The Utter Heartbreak of Defeat


Well, it’s official. We lost the battle against CANCER. My dad, the best dad in the world, died on Monday, March 11th, at 6:30 in the morning.

We (my mom and I) tried all he would allow. Cannabis oil, made the Rick Simpson way, was the alternative treatment of choice, and we had so much hope, but my dad was too afraid to opt-out of chemotherapy as an option. He believed it would save him, even though the doctor told him it would not! That it would only prolong his life (which it most certainly did NOT). We tried to explain to Dad that in his case, stage 4 lung cancer, chemo was the worst choice! He was just too afraid and believed in Doctors-as-God too much.

I feel strongly that the chemo not only sped up his demise by growing the tumors at an alarming rate, but it built a toxic wall against the hemp. The hemp plant may be strong and all-powerful, but it doesn’t stand a chance against chemotherapy. Chemo is just too strong, too toxic, and too poisonous to compete with. I urge people who wish to try this alternative to ONLY do it without chemo if you hope to cure yourself of the disease. Do it FIRST, while there might be time to try it as a successful cure before ever infusing yourself with the poison the pharmaceutical companies make so much money on. That is all it is. It killed my father. He is dead because of cancer, sure, but he died FAST and HARD, and he SUFFERED IMMENSELY because of the chemo-therapy that was supposed to extend his life. It made him sick, it spread and grew the cancer, and it killed him.

I know this is true for a few reasons:

1) We started him on hemp oil four days after his first chemo infusion. He went on to have a second infusion (while remaining on 1 grams/day of the oil) and had a scan to check progress. The tumors had all shrunk by 30% across the board. AMAZING findings. Not typical or possible after only two chemo infusions. Chemo is cumulative… that’s the point. That’s why you have so many infusions, then stop because your body can’t handle any more.

2) Since chemo is cumulative, and everyone will tell you that, by the third infusion, the wall was too thick and strong, and the hemp only worked to quell side effects of the poison. It could no longer fight for him. It could no longer take those tumors down. Chemo took over and accelerated his demise, grew the tumors three-fold, and made him suffer worse. 100%. No doubt.

3) I feel that our trip to Europe (part of my dad’s bucket list) also played a role in this. He seemed MUCH WORSE once over there. And even worse than that when we returned. I feel the air travel did something wrong, (the altitude, maybe?) accelerated something already looming… Tumor size increased more after that. Now he was in constant, excruciating pain, that nothing helped. No amount of opiates, no amount of hemp oil, NOTHING. ='(

4) He had surgery to cut out some of the large tumor on his spine (C3-C7). It seemed like when they cut into him, the floodgates broke loose completely and he never recovered from a surgery that was supposed to relieve his intense pain. He died in 9 days. We barely got him home in time. My mom and I were with him the last 9 hours of his life, and those were the most traumatic for all of us. He suffered incredibly while we stood helpless at his bedside.

My heart is broken. We lost the fight. If only he’d not been afraid to try the hemp on its own. I believe the 7-in-10-cured-with-hemp-oil statistics. It was working for him based on the initial shrinkage and I will never forget that. If I get cancer, it’s the thing I will try first and foremost. But I couldn’t convince Dad. And I am so broken about it. Why didn’t he try? Why was he so afraid to believe? Why did he think it was the chemo that shrunk the tumors in the beginning? No way! It absolutely was not.

But I did the best I could… I hope this information / experience will help someone else find the best therapy option if a loved one gets the dreaded diagnosis. When the cancer is first detected, immediately get on the hemp oil, radically change your diet and look for community resources to do so (we had one called The Ceres Community Project, but even that my Dad wasn’t wiling to do because he didn’t like the food). Oh, Dad… how I miss you.

With the heaviest heart I’ve ever known,


Cancer vs. Cannabis Oil – Part 3

The news isn’t good.  Not what I expected and hoped it would be at this point in the journey.

