Liebe Lokita,

    Ich möchte dir von ganzem Herzen meine Unterstützung in dieser schwierigen Phase schicken! Ich kann deine Wut sehr gut verstehen und in mir selber spüren. Besonders gut weil ich selber seit 19 Monaten ein Gesundheitsproblem habe für das die Ärzte keine und sogar widersprüchliche Gründe zu finden meinen und wo mir bislang keiner helfen konnte! Wir sind halt irgendwo doch sehr hilflos den wichtigen Fragen des Lebens gegenüber! Ich schick dir ganz viel Liebe, Vertrauen und Energie aus Spanien und freue mich schon darauf wenn wir uns bald wieder sehen werden! Sei herzlich umarmt.

  8. Troy Gregory
    Troy Gregory says:

    Hi Lokita, Its been a long time since we have had contact. In fact it would have been when I had breast cancer first time.I have been 10 years clear now from my second. We are not our bodies……Mind, body and spirt.

  9. Susie Ten Eyck-Johnson
    Susie Ten Eyck-Johnson says:

    Sending love, reiki and strength to you Lokita. My husband and I attended a tauntric class that you and your husband facilitied seven years ago in Oregon and it was life changing for me. Blessings, blessings, blessings surrounding this journey..

  10. Steve and Kris Langner
    Steve and Kris Langner says:

    Dear Lokita, we are very saddened to hear about your health and incredibly challenging situation. The fortunate part is that we don’t know anyone who could better handle this than you. We are also thankful that Steve is there with you and for you. He’s a great partner to have during such trying times. Our thoughts, love, and prayers are with you.

  11. Kate & Scott Elliott
    Kate & Scott Elliott says:

    Hello Lokita & Steve,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you both. We wish to send directly to you a contribution towards your expenses- you may send us your best address at the EMail noted. Holding you in Light, Love & Healing Energy ♥️
    Kate and Scott

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Thank you, Kate and Scott! It was so lovely to see you both and your enthusiasm at Omega! The mailing address is SpiritWorks Healing Fund, PO Box 1356 Middletown CA 95461. Sending love and appreciation to you.

  12. Gail Laberdie
    Gail Laberdie says:

    Well, damn, darlin’! I’m routing for you. Call me if you need me. I’m still in San Jose, CA. Let me know how to p.m. my cell phone number to ;you.

  13. Laraine Enderle
    Laraine Enderle says:

    My heart cries out for/with you as you begin your treatment. Sadness and anger that there was misdiagnosis at the onset but prayers for all the healthcare workers that will be with you through this journey. I am praying for loving hands to be with you at every step and for your strength to be great at this difficult and confusing time. Rubbing my hands together now and pointing them north towards Northern California and sending you lots of love and positive energy. ❤️

  14. Katalina Fisher
    Katalina Fisher says:

    Thank you for starting this blog. I love you. I will pray for you that you get expert and compassionate care and that this journey will lead you to a full and complete recovery. By the way…..the medical world is not always keen on the use of marijuana. However, I have a friend who was also diagnosed with a fast growing, rare form of cancer. By the time she went in, they expected that she had a few weeks at most. She took a tincture that had all the THC (the part that gets you ‘high’) removed so that it was just the pure canibinoids. She completely stunned the medical world with not only recovering from this when the odds were completely against her, but how quickly she was able to recover with no trace of the cancer whatsoever. She is on my facebook list of friends. Her name is Kari Greene. Please, contact her and ask her about her story. I want you to be around for a long time to come. Blessings to you and to Steve as well. My hopes and prayers are with you both. <3 Katalina Fisher

  15. JP Pizzino
    JP Pizzino says:

    Hello, Lokita, I trust that you and Steve will remember my husband Tom and myself after we attended your Love and Ecstasy trainings in Costa Rica and Harbin Hot Springs.First, let me say, I am saddened by your diagnosis. Second, I know you are a woman of great courage and strength, way beyond your physical body. and I join with you to pull the full healing power of the Divine to you at this time. Thank you for all the knowledge and blessings you have shared with me and Tom over the years. Namaste.
    I received this post in a very interesting way. I traveled to Costa Rica in July (near San Isidro de General) to spend a week at the Sat Yoga Ashram .I don’t know how close they are to you, but certainly worth a visit. I found them to be a very genuine community, definitely on the path. I plan to go back for a 3 month stay in January. Maybe we can connect then.
    While I was at Sat Yoga, on 2 occasions, small birds flew into the large sliding glass doors and knocked themselves out. I noted this occurrence because I am at an important crossroads in my life. When I came home, I shared this image with a friend who does dream interpretation. He somehow found this post from you and sent it to me. There are no coincidences. Are you aware that cordyceps mushrooms have been shown to improve breast cancer survival? If you would like a phone/Skype consultation for free, I have some other suggestions that may enhance your journey. For sure, please watch a docu-series called I send you many blessings on your journey, my friend. –JP Pizzino

