Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards- Please Take a Bow

Elizabeth Edwards was laid to rest Tuesday, December 7, 2010 after a brave battle with breast cancer. However, some people are more focused on her scandalous marriage and messy divorce than her accomplishments as a mother and woman in the public eye. Bloggers speculate on whether Elizabeth will be remembered as a fighter or a victim.
Personally, I will remember her as one of my heroes. Even in the face of extreme adversity, Elizabeth Edwards always presented herself as a classy lady. She was aware of her cancer while her husband ran for office but reassured women all over the world that she would be fine, kept a smile on her face, cared for her family and put her husband’s career before her own needs. Those are the actions of a devoted mate—a winner.

Elizabeth and I were diagnosed at the same time with the same type of breast cancer. That is where the similarities stop. While Elizabeth’s husband deserted and then embarrassed her with extramarital activities that resulted in a love-child, my husband quit work to stay home and care for me. This type of love and devotion is not unusual. I believe it is the same devotion Elizabeth would have displayed to any member of her family.
Two days before Elizabeth’s death, a close friend or mine was also laid to rest after succumbing to triple negative breast cancer. She too had lost a son and died in the home of her ex-husband from whom she had been divorced for years. Her needs became his focus. He cared for her in her last days and was her devoted friend to the bitter end. My point is: do not judge all men by Elizabeth’s ex-husband. There are wonderful, devoted mates, ex-husbands, and friends in this world. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Edwards did not marry one of them.

When someone is going through a life threatening illness, they must choose their battles. Elizabeth chose to concentrate on surviving and providing for her children in the face of her possible demise. She encouraged a positive relationship between her children and her ex-husband rather than driving a wedge between them. Their future was more important to her than her husband’s past. I don’t consider that the actions of a weak victim. I consider them the wise choices of a strong woman.
Elizabeth was a fighter who won the hearts of people as she bared her soul, and shared her insights as a single mother undergoing treatment during challenging times. And, she did it without publically whining or playing the blame game. I believe she realized that life was too short and precious to waste it on negative behavior—another sign of a winner.

Life is a bed of roses. Roses do have thorns. Elizabeth had her share of scratches.

I have always lived by the saying, “How someone treats me is their karma. How I respond is mine.” Despite insurmountable adversities that included the loss of a child, public humiliation, and TV interviews while battling a painful disease, Elizabeth Edwards always responded to personal questions like a lady.

Please, take a bow Elizabeth Edwards. In my book, you are a winner.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Frankfurt Book Fair

My guest article In online Writer's Digest

Thursday, October 14, 2010


It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Are you aware of Social Security’s COMPASSIONATE ALLOWENCES INITIATIVE?

There are few times in life when someone fighting advanced or recurrent breast cancer can get a break in life, but Early Social Security Compensation Eligibility may give patients that much needed breather.

As a mentor and recurrence breast cancer survivor who fought this disease for ten years, I believe that there is never a good time to be ill. This is especially true during times of financial and economic strife when the burden of medical bills can be overwhelming.

Add job insecurity or loss to the equation and you may be left with many questions and few answers about how to survive the financial burdens of illness. Fortunately, with the help of the many cancer groups with whom I associate, I may have found an answer to one of those questions—Early Social Security Compensation Eligibility.

I know this is now available to specific cancer patients. Are you one of them?

A woman whom I mentor called me to tell me she had applied over the phone for Early Social Security Compensation Eligibility. She used the information I had given her and that is now available in this article. A few weeks later when she checked her savings account, money from Social Security had been directly wired to the account. Many of her troubles were over.

“I don’t have to worry about my bills or returning to work when I am still too weak and unable to do my job. I can’t believe how easy this was,” she said. I was thrilled for her. Anything easy while dealing with breast cancer is a blessing.

According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security has implemented a Compassionate Allowances initiative to expedite the process of disabilities claims for medical conditions so severe enough to meet Social Security standards.

About half of the initial list of covered conditions are cancers: acute leukemia, CML (blast phase), stage 3 or 4 astrocytoma, pediatric brain, esophageal, gallbladder, gleoblastoma multiforme, breast, inflammatory breast, liver, mantle cell lymphoma, pancreatic, mesotheloma, salivary, and small cell (of the lung, colon, ovary, prostate, uterus) cancers. Also included are metastic, inoperable or recurrent cases of breast, adrenal, bladder, bone, head and neck, kidney, colon, nonsmall cell lung, ovarian, small intestine, stomach and ureter cancer.