As I reported initially, after one month on hemp oil, my father’s tumors all shrunk 30%.  That was amazing and wonderful, and the prognosis felt great.  However, at that point, the chemo, which I was not successful in convincing him to cut out of the treatment protocol, hadn’t had a chance to infiltrate his system to the point of a full-scale invasion on his body.  Ask anyone and they will tell you: CHEMO IS CUMULATIVE.  Meaning, it gets stronger and works “better” after a few infusions so that it can effectively build up in your system.  Well, I believe it created a wall/barrier against the oil and stopped it from working it’s full benefit on the disease.  It still helped him in many ways, but now the tumors have all GROWN.  Not what we wanted to hear.  Not at all.  What a crush.

I knew full well the chemo was going to cause problems, but I still hoped for a miracle.  Especially after the initial report.  After all, our oncologist said outright that the chemo treatments would only prolong his life, not save it! But at what expense?!  He looks and feels a thousand percent worse than he did before starting it, and it is not doing a damn thing for him!  Everyone in the medicinal cannabis scene said: NO CHEMO – ONLY HEMP OIL!  I know.  I know!  Believe me, I know!  And I have become blue in the face trying to explain that to him (beg him not to do it and only do the hemp; to let it try to work as it’s supposed to). But you cannot convince someone who is terrified of dying and believes 110% in a doctor’s role as god that he cannot do what the doctor/god tells him to do.  My dad is afraid if he doesn’t do chemo he will die.  What he doesn’t comprehend is that if he continues on chemotherapy, he will die.  ='(  I wish he would listen.  Especially now.  I believe with all my heart that the only way he will survive is to give the oil a true, full shot at that 70% success rate.  Much higher than chemo’s success rate ever was or ever will be.

The (sort of) good news in all this is he will continue to take the hemp oil, but he will no longer be getting chemo infusions.  Instead, he is a candidate for a lighter form: a daily pill.  I’m hoping that this will be less strong, so much so that the hemp will reverse the role and take over and shrink those fuckers again.  We will see.  Only time will tell.

Cancer vs. Cannabis Oil – Part 2

Quick update:

Amazing news!!! My dad had his PET scan done just before his third chemo infusion.  At the point it was done, he had undergone two treatments of chemo and one full month (+ a few days) on hemp oil.

His tumors have shrunk more than 30%!!!

The oncologist even dared to say, “Could be closer to 40% because we did not get a midway scan and I’m sure the tumors had grown in between scan one in July and this scan two in October.”

We are very optimistic.  We also enrolled my father in something called “The Castle Study,” where they took his biopsied cancer tissue and sent it to a lab to follow my dad’s progress with the chemo they are giving him.  After two treatments, the tissues show no response while my dad’s tumors have shrunk!  What’s that say?  😉  Thank you, cannabis oil!

More to follow…


Cancer vs. Cannabis Oil – Part 1

It’s been a long while since I posted. The reason is quite simple: life. Mine has been bombarded with ill-fortune. And instead of remaining silent, because I’m not the silent type, I’m going to document it here for all to see.

I’ve decided to weave in real-life, non-fiction posts of life according to Gianna Perada, along with my regular writing-related posts. It’ll make my blog much more interesting, don’t you think? 😉

So what’s been keeping me away? My dad. My parents and I are very close. They are still married (shocker, I know, in this day and age) and very much in love. Dad has been diagnosed with Stage 4 NSCLC (non-small-cell lung cancer) which is metastatic (spread to) his cervical lymph node and brain. Not a good scene at all. He’s only 63 and was NOT sick, really, before all this happened.

How’d they find it then, you ask? Well, his general practitioner was a quack. Seriously. That man kept throwing pills at my dad like candy, and finally there were issues and counteractions that landed my dad in the hospital for an emergency MRI to try to figure out why he was seeing double and walking/feeling funny. In that scan they discovered “lesions” on his chest and brain.

After what seemed like FOREVER and a million tests and doctor visits and consultations with said doctors later (a full month plus passed during this waiting period), a diagnosis was made. It would be a couple of weeks STILL before they ever started treatment. What was with all the waiting? They did TWO CT scans on my dad (a man with cancer) in about 10 days. They opted to do a third when my mother stepped in and forbade it. Okay, fine, they said, we’ll do an MRI instead. Thank you. Ugh. Keep your radiation to an only-if-absolutely needed minimum, please.