  16. Allyson
    Allyson says:

    Dear Lokita, Sending you best wishes. I took a tantric massage workshop with you and Steve some years ago at Harbin. I’m sure there is a great chance you are already aware of the book or idea I’m about to share, but just in case–if you haven’t read it yet, I would recommend The Raw Food Treatment of Cancer by Kristine Nolfi. I know there are many ways/paths, and you will follow what you deem best. Sending love and light your way.


  17. Lisa Wigglesworth
    Lisa Wigglesworth says:

    Dear loving lovely Lokita,
    I was shocked and saddened to read your blog. At Harbin and at sea you and Steve have always been such bright lights! And it’s true that no, you are not your body. It takes loads of courage to face what you’re facing. And I know you have that courage. UCSF is a champion for what you are up against, and I have confidence that all will be well.
    I will carry you in my heart and my prayers, and I send you many blessings and heaps of healing love,

  18. Bee Barth
    Bee Barth says:

    When I first meet you I saw a beautiful lady. As time went on and I got to really be with you I saw so much more. You consist of compassion, love, you give and share, you are honest and full of knowledge I want to learn. Each time we are together I see so much more of you. You see beauty in your surroundings and a great love of life, all life of all beings. I also see a woman of great strength. Hang in there like a hair in a biscuit. Love you.

  19. viola
    viola says:

    Liebe Lokita,
    Ich sende Dir metta aus Durham.
    Moegest Du eine gute Reise haben, egal wo sie enden und wie lange sie dauern wird.

  20. Carol & Rick
    Carol & Rick says:

    Dearest Lokita–We just learned about your cancer in an email we received from Logan Rose. Since receiving that email, we have read your complete blog entries so that we might more fully understand your journey thus far. We can only begin to imagine how frustrated you must feel regarding the length of time it took to make an accurate diagnosis. No matter how accepting you have come to feel about the journey yet to unfold, the loss of seven months before you both figuratively and literally started packing for that journey must cause you a great deal of angst.

    As many others have already said before us, we will keep both you and Steve in our prayers through your surgery, treatment, and on into your recovery. As you might recall from our time together at two workshops in Costa Rica, we are both devoted Christians and believe strongly in the power of prayer. We are placing your names on our church prayer list (first names only) so that other prayer warriors might pray for you as well.

    The thoughts you have expressed in your blog about sharing, the need for love, connection, and peace resonate with us. Please continue your blog so that through your communication with us we might feel like we are walking beside you, ready to lend a hand of support when needed, as you continue on your journey to recovery.

    Carol & Rick

  21. Leslie Rundquist
    Leslie Rundquist says:

    My life has not been the same since attending the last Goddess weekend you offered. I am forever grateful to you for the opportunity to finally embrace the woman that I am. Sending you healing light and massive amounts of love for this journey. Thank you too for sharing with us the trials and tribulations and allowing us to see your growth as you emerge from this shadow cast upon you.

  22. Stephanie Hofielen
    Stephanie Hofielen says:

    Dear Lokita
    I took a workshop with you many many years ago in Costa Rica. This news came as a shock. You are a terrific role model and I am confident you will handle this with the same energy, dignity and strength you have demonstrated in all areas of life. I am thinking of you and sending you and Steve wishes for a speedy and comfortable recovery.
    Stephanie Hofielen (London)

  23. Mike & Diana
    Mike & Diana says:

    Just heard the news. Know that we are feeling for you and thinking of you. We know this will resolve well and hope this part of your journey will be quick.
    How brave you are

  24. Chris Englund
    Chris Englund says:

    Howdy from Jackson Hole!
    My partner, Donna, & I have taken the Multi O & LET1 from you folks and as a result, feel closely connected with you both.
    We’ll make a contribution and always send you healing energy from our weekly pujas.
    Infinite Love!

