CSN Login
Members Online: 4

You are here

Back to Reality

MAliceR's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2015

Hi all, 

We just returned from 6 weeks in Costa Rica. This was our 3rd trip and  it really has become my happy place. It is a bit like Peter Pan running away to Never Never Land. There is no cancer there. No tests, blood work, scans, waiting for results and the fear that never seems to go away. Come October I will have "survived" 6 years. Even with 2 recurrences since my 1st diagnosis and all that entails, I am so grateful for quality time with my family and friends and to be well enough to spend time in my little piece of Costa Rica paridise. We arrived back on Sunday and on Tuesday I was in my oncologists office and having blood work and a CEA test. Back to cancer reality. But let me share a little of our Costa Rica adventure. 

As I said, this was our 3rd extended stay. We have made friends down there, found a church and find the pura vida life so relaxing and stress free. The sun is beautiful. The day consists of spending time in nature, an afternoon dip in the pool and for me, lots of drawing and painting. I did some writing this time too, which was quite therapudic. After my 1st diagnosis I had 8 months of chemo. I was left with some pretty severe neuropathy in my hands and feet. I am so fortunate that my oncologist referred me to accupunture. I had 38 sessions and got all the feeling back in my hands and almost all of it back in my feet. I have a tiny bit of numbness in my toes if my feet get cold and that is about it. Good thing because in Costa Rica we hike. Up to the tom of waterfalls, across suspension bridges and through jungle. Every adventure is a gift and blessing. 

This trip we journeyed through 3 provinces, traveled to a point where the roads end. Off roaded for 16 miles then took a boat up rivers and through canals to a tiny town on the Carribean side of the country where you can only get to by boat. We then hiked through the forest. We saw so much beauty. It made me feel so blessed to be alive. 

I have been freezing since we returned to Portland and the gray wet raining Pacific Northwest. 

I never want to come back. Honestly if I didn't have to come back for medical tests I would stay for months. 

I guess where I am going with this is to share how important it is to live life to the fullest. Whatever you can and whatever that means to you. 

I am going to try and post a couple pictures. But somehow I never seem to do it right. But I will try.



And finally me in my favorite place on earth


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5399
Joined: Jan 2013

especially the last one.  So good to see you. 

How wonderful for you to be able to get away to your haven. My haven is five miles out of town. Its all I can manage, but it definitely has become my healing place. I agree with you; we all need to find our healing place, and it doesn't have to be exotic, or even nature, as nature may not be our thing, but it has to be something. 

How sad that one of the first things you had to do was get going on your tests. I hope all of the results are wonderful and you celebrate with something equally as wonderful. 


JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Good for you! How wonderful to have such a fabulous trip!! And its great to see you smiling! Memories like this are so important to have. I so hope everythings stays good in your medical situation. I didn't want to use the 'c' word.


traci43's picture
Posts: 775
Joined: Jul 2007

YOu look great!  Thanks for sharing.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Which part of Costa Rica is it?

MAliceR's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2015

We usually stay down in the Guanacaste province. Our little town is Playa Hermosa (there are 2 Playa Hermosas in Costa Rica so it is important to look for the one in Guanacaste) . It is along the coast and about 20 miles from Liberia the biggest city in the area and where the international airport for that part of the country is. We use that as our home base then travel all around the area. This trip we also traveled up to San Jose, which is the captiol and then up to the Carribean Coast. In our 3 trips we have now seen pretty much all the different provinces of Costa Rica and while they are all fabulous we love our little sleepy Playa Hermose, Guanacaste town the best. God Willing we will get to return again and again. 


ThomasH's picture
Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2016

Thanks for sharing your trip, that place looks so amazing! I might be forced to try out someplace like that myself. My last couple vacations have been all theme parks and roller coasters. (I love roller coasters) But hiking through nature sounds like it would be really relaxing too!

Great pictures.

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1296
Joined: Feb 2015

Well used to a bit when I was a kid :) So cool that you went back and had a great time.  I went away for a week and just got back.  First vacation since my DX two and a half years ago.  It was great not to think about cancer as much (I have biopsy coming up so it nagged a tiny bit now and again Frown)

Glad the photo posting worked for you.  Any new zipline ones? Laughing

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1120
Joined: Aug 2013

I'm sold, where do we sign-up? You look happy, and CR looks beautiful, however I'd settle for Portland over Beaumont this week. It's got to be hitting 100 degrees outside, and I've too much to do to avoid the heat. Anyway, I'm glad you have your happy place MAlice...................Dave

Phil64's picture
Posts: 837
Joined: Apr 2012

Thanks for sharing your story and beautiful pictures. I am 2 1/2 years NED and have neuropathy in my feet. I didn't know acupuncture might help with that. I really need to look into this. I sometimes have pain in my feet too but mostly numbness and throbbing. Maybe acupuncture could help? 

MAliceR's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2015

I truly believe acupunture is the only reason I am up walking and have feeling in my hands and feet. I started it during my 9th Oxaliplatin and Xeloda treatment. I was ready to give up since neuropathy was up to my knees and my hands were numb in places up to my wrist. My oncologist refered me to acupunture and I continued it for 38 sessions. By the end I was left with very little pain or numbness. I have to be careful of the shoes I wear. They have to fit well, be flats and have support and I have to walk a bit every day to keep my nerves working but my feet came back really well. My hands came back pretty mmuch all the way no issues with them at all unless they get really cold. But that could be age more than anything. I go in every 6 months just to get an acupunture adjustment, mostly because I like the stress relief it gives me. I would give it a try if I were you. It won't make it worse!


PamRav's picture
Posts: 295
Joined: Jan 2017

for your beautiful post.  How nice to take a break from all our symptoms and scans and worries.  

2 days prior to my being dx with stageIV CRC I was on a trip to British Columbia skiing at whistler/ Blackcomb. I wish I was tech savvy enough to post a few of those photos   


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5399
Joined: Jan 2013

I use Photobucket, but I bet there are other sites out there. 


mysweetheartrusty's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2017

loved the toucan shot!

Subscribe to Comments for "Back to Reality"