In all this waiting and stressing and freaking out (for all of us), I turned to my own research in alternative medicines. I’ve always been one to try alternative or natural remedies first, but I’m not stupid; I KNOW that cancer is the real deal and can be fatal (and is a death sentence more often than not). But there was something I heard about in my earlier research: Hemp (Cannabis) Oil. Not to be confused with HempSEED oil in stores. 😉

There is a man named Rick Simpson who started an organization called Phoenix Tears. He (re)discovered this medicine, treated his own melanoma skin cancers successfully (in four days, mind you), and grew, produced, and shared this oil FOR FREE to Canadian residents who came to him seeking help with their serious illnesses (including cancer). After being treated like a criminal for never charging a dime to try and save lives, Rick took to Europe where he is currently living out of a suitcase and fighting the good fight: trying to get this medicine proper recognition so it can be used in the medical field to save 7 in 10 cancer patients, etc. He is doing it for all of us and I think that is just amazing. You can read more about Rick HERE. Produced properly, this oil can cure just about anything, and this is not a new concept. It’s been around for so many years and was used, up until pretty recently, in many medications for various ailments.

Back to my dad. Feeling immense hope with the 70% success rate seen with properly produced cannabis oil, I set out to find my dad the Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). I live in California, which made this a bit easier, and I also carry a MMJ card (as does my dad), so we’re legal to do so (in case you’re wondering). 😉 The first batch I found was through some friends. There was a verbal agreement that since my dad was sick, and this was to be used as medicine and a possible cure for his condition, we would get a reduced “patient” rate. Well, we were given a completely different story when we went to get our second round and the price was going to be jacked way up.

Frustrated beyond belief that anyone would do this to a cancer patient, let alone MY FATHER (I’m a lioness when it comes to protecting the people I love), I was forced to dig really deep for what I needed to continue the path to a potential cure. Luckily, since I am very good at being honest and articulate with my words, I found exactly what I was looking for and some amazing people came out of the woodwork wanting to help us in our fight against cancer!

We purchased a little bit for a patient rate (very reduced) and we also received some free oil. We now have a way to get enough as needed to complete first round, then have another person in Oregon who will help us with a medical card. He will let us make our own there (where it is legal to do so), and dad will always have the medicine he needs to live! I am beyond grateful for the work Rick Simpson has done and the information he has put out there, and also for the medical cannabis community as a whole (not the drug dealers, but the real people that are making the medicine and fighting to get it out there in the public arena). Some people truly care and are not out to make a buck off the sick. NOTHING like what we’re finding at the hospitals where you are infused with poison and your bank accounts emptied by co-pays… and often times, you’re made sicker. Not always, but alarmingly so.

We found that first batch of oil to be pretty weak in comparison to the new oil we got (the real RSO). I hope we didn’t lose too much time on the weaker “street” stuff. Though I also believe it helped build up his tolerance to ingesting it. He is on a gram a day no problem, really, except for sleepiness, which is good for the healing process.

Rick recommends getting a patient slowly up to the tolerance of 1 gram a day as fast as possible, and continuing to take that amount until consuming 60 grams… that’s without any damage from chemo (poison!). Since my dad is a hard-headed, full-blooded, stubborn Sicilian, and believes he should only do what the doctors say, he is going through chemo as well. Ugh. I say “ugh” because at his stage, there is no hope for remission. Our oncologist flat out told us that. The chemo can only extend his life. But at what cost? He feels like SHIT. But, still wants to proceed for a total of four treatments. As much as that kills me, at LEAST he’s open to taking hemp oil as well (and we told his doctor at UCSF and he was totally interested and okay with it — gave us a clear GREEN light, which was a good thing!).

I plan to have my dad take at least 120 grams total over that many days, and then maintenance doses for the rest of his life (just a rice-grain size or so at bedtime). He is up to a gram a day, and we did acquire much stronger, actual RSO, and the difference is apparent. My dad no longer has any neck pain or headaches… and he is no longer spitting blood. (!) He’d been on the weaker oil two weeks, and now the real deal oil for two weeks. He had a PET scan today. I’m very anxious to see if there is any good news yet. My fingers are crossed. I’ll post an update after Friday when we get the results of the scan.