  25. Diane Tegtmeier
    Diane Tegtmeier says:

    I feel your heart so deeply in all these blogs. How courageous this is and also a service to all of us who love you. If you’d like me to support your healing with energy and light, please don’t hesitate to call on me. I will link with you often in my meditations and in my heart. Much love to you and Steve.

  26. Gaby Sitzmann
    Gaby Sitzmann says:

    Liebe Lokita, ich sende dir warme healing energy from down under. Jedesmal, wenn ich in Byron Bay bin und in Deinem Veranda Restaurant das schöne Ambiente genieße, denke ich an Dich und auch an mein genussreiches Watsu bei Dir auf dem Hügel.
    Mögest Du eine friedliche und liebevolle Reise erleben! Alles Liebe Gaby

  27. Rebecca Velasquez
    Rebecca Velasquez says:

    Lokita, wishing you a safe and speedy recovery from this condition! I’m so sorry to hear you are dealing with this. We are sending you our love and support! You are a truly magnificent person and your tantric massage workshop a few yrs ago in Westport, CT was so impactful. I think of you and Steve often and we send our living thoughts to you both! Love, Rebecca and Harold Velasquez

  28. Roxane & Westley
    Roxane & Westley says:

    Dearest Lokita,
    Westley and I are saying prayers and envisioning you in your perfect health. It’s beautiful that you are approaching this in a very awakened state. We appreciate who you are, your essence, light, beauty and humor, and are grateful to have spent a week with you and Steven in Costa Rica. We are grateful for learning to embody even more and celebrate the bliss of the Tantric path. Thank you. On another note I feel led to suggest a book for you by Dr. Joe Duspenza: You are the Placebo: Making your Mind Matter. It’s about going deep within to your access your own healing powers. Blessings, Hugs and Love, Roxane and Westley

  29. Candessa
    Candessa says:

    My Dearest Lokita,
    Today I am saddened by the news of your cancer and at the same time, the news of the possible loss of much of Harbin and Middletown in the wildfires yesterday and today. But I know what an amazing and magnificent human being, healer and teacher you are and I am sending you an abundance of love and Queen energy to support you in this new journey! Be sure to get out your crown and wear it regally! (And let me know if you had to leave your purple crown behind when you moved to Costa Rica and I will send you a new one!) We also know the healing energy of the land at Harbin and hope that it can rebound in the months and years to come. For me, my memories and connections between you and Steve and Margot and all the other amazing human beings go together with all of my memories of Harbin – they are inseparable.
    So we all move into new beginnings……… Thinking of you with love everyday!

  30. Rachila (Judy Smith)
    Rachila (Judy Smith) says:

    Dearest Lokita,
    We were in the L &ET with Kutira & Margo in 1999.
    Remembering the beautiful & transformative rebirthing in the pool, led by you & Steve, at your place during one of the weekend retreats.
    Feeling so sad & crying learning all this happening in your /our lives.
    Any words are feeling inadequate expessing sympathy to you on the extremely shocking death of Steve.
    Unimaginable how his absence in the physical may be affecting you and your health challenge.
    Sending you both love,prayers, and blessings for healing & peace through the presence of your All-Loving Divine.

  31. David C Walker
    David C Walker says:

    Hi Lokita, I am praying that you keep your faith strong. That God continues his watch over you. My heart is hurting because of what you are going through. It hit me in the gut when I saw this on Rosa’s Facebook . I to received 8 weeks of chemo in 2010. I am reaching out to offer you strength and hope. I want to share a part of my story with you how I am now living a quality life I never thought possible back then. A friend I had not been in contact with for a couple of years called out of the blue after I finished my treatments . She told me about a technology that had been developed from a new field of science. It empowers our cells to work at their optimal level. I would love to speak with you about this and how it turned my life around.
    God bless you !!!!

  32. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    Dear Lokita, I do not know you and have seen a post on Facebook…I am so sorry for your pain. I send you love and healing. You are an incredible woman. Much love and prayers to you.

  33. Michele
    Michele says:


    I am heartbroken about Steve. He was beyond a good man and a great loss to society as a whole, not to mention the countless numbers whose lives he’s touched. I was blessed to know him.

    Please forgive the publicness of this message; however, I had no other way to contact you. I hope you are aware that there is a low-methionine diet that tremendously improves the outcomes of women with triple negative breast cancer. I’m assuming you are well taken care of by your oncology team; if not, I highly recommend you speaking with them about implementing such a diet. Steve would want your heart to go on.