Compassion Allowances is the second piece of the agency’s two-track, fast-track system for certain disability claims. Once Compassionate Allowances and the agency’s Quick Disability Determination process are combined and fully implemented cases for as many as 250, 000 people will be decided in an average of six to eight days.

During my battle with cancer, my husband quit work, stayed at home to care for me and we lived off of our savings while I went through treatment. Although the Compasionate Allowences Initiative Act was unavailable for me at that time, fortunately, it is now available to you.

If you are suffering from advanced or other cancers listed above, check to see if you are eligible for Early Social Security Compensation. This is not a hand-out. You earned it.

To read more about what is going on with Compassionate Allowances go to and the Press Releases at or
Mark Lassiter, Press Officer 410-965-8904

About the Author- Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos has penned SURVIVING CANCERLAND She is a phone counselor for the R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation, a mentor for WE CAN, a women’s self help group on Cape Cod, a contributor to Cape Women On Line Magazine, Twitter’s ezine c4women and a volunteer for many cancer organizations and online cancer groups. She is currently working on her second book, SURVIVING RECURRENCE. You can follower her @ website, @, @

6 Things I Learned At The Frankfurt Book Fair

When I landed in Frankfurt, Germany, my birthplace as an Army-brat, the same dreary weather greeted me that I had left in Boston, MA. However, when I walked though the doors to the Frankfurt Book Fair,aka FBF, the overall feeling was “contagious excitement.” 7,539 exhibitors from 111 countries with 3,000 events and 100 publishing companies were busy assembling their booths. I compared it to the 2010 New York Book Exp America, (aka BEA) I had attended in June. According to the BEA website, it had hosted 21,919 people in attendance and over 29,000 industry professionals. The Frankfurt Book Fair looked ten times larger.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is described as the biggest book and media fair in the world. It consisted of multiple interconnected building filled with languages, flags, multilingual advertisements and the hustle and bustle of fast deals. Its enormity stole my breath.

I quickly discovered that most books published by conventional publishing houses had their own International Rights Agents working the deals. However, I was attending with my self-published husband who was looking to delve into the international market. Could this hurt his chances of getting published by a US company? I emailed my agent at the Scovil, Galen and Ghosh Literary Agency in New York, which has an International Rights Agent. He emailed me back with some interesting insights.

In general, selling the foreign rights to the book would not harm the possibility of selling it to a US publisher. In fact if it were to generate significant sales in one or more countries abroad it would enhance the possibilities of being acquired by a publisher in the US.

However, there is one drawback. Some publishers like to protect their "investment" by acquiring world rights to a book (and thereby sharing significantly in any revenue generated abroad). If that possibility were removed, it likely would lessen a US publisher’s level of interest.

My husband had been in contact with his International Rights Agent from International Rights Inc. in Austin, Texas, months before the FBF. While they scurried from meeting to meeting, I took in the sights, sounds and information.
By the end of the third day, I had learned 6 important things about the Frankfurt Book Fair, especially for self-published books.

1) Get an International Agent before you go to the FBF. It will be almost impossible to find one there. Most agents in attendance already had clients and had done the groundwork required to ensure success.

2)It is very important to have your International Agent do research and set up meetings months in advance of the Fair. With such a high level of network taking place, serendipitous meetings are not likely to happen.

3 Go with a clear purpose in mind and a game plan on how to implement it. The scope and pace of the meetings leaves less time for “chit-chat networking.” Venders are too busy to speak to anyone without an appointment.

4)Don’t take or send books. No one wants to carry them. Planes limit baggage sizes and weights. Have everything available in PDF files, put presentations on DVDs, print websites, and other pertinent information on post card sized handouts to present with personal business cards.

5)When addressing venders, speak in your native language. Most of them spoke English and had a translator present.

6)Network, network, network, quickly and efficiently. This Fair is BEA on steroids.

One of the differences between the BEA and FBF was that the booths were less about selling books and more about selling international rights. People were much more compartmentalized and unaware of attending Agents or Acquisition Editors.

Although Book Expo America and Frankfurt Book Fair share similarities, FBF’s difference is best described as; bigger park, faster rides. So, wear walking shoes and have fun.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010



I am sharing this only with my smart friends. I could not figure it out. My first thought was wrong and I had to look at the answer.

See if you can figure out what these seven words all have in common?

1. Banana
2. Dresser
3. Grammar
4. Potato
5. Revive
6. Uneven
7. Assess

Are you peeking or have you already given up?

Give it another try....
Look at each word carefully. You'll kick yourself when you discover the answer. This is so cool.....

No, it is not that they all have at least

2 double letters....

Let me know if you found the answer - I didn't!

Answer is below!


In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter, place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word. Did you figure it out? No? Then send this to more people and stump them as well. Then, you'll feel better too.

My sister-n-law sent me this e-mail and it was so true and beautiful I'm sharing it with you. In these busy times, staying in touch can be difficult but not impossible, and emails can make it easier. so the next time someone forwards you an email, see it as a sign of friendship and pass on the love. Just delete all the names that were ever attached to keep everyone's mailbox clean.

A man and his dog were walking along a road.
The man was enjoying the scenery,
when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years.
He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road.

It looked like fine marble..

At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

"This is Heaven, Sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed.

There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book...

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump," said the man.

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," he answered.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said.

"The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Soooo. Now you see, sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding stuff to us without writing a word. Maybe this will explain it.

When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? You forward emails.

When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes.

When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how.... you forward stuff.

A 'forward' lets you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for.

So, next time if you get a 'forward', don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile.

You are welcome at my water bowl anytime.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


CNN News predicted that Earl’s eye would touch the edge of Nantucket and Cape Cod would begin to feel the effects by 8:00pm. My lawn furniture and potted herbs were safely stored in the garage. Now there was nothing left to do but wait and watch the local Cape Cod televised hurricane reports. The phone interrupted the latest forecast.

“Do you and Peter want to come over for a walk on the beach with us and watch Earl come in?” my friend June asked. My first reaction was to say, “Are you out of your mind?” But, then I thought about this opportunity of a lifetime— an incredible experience—a Cape Cod Style Hurricane Party. And, June had baked a Maine Wild Blueberry pie for the occasion.

I ran down to the basement, pulled my Aqua Socks from my scuba fins and grabbed two yellow hooded boating slickers. While we drove, I wondered if perhaps I should have taken the matching snorkel set in case we were blown into the ocean by the high wind. “Don’t be ramose,” I chided myself. “People have Hurricane Parties all the time and live to tell about them.”“Didn’t the news say this was a level 4 hurricane,” I asked my husband.

“Yeah, This is gonna be wicked pisser!” Peter answered. He was a native Bostonian. Nor’easters, the counter clockwise swirling Typhoons that Stephen King wrote about, didn’t even scare him.

“Yeah, it’ll be fun.” I whispered with less enthusiasm.

“Here are our travelers,” June giggled handing us drinks at the door for the short walk to the beach. “They’re virgin *Dark’n Stormys—perfect for the occasion.” Our drinks were non-alcoholic organic Ginger Beer—without the dark rum. We donned our slickers, pulled up our hoods, and tied them over the zippers for protection against the growing wind, then headed for the SUVs parked along Yellow Jacket Beach. Their lights shined toward the oncoming storm and reflected off the white caps. It was definitely a dark and stormy night. Then we turned and headed toward a different set of lights illuminating Red Jacket Beach. The air was hot and balmy. Despite wearing shorts, I began to perspire in my jacket.

Local Channel 5 news crews filmed the oncoming storm from their ocean view rooms. We raised our glasses in a salute. The crew waved back. Then they cut the lights and packed up their equipment to leave. “We’ll be on the news tonight,” June said. “Too bad we won’t recognize ourselves in all this garb.” The intermittent rain bouncing off our jackets sounded like tiny drum rolls and felt more like being spit on by the god Poseidon than pelted on by a storm.

We had to turn our backs to the wind to drink and speak. Facing it felt like sticking my head out of a car window traveling at sixty miles per hour. I couldn’t breathe. But, the swirling powder-fine white sand gave us no reprieve. It grated against my teeth whenever I smiled and felt like a swarm of mosquitoes against my legs. We continued our trek toward the far end of the beach. Another row of motorists watched the storm from the shelter of their cars while a group of tourists danced in the surf.

We sat on a bench and watched seagulls fly against the wind. “Why are those silly birds flying rather than hunkering down somewhere?” I said June. “Maybe they are wondering why we silly humans are sitting on this bench rather than hunkering down inside the Inn.” She answered. We drank to that. As the waves broke closer to the shoreline, my Dark’n Stormy had waves breaking on its surface—a sure sign that it was time to leave.

We headed for the Red Jacket Bar. The CNN crew entered for a late bite and told us about their injuries incurred while filming in Bosnia. “A mortar landed beside our truck and I needed 105 stitches. I don’t have full mobility in my arm yet, but, oh well. We’re heading back to NY, now. Not much of a storm to capture on film.”

“ Let’s go back to my place and have some pie,” June said. We all jumped up, zipped up and headed for home.

By the time we ate our pie, Earl had downgraded to a Tropical Storm and was heading out to sea toward Nova Scotia. Thank goodness my first hurricane party became the Hurricane That Didn’t Party on Ol’ Cape Cod. We celebrated with another piece of pie and a real *Dark’n Stormy.

*Dark 'n Stormy is the unofficial national drink of Bermuda. Gosling owns the trademark on the actual recipe:

2 oz Gosling's® Black Seal rum
4 oz ginger beer

Serve over ice with fresh lime.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Summer and grilling go together like peanut and butter. Delicious foods grilled to perfection and served outdoors with loved ones are the beginning of treasured life-long memories. However, meeting everyone’s food requirements or restrictions can be tricky. However, my GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD can rise to the occasion. Freshness need not be synonymous with expensive at local Farmer’s Markets.
One of the things I look forward to while extending my summer by wintering in Rancho Mirage, California is the SWAP MEEET/FARMER’S MARKET held every weekend in the parking lot of the College Of The Desert on the corner of Monterey Avenue and Highway 111. The transformation begins at 5:00am as the lot blooms into a huge, colorful high-end Flea Market that includes an incredible Farmer’s Market. Local exotic, fresh, and dried fruits such as dates, baked breads, prepared foods like sweet corn tamales, and fresh vegetables are unloaded from the back of family and farm trucks and displayed on tented tables that shade them from the intense desert sun. Some venders accept credit cards but most prefer checks or cash. By 2:00 pm the tents begin to be disassembled and the market place once again becomes a parking lot.
I love salads. However, some of my friends have health issues such as Diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease that limits the consumption of raw vegetables or, as my good friend Petronelle says in her strong British accent, “anything with pips.” She describes pips as small seeds or nuts that can cause inflammation in the intestines. Digesting raw salad can also present challenges that cooked salad can alleviate.
My recipe for GRILLED SALAD is one that everyone can enjoy. It can be made “pip” free, prepared ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator or served hot from the grill. If a grill is not available it can be sautéed in a pan with the garlic. It’s quick, simple, healthy and delicious. Change it into a seasonal salad by adding grilled local fruit such as pears, apples or peaches. These can add color and pizzazz. The possibilities for this salad are endless.

Ingredience: serves 4 Preperation time: 7 minutes
2 heads of Romaine Lettuce, cleaned, dried, and cut length wise.
4 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp chopped garlic 1 small opinion cut into rings
½ cup Crumbled blue cheese
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste
1.) Brush cut Romaine lettuce on both sides with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray) and place flat side down on hot grill for 30 seconds on each side. Turn once.

2.) Add onions to grill and cook until desired consistency.

3.) While lettuce and onions are grilling sautéed garlic in remaining olive oil. (pine nuts can be added and toasted )

4.) Place grilled lettuce flat side up on plate, cover with cooked onions.
5.) Drizzle with garlic and oil, vinegar, and blue cheese. (and toasted pine nuts)
6.) Serve hot or cold.
If you enjoyed my article on food and travel read more and follow me @
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Knots Prayer

Someone sent this to me and it seemed really appropriate to share.

The Knots Prayer
Dear God:
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
The can nots and the do nots
That I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots,
May nots,
Might nots that may find
a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots,
Would nots and
Should nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
My heart and my life all of the ‘am nots’
That I have allowed to hold me back,
Especially the thought
that I am not good enough.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


What is the big difference between http and https? The big secret is in the little "S" that means so much! This little computer tip could save you much grief.

Ordering products and doing business on line with credit has become a daily norm. We've all seen the URLs that come with many of the transactions, but how important are they and do they hold any secrets that we should know about? Yes, they do and the secret is all about "S" for security.

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transport Protocol.
The S (big surprise)stands for "Secure". If you visit a website or webpage,
and look at the address in the web browser, it will likely begin with the
following: http://.

This means that the website is talking to your browser using the regular
'unsecure' language. In other words, it is possible for someone to
"eavesdrop" on your computer's conversation with the website. If you fill
out a form on the website, someone might see the information you send
to that site.

This is why you never ever enter your credit card number in a http website!
But if the web address begins with https:// that basically means your
computer is talking to the website in a secure code that no one can
eavesdrop on. So why is this is so important?

If a website ever asks you to enter your credit card information, you should
automatically look to see if the web address begins with https://. ; If it
doesn't, there's no way you should ever enter sensitive information like a
credit card number, PIN, Social Security #, etc.

So, the next time you do online business, look for the little "s" that has a big job. Knowing the difference may save you from grief by keeping your transactions secure.


A friend sent me this joke and whether or not I agree doesn't matter as much as the fact that it is darned funny. Doctors one-upping each other. Reality Medicine?

> > A Japanese doctor said, "Medicine in my country is so advanced that we took the kidney out of one man, put it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks."
> >
> > A German doctor said, "That's nothing, we can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks."
> >
> > A British doctor said, "In my country, medicine is so advanced that we can take half of a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have them both looking for work in two weeks."
> >
> > A Chicago doctor, not to be outdone said, "You guys are way behind. We took a man with no brains out of Chicago , put him in the White House, and now half the country is looking for work."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



The object of the outline in Part I of the marketing proposal was to build a good foundation for Part II. The goal of Part II of the proposal is to expand on the outline by describing, adding names, details, and statistics. They should work together and complement each other. Think of Part I as the skeleton and Part II as the skin and organs. Agents and editors can glace at what is important to them in the outline in Part I and then find the details in the information below it in Part II. I have used samples from my proposal as an example.

The market for SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing is every person or family touched by this epidemic health crisis. It is particularly aimed at people just beginning their foray with treatment. A large secondary market for my book is the alternative medicine, metaphysical, spiritual, religious, and holistic communities. I have also found that health-care professionals—whether doctors, nurses, or technicians—are fascinated by this story even if they are personally skeptical. The book deals with the intuitive side of healing, a topic women in particular will readily understand. Book sale statistics state that 78 percent of all books sold worldwide are bought by women for themselves and as gifts for other women, especially health and self-help books. My book directly meets the requirements for high-volume sales.

Promotional Possibilities:
I am willing and able to take an aggressive position in helping to promote my book once it is published. SURVIVING CANCERLAND has international appeal because cancer strikes worldwide. There is a global need for a book such as mine. It is my intention to help the publisher reach this audience and tap into the international market through the Internet, cancer organizations, their libraries, newsletters, and self-help groups, many of whom I have listed in the PINK PAGES Appendix of my book. Many of these sources were made available to me through my work with cancer associations, patients, and caregivers.

Libraries affiliated with the foundations with whom I am connected are anxiously awaiting my book. In return for the gift of books to their Lending libraries, they have agreed to post the publication of SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing in their newsletters.

I have designing a professional web site with 720Media ( I have created a Profile, Business and Fan page on Facebook and have connected it to other Facebook members for optimum contact. I have active accounts on Twitter, I-Blog (add all your contacts). I contribute to three e-zines—Cape Women Online (www.capewomenonline), c4women (, and Intuitive Now by Colette Baron Reid of Hay House ( The ezines, blog and twitter sites are connected to my website. I am setting up a video on YouTube. I am continually doing promotional work on SURVIVING CANCERLAND through the many cancer foundations and associations with which I am associated and their web sites as described and detailed below and by having a cross-section of the population read and write comment endorsements on SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing. This cross-section includes authors; doctors of modern, contemporary, holistic and integrated medicine; cancer survivors; professionals; caregivers; and “stay at home women.” The comments are included in this proposal, and additional comment endorsements that are still being processed are listed at the end of this section.

As a cancer mentor for WE CAN (, a women’s self-help group, I have access to their newsletter WECAN and a yearly book fair that features female writers throughout the country. 2008’s featured writer was Ann Hood, The Knitting Circle, W.W Norton & Company, NY (2007). I have been invited to discuss my book on the writer’s panel. The concerns and questions I received from readers of my Q&A column and Health and Life Stories articles in CapeWomenOnline Magazine (www.capewomenonline) made me realize that we all share similar experiences when facing a disease of this magnitude. The magazine reaches women throughout the United States. I often refer to my book in the articles, which can be read on the Internet.

The Barnstable Patriot newspaper ( ) did a feature article on me titled: SPIRITUAL HEALING ( To read the article on the Internet, Google Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos.
Jeanne Gardner of PROFILES and Dr. Mark Walcott of Lewis Bay Chiropractic, TV Host of Health Matters, have interviewed me on their shows.
WC TV in Wareham, Massachusetts has taped me on two of their show. We discussed my book and the importance of the spiritual world during cancer treatment. The DVDs are available for viewing.

I am now in the process of scheduling talk radio shows, inspirational talks, verbal presentations to hospital sponsored cancer groups, women’s groups, and book clubs on both the east, and west coast of the country.
(Below is an example of how to “flesh out” the marketing outline with facts and statistics. These are three of the 40 cancer institutions, foundations and secondary markets mentioned in my outline. In this example I show you how to describe the society/group and how it is connected to other groups in my proposal. This backs up my claim of viral Internet marketing.)

ACS The American Cancer Society ( is the leading voluntary health organization and largest non-government funder of cancer research and discovery. The ACS has more than 3,400 local offices and more than 2 million volunteers. They offer books that can be ordered online. ACS’s CURE Magazine and web site features articles and news that combine topics of hope, humanity, and science for those who have to deal with cancer on a daily basis. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute ( are frequent sources of referrals for the R.A BLOCH CANCER Foundation and share web site links with the Bloch Foundation, making their web sites available to me.

National Cancer Institute ( is part of NIH ( National Institute of Health. NCI has a publications locator for books available for purchase that deal with illness and healing.

Cancer News On the Net ( has an e-mail newsletter where subscribers can share their e-mail newsletter and logo. This site is linked to the R.A Bloch Cancer Foundation, and displays insightful quotes about hope from Richard Bloch, founder of the foundation.

Healthjourneys ( is a resource that offers a variety of public information including books to promote relaxation, wellness, and healing that is related specifically to cancer and the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. I often refer to my book when I blog on their site.
(The final part of the proposal is a short conclusion. My conclusion is meant to “wow” them yet be believable by remaining conservative in my numbers. I back everything up with facts and statistics.)

The number of members in the five largest contact groups add up to 59 million people. If I am able to reach only ten percent (a very conservative number) of those contacts, (5.9 million) and can sell my book to half of them, I have the potential of selling SURVIVING CANCERLAND to almost 3 million people in these groups alone.

About the Author- Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is an agented author and has penned SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing. She is a phone counselor for the R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation, a mentor for WE CAN, a women’s self help group on Cape Cod, a contributor to many On Line Magazines, C4Women, Intuition Now by Colette Baron-Reid, and a volunteer for many cancer organizations and online cancer groups. She is currently working on her second book, SURVIVING RECURRENCE in CANCERLAND
A strong proposal platform will attract attention. Build it and they will come.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Game on the Club Scene: Ice-A-Bro

My husband I were witness to a new trend apparently sweeping the country's bar scene. No, we are not bar-flies. We just wanted a night out on the town to dance and dine and got introduced to "Ice-A-Bro"-- the newest game on the bar scene.

The local band was setting up as we dined on steamers and crab cakes at a local beach bar on the way to Chapin's Beach on Cape Cod. Unfortunately for the two girls sitting behind us, the band needed more room and confiscated their space. Fortunately for us, they accepted our offer to share our table and we were instantly rewarded with a first hand introduced to an Ice-A-Broing.

One of the two attractive blonds caught the eye of a bachelor who sauntered over to our table and presented her with what appeared to be a frosty beverage in a bottle. "How nice,"I thought. "Oh my God!" she yelled,followed by,"Do I have to?" Peter's forkful of crab cake sat suspended mid-air as we watched in disbelief at the scene rapidly unfolding before us.

Suddenly a circle of laughing strangers surrounded our tiny table. Peter and I stared at each other and then down at the blond who had dropped to one knee and was preparing to drink from the bottle. "Do it right!" someone from the crowd yelled as another guy took her free hand and placed it behind her head. As she chugged the brew the crowd clapped and yelled. When she climbed back up on her stool I meekly asked,"Excuse me, but what just happened?"

"She got Ice-A-Broed!" blond number two laughed. "If someone comes up and offers you a Smirnoff-Ice and you accept it, you have to chug it on one knee with your hand behind your head. But, if you want to see something really funny, watch that girl over there." She pointed to a short brunette in a flowered halter dress who held a Smirnoff Ice behind her back. As if on cue, a tall thin man sauntered over to her and repeated the process. She smiled and immediately whipped out her Smirnoff Ice and waved it at him. The crowd went wild as she laughed and he dejectedly covered his face with his hand. "She Ice-A-Broed him back,and now his has to chug both bottles while on one knee and his hand behind his head." I was impressed that he could stand after he dutifully chugged both bottles. I also noticed that the brunette had slipped back to the bar to purchase another Smirnoff Ice while the crowd was distracted by the side show. Smart girl!

"How did that taste?" I asked blond number one who was still wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. "It's really nasty. It's like a vodka spritzer. I need to go and buy one quick," she said and slid back off the stool. "Get me one, too!" Blond number two yelled after her.

"Why do you buy them if you don't want to drink them?" I asked.
"So, we don't have to!" she answered. "We hide them under the table."

"I'm not drinking that crap if someone Ice-A-Bros me!" Peter yelled for all to hear while still holding his fork in the air. "What a great gig for Smirnoff. They must have started this and are making a mint off of it! Imagine buying a drink you can't stand so you don't have to drink it." I was laughing so hard I almost fell off of my stool.

The band drowned out the laughter and cheers with Vanilla Ice's "Ice-Ice-Baby" but the Ice-A-Broing continued throughout the night. The moral of this story? If you are planning to visit 'Ol Cape Cod, come prepared! Stuff a Smirnoff Ice in you pants. Consider yourself warned.

YOUR PLATFORM: Build It & They Will Come!



Authors have asked me repeatedly, “What is the most important part of your Book Proposal?” My answer is always the same, “The marketing platform.”

One of the most difficult aspects of writing the Book Proposal is the Marketing Platform Outline. Blame it on “left-brain/right-brain differences.” Writing is artistic and therefore right brain oriented. Marketing is statistical left brain work. Few of us have “ambidextrous brains” and are proficient at using both sides equally well.

I have used some of my own outline and first person narrative nonfiction proposal from SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing as an example. However, fiction can be substituted and tweaked to fit. Print out my proposal and fill in the blanks with your own information. Study my examples and then replace them with your information.

The proposal outline is more important now than ever before in the publishing world because of the reduced help in marketing offered by publishers. The statistics and details contained in it will help get your book into the hands of an agent because the agent will see its marketing potential at a glance. That will give the agent confidence to take your book to the big publishing houses. Agents don’t like to get turned down, either. It effects their reputations. So help your agent help you. Work as a team.

Big publishing houses are not in the business to publish books. They are in the business to make money. Until the day that you become an author of Dan Brown’s caliber, you will be required to show the steps of how you plan to market and sell your book beyond what the publishing houses can or will do. Stating that you will use your social networking skills to promote your book will not suffice. You must prove it with names and numbers, facts and figures. One of the first steps in that sequence is to identify your audience which will later become your market.

Answering the question, “Who will want to read my book and why?” will identify your audience. The next question, “How and where can I find them?” will help discover how and where to market your book. Identify your audience, and then decide how to “reach out, and touch them.” Those are the important components of a successful marketing platform.

The Internet has made finding and touching audiences easier than ever before in recorded history. I’ve developed a preliminary marketing plan that leverages my social, and viral networking through online channels.

Today writer’s can have conversations with hundreds of thousands of worldwide followers instantly through the Internet. Writers are now active partners with publishers in conversations that market and promote their books. Viral networking is a marketing technique that uses pre-existing social networks to increase brand awareness, product sales, etc. Users accept ideas (become infected) and then share those ideas with others (thus infecting them.) Twitter lends itself to vital networking; tweets can be personalized for intended audiences.

Twitter is projected to have 40 billion users by 2010. It is a viral networking vehicle that can promote market and create a quantitative potential readership for my books that has quotable numbers to indicate a demand.

Let’s begin with the outline. This will be the foundation for your marketing platform.

An outline gives the reader quick information assessment. You want to make the editor’s job easy, and make yourself look knowledgeable, and professional. My college professors required an outline for every essay test question to make grading papers quick. The marketing outline accomplishes the same task for the agent and editor.

The Market for This Book



In one line write what you want to convey to the reader? (example: Awaken and

believe in your intuitive powers.)

2. AUDIENCE (Who is interested in your subject matter? Brain storm and list them

all primary and secondary markets.)

A. the primary market with statistics

B. groups related to group A (the secondary market with statistics)

C. groups related to group B

D. Research Institutes interested in those groups (with statistics)


A. Primary—Create Internet web site, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube video, blog sites, etc… as central platforms to:

1. Broadcast my message

2. Display testimonials

3. Receive feedback

4. Discuss current and real time issues

5. Allow for book ordering

6. Establish cross-links to marketing outreach sources described below

7. Use my web site to establish credibility and credentials

8. Use my Tweeter site to build awareness, followers and network

9. Use my Facebook site to build awareness, followers and network

9. Use my YouTube video to connect to international viewers

10. encourage book signing parties

B. Secondary—Creation of Awareness by utilizing existing outlets to network the

message through organization

(list all of the networks available on the Internet using Newsletters, web sites, Tweeter sites, I Blog, Facebook, online magazines, etc.

a) (name the newspapers and their readership numbers, etc.)


A. Use my web site as the primary medium to immerse the prospective buyer in the

book, then convince them of my credibility and the book’s worth

B. Prominently reference my web site in all articles for publications

C. Establish reciprocal web links with prominent related sites

D. Direct social networking outlets to my web site

(Refer to previous information that pertains to the proposal.)

The details for the Marketing Strategy are in the Promotional Possibilities section on page 13 of the book proposal.

I hope PART I of the proposal I developed with my agent will be helpful with you. I will post PART II in the next week.


May is a busy month for women. Health and celebration is in the air! Mother’s Day, May 9th, marks the start of National Women’s Health week, coordinated by the US Department Health and Human Resources Office on Women’s Health. It is also Colon Cancer Awareness month, which heralds in the month of June’s Cancer Awareness Month.
Colon cancer is especially concerning to me. My mother died of it four weeks before Mother’s Day, twelve years ago. My first Mother’s Day without her was a rude awakening. It would have been so easy for her to have had preventative colon cancer screenings. Today’s health education and the Internet brings so much helpful information to our fingertips. Colon cancer is one of the easiest cancers to detect and treat early by having a colonoscopy by the age of 45 and then once every five to seven years. It is also one of the deadliest cancers because it often displays no outward symptoms. My mother didn’t have a clue, until it was too late. Now, rather than celebrating Mother’s Day with her, I must endure it without her.
As natural caregivers, women are programmed to put their family, and often everything else, first and their own needs second. But who will put your family first if you are “gone” from lack of personal attention?
Take your health seriously, celebrate many more Mother’s Days with your family who needs, and love you. Early and preventative screening is an excellent way to empower your sense of well-being and thereby ensure greater health. Living a healthier longer life can benefit everyone, including your loved ones. Do it for them.
To find an event for National Women’s Health Week near you, visit:


May 9th is Mother’s Day. Being raised as an Army Brat gave me insights into the inner sanction of female friendship that others may never have experienced, until now. With my father constantly off defending our country on foreign soil with his Band of Brothers, the wives who were left behind protected each other and became a Band Of Mothers. Age, rank, education and personal gain was secondary to mutual support. Even if you were childless, you became a part of that special group. Although my mother passed on more than 12 years ago, I find that I am not alone. Now, as a grown woman wading through the sea of Internet information, I am meeting a new Band of Mothers who have taken me under their wing to help me spread my story about surviving recurrent cancer.

We have all read articles or books on the positive aspects of the Internet’s social networking with its capability to spread information using viral networking. I want to tell you about another aspect of the Internet—It’s ability to connect with strangers in far-away-places allowing friendships to grow despite the limitations of daily life, time and distance. In an age of Internet overload, these friendships are priceless and may be a key to success on many levels. Differences between the groups are secondary to their main purpose, mutual support.
Large Internet groups reach wide ranges and numbers of readers. Groups with blog sites such as the spiritually minded Jason’s