This is a race for a true cure for my dad so that he can remain in our lives in the flesh. Nothing more and nothing less. This is not about “drugs” or getting high (though that is an added benefit for him since it helps him not feel as sick from the horrible chemo!). It is about an old medicine that has been around forever, put on this planet for a reason. A beautiful, miraculous, cure-all plant… I want it with all my heart to save my father’s life.

Stay tuned…

Tour Stop #1: Sassy Book Lovers Interview

I’ll re-post any interviews that happen along the way for my Dark Minds Book Tour, just in case you missed them. But you should really visit the site if you’d like the full experience.  =) They all have giveaways to offer, and some give their review of the book as well.

This interview courtesy of Sassy Book Lovers.  Enjoy!  I’m always quite the candid one. 😉

Q1. What or who inspired you to become a writer?

Early on, I was drawn to paranormal stories and dark twisty movies. My family is full of creative genius; I guess it was always in my blood and there wasn’t one single trigger to get me going on the thought. Although, Blood Life was inspired by a paper I wrote on vampires in junior college. The professor hated my topic and gave me a D, even though it was a great paper. So, I left her class after telling her off and went home to start writing the first draft. 😉

Q2. Who is your favourite Author & what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have many favorite authors. I guess the author that truly inspired me to write about vampires was Anne Rice. Her intricate, romantic, and dark alluring worlds intrigued me. Her way with words really spoke to me and resembled mine (at least I thought so).

Q3. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Letting it be finished. I couldn’t let it go. I kept revising and reediting it. That’s why it took me 15 years from start to finish. That won’t happen with the next book. The first born is always a little special.

Q4. Has the paranormal been something that has always interested you?

Always! Ever since I can remember; even as a little tiny girl.

Q5. What was your favourite chapter to write and why?

I’d say my favorite was the first sex scene between Roman and Alexandria. I am a very passionate person, so writing erotica like that came so naturally and exciting. I’ve toned it way down since the first draft, let me tell you… only because I felt what is there now is enough for that story. Had it been a straight erotica story, I would have left it as it was originally.

Q6. What was the most surprising things you’ve learned in writing your book?

That I can really tell a story from beginning to end! It was such a trip to piece it together, and this particular book, since it was written over the span of 15 years, has undertones that tell the story of my life and growth as a writer and a person. It’s pretty cool if you think about it.

Q7. Do you ever experience writers block?

Yes! Usually when I’m stressed out in my daily life. Stress really affects my writing.

Q8. What is the last book you read?

“Inside the Outside” by Martin Lastrapes. Excellent book!

Q9. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?

My inner witch, Devendra. She’s the bomb. I love everything about her.

Q10. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Exercise. Watch movies. Have coffee/tea with good company. Watch live music. Read. Cuddle.

Q11. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The first thing I wanted to be was a nun (I went to catholic school). That quickly turned into a bus driver (WTF?) and then a veterinarian. Writer came next and stuck. =)

Q12. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Me… Or Madeline Stowe. Or Sherilyn Fenn. Or Monica Bellucci.

Q13. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes, always remain true to yourself. Don’t write for others; write for you. And write with all your heart.

Q14. Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thanks for giving my debut a chance and for your amazing support! More to come, even stronger than the first, so stay tuned! =)

Some quick questions…

Q15. Light or Dark chocolate?


Q16. Sunrise or Sunset?


Q17. Dogs or Cats?


Q18. Tea or Coffee?


Q19. Favorite Colour?


Q20. Favourite Disney movie?

Old Yeller

Blood Life is currently on tour!

Dark Minds Book Tours is currently hosting a 10-stop tour of Blood Life. So far the reviews are very mixed, from a 3-star “sick and twisted” to a 5-star “amazing read!” I’m loving this roller coaster . . . and it’s only day three of 10.  😉

You can find the complete tour schedule here:

Win A Free Digital Copy of BLOOD LIFE!


Because I love to share, and want as many people as possible to read BLOOD LIFE before DEVENDRA is released, I am giving away three digital copies for free! Winner can choose from kindle, ePub, or PDF formats. The entire world is eligible (as long as the winner has an email address).

The only thing(s) you need to do to enter is share this giveaway via twitter, facebook, or blog (reblog) with your own followers, fans, and friends! That’s step one. If you just want to help me spread the word, but don’t need to enter, stop here.

Step two (IMPORTANT FOR ACTUAL ENTRY) is to come back HERE to this blog post and leave a comment letting me know that you’ve shared the news and where! Viola! You’re name goes on my list. 😉 If you only share, that’s wonderful and thank you!! But if you want to enter the contest, you must complete both steps.

I’ll put all entries into a randomizer and pull three lucky names on Friday, July 13th, at midnight. Let’s go!! Spread the word… and thanks for playing.

Blood Life is a vampire/witch thriller full of blood, magic, love, violence, and sex. The witches and vampires of the fictional world of the Spectrum have united and created a race of half-breeds called the Combined. These are very powerful entities, but their race has been threatened by a rogue vampire with very old, powerful blood named Lokee, son of the Great Witch, Devendra. This story is about letting Fate play out, but in all its turmoil, trying to save one woman who will be the key to saving the Combined.

Can the Combined’s strongest adversary form an army to defeat them, or will the power of three keep the race on top? Centered around the lives of four integral characters, Blood Life is a fresh and unique paranormal adventure. Meet Devendra, a powerful witch descended from one of the first lineages; Lokee, her son and worst enemy; Roman, her friend and companion; and Alethea, the key to it all…

Blood Life is a full-length paranormal horror novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal, dark fantasy, horror fiction, witches, vampires, and supernatural horror.

5 of my favorite lesser-known freaky films.

Happy Friday and first day of June! I’m doing another Top 5 list because… well, just because.

I love horror movies. 

Always have, always will. I wish I had a friend that liked horror as much so I could make a regular movie night with them. Instead, I end up watching a lot of them alone because I seem to be the only one in my inner circle that enjoys it. And I’m the weird one. At least that makes for a creepier experience?

I think the first horror film I saw was David Lynch’s Eraserhead. I realize that isn’t necessary categorized as horror, per se, but to a 5- or 6-year-old mind, it’s definitely scary movie quality. I was entirely engrossed by the dancing cornish gamehens that oozed in their hot pan of death. Never ate one again (ever, come to think of it, since I don’t believe I had one prior to turning 5). Although I loved this movie, and it planted a rare seed in my dark little mind, it’s not on this list. I’m sticking to true horror, and my definition of it in this day and age of gore. Gore is cool and fun, but really not all my thing. Don’t misunderstand me, I like it, it’s a natural element of horror, and some of the movies below will have a fair share of gore, but I get annoyed when that’s all the movie focuses on. I’m into TERROR and being terrorized. It’s almost like a good porno. One with a plot that you can get into. Yes, I like good porn, like Behind the Green Door with Marilyn Chambers (also in Rabid, a horror film). But that would be another post entirely. 😉

Maybe I’m just old (not really that old) so my brain is wired differently. For instance, Ichi the Killer was fun, but just way over the I-want-to-get-as-bloody-spurty-good-as-I-can scale. And it didn’t scare me at all. Not one bit. It actually kinda irritated me because I watched it thinking I’d be freaked out. I wasn’t. That said, I like a lot of foreign horror. But my personal favorite all-time American horror movie is The Exorcist. Not surprising. That movie is truly frightening, engaging, and nightmare-inducing for me to this day. I’ve seen it a million times. Even in the womb, as my mother went to see it in the theater with my dad when she was pregnant with me and had to leave half-way through because she was afraid I’d come out possessed. hehe

So here’s my obscure list. Maybe not to all, but to some, I’m sure these will be new and I consider them should-definitely-see’s. And none of them got very good reviews. They’re all in the mid-range. Watch and see what YOU think of them!

#5: Session 9, 2001. Written and directed by Brad Anderson. CREEPY insane asylum ruins where the spirits of the mistreated patients are restless. I don’t think I need to say any more! So very creepy. I loved this movie! Got it for like $3 at a Blockbuster clearance event and so happy I picked it up. The deep scary voice from this movie – actually from the perpetrator – lives in my nightmares now (along with Candyman’s – but he’s not on this list).

#4: Wolf Creek, 2005. Written and directed by Greg Mclean. I’m really into horror films with scenarios of things that really could happen. Slashers are fun, I adore them, but these are the types I really love. Wolf Creek is one of those movies. A group of friends are stranded in the Australian outback. There is no escape! Crazy family catches their scent, makes their “friendly” move to help, and the rest is a fight for survival with little to no means of possible escape. And the killers are brutal and unforgiving. And I’ve heard the outback is a scary place to be stranded as it is. After seeing Wolf Creek, I doubt I’ll ever feel the itch to find out myself. EEK!

#3: The Strangers, 2008. Written and directed by Bryan Bertino. I want more from this director! I loved the pace and talk about feeling like you’re there in the film with them! It was absolutely spine-tingling, the feeling of Liv’s apprehension and terror. Also, the being home alone and terrorized by a senseless violence so deep it stays with you. Example: “Kristen: Why are you doing this to us? Pin-Up Girl: [pause] Because you were home.” That’s the most frightening to me. You never see the killers’ faces, all the more alluring. And one more memorable interaction from the film: “Dollface: [referring to Christian Living pamphlet] Can I have one? Mormon Boy #1: Are you a sinner? Dollface: [after long pause] Sometimes.” Really? Sometimes?! After just slaughtering a couple in their home for no other reason than because they were home. C-H-I-L-L-I-N-G!

#2: The Collector, 2009. Directed by Marcus Dunstan. In the style of an intense torture fest, The Collector does it with… dare I say a fresh, exciting, hooking tone. Yes, I said hooking. Unknown, masked killer enters and successfully boobie traps the home of a family that a construction worker/ex-con has come to rob to help his own family out of a terrible crisis. There are two story lines going on and it is done without confusion. The traps are great. The terror of being held captive emanates through the screen; you really feel like you’re in it. GREAT movie.  And the soundtrack rocks, too. Bonus.

#1: A Tale of Two Sisters, 2003. Written and directed by South Korean director, Jee-woon Kim. This movie is FABULOUS! I can’t rave about it enough. I’m telling you, it is a must-see if nothing else on this list is. It is truly a beautiful, frightening film. The Americans remade it and called it The Uninvited. If I hadn’t loved and seen A Tale of Two Sisters a few times, I may not have realized that was a remake at all.  I don’t believe they make any mention of it as such? Unless I just missed it. But it is undoubtedly the same story with only a few subtle changes. It was okay, but nothing near as good as the original. A true foreign masterpiece. Creepy and chilling to the core. And that is all I’ll say about that one. 😉 And don’t forget to set your subtitles. Dubbing doesn’t do it any justice at all…. and unless you speak Korean, you’ll really miss things without subs. I say this because I gave it to my mom to watch and she didn’t know how to set her DVD player up and thereby watched it in Korean. Then called me to say how scary it was but too bad she couldn’t understand what was happening.  ?!  hehe (Another Honorable Mention by this director is I Saw the Devil.)

Need I say more? If you haven’t seen any of those movies, and you love horror, you really should! Go out and get them. If you have seen them and loved them, can we be horror movie buddies, please? 😉

ENJOY! And please let me know your thoughts / feelings on my choices.  Also feel free to recommend any to me.  I LOVE discovering new, great, otherwise-unknown horror-esque films.

OH, and today is the very last day (for real this time) to get a digital copy of BLOOD LIFE for free for the kindle or kindle app:

Free download of BLOOD LIFE!!

I hate to sound so spammy but it’s true! I’ve decided to offer my novel, Blood Life, for FREE at the Kindle store. Good for only a few days this week… Go get it!! And then review it there after LOVING it. Or just really REALLY enjoying it. 😉 hehe

Kindle version can be read on the Kindle, as well as the Kindle App offered to iPhone and iPad users!

Get it here: – and then PRESS THIS or tweet it or facebook it to your own little space to help me spread the word – offer ends at the witching hour (or a minute before) on June 1st. xoImage