  34. sophia
    sophia says:

    It all seems like a dream to me, I never thought that I will live on earth before the year runs out. I have been suffering from a deadly disease (HIV) for the past 5 years now; I had spent a lot of money going from one places to another, from churches to churches, hospitals have been my home every day residence. Constant checks up have been my hobby not until this faithful day, I was searching through the internet, I saw a testimony on how DR.Antogia helped someone in curing his HIV disease, quickly I copied his email which is antogiatraditionalhealer@yahoo. com just to give him a test I spoke to him, he asked me to do some certain things which I did, he told me that he is going to provide the herbal cure to me, which he did, then he asked me to go for medical checkup after some days after using the herbal cure, I was free from the deadly disease, he only asked me to post the testimony through the whole world, faithfully am doing it now, please brothers and sisters, he is great, I owe him in return. if you are having a similar problem he is the best to seek for help.

  35. Steve Hannon
    Steve Hannon says:

    I just found out about your losing Steve and your journey through cancer. Please know that I am sending all the love and healing energy I can. I want to thank you deeply for all of the wonderful things you and Steve shared with my partner and I. We were and are deeply moved by your presence in our world. Thank you so much for your courage and love.

    Much Love and many Blessings,

    • Lokita Carter
      Lokita Carter says:

      Thank you, Margi <3 Coco is doing very well. She is being wrapped in love, love and more love. Together we are an excellent healing team for each other. Plus, she is allowed to sleep in my bed and sit on the sofa, so life for Coco is good. Coco is very much alive and vibrant, and a perfect reminder for me to be present with the here and now and celebrate being alive.

  36. Susan Pascal Beran
    Susan Pascal Beran says:

    Dearest Lokita,
    I live in Fairfax, one hill over from where your beloved Steve left this hill. I know you know this, that evil often looks for great light as it falls into the abyss~
    Your story has so resonated with me in so many ways- I lost my first husband many years ago to cancer, but he fought it valiantly using alternative methods at a time these methods were demonized by the ‘conventional’ authorities (1980’s). His success was so remarkable that it made many of the young doctors at Stanford at the time take note of the things he was doing, including consuming a lot of cruciferous vegetables, and one wrote a ground breaking piece for the JAMA. He survived up, marrying the two worlds of unorthodox and orthodox up until strong radiation on his final tumor metastasized it and flooded his body with toxins.

    So I have gone through cancer with him for 6 years and then the loss of my beloved, but not by so violent a means as your bereavement.
    I know, as you say, one is not one’s body, and the soul lives on- although this gives me some comfort, it was intensely painful not having him with me in this realm. I so relate to your story.

    Another way I feel very connected to you is this hill. This is my soul home, and it was so wounded by what happened, many of us felt it and still do. Then to find that your shrine was taken- I cried hearing that news as well.

    So excuse my rambling, I am writing by way of proposing a healing ceremony here. There are several of us on “nextdoor’ who would like to reach out to you and hold you in comfort. I proposed it, then they gave me the link to this blog- beautifully and courageously written, thank you. We thought we would like to have a candle light vigil on a day of your choosing to come and support you on this sacred hill. Or perhaps we could coordinate with your friends? Anyway, what I am so awkwardly proposing is that we want to support you in whatever way you need. My instinct is to reach out to you, surround you with all these loving people and pray with you- I know at times that is what I needed. I also know that the grieving process (and all the other spiritual processes you are going through (!)) are highly personal and individual- so it is completely up to you to say what you need.
    In any case, know that I among others am here as your family, and we have all been deeply affected by you and Steve’s trials here. Even if you just want to go for a walk with someone sometime, (although I have to leave town next week for a week) but otherwise, I am here this week and then after that.
    Much love,
    your sister,

    “In the stillest of waters is the moon’s reflection the moon”
    zen cohen

  37. Spencer Franklin
    Spencer Franklin says:

    Dear Lokita,

    We have not met, thou I have admired the services that you and Steve have gifted through your workshops. I so appreciate your writing, your brave heart and the determination you have for loving yourself and others infinitely. I concur with your belief that we are not our bodies, and even so, we are blessed for your existence in yours. Sending you prayers for your continued recovery such that you have sustained health, connections and happiness.

    Much Love Sister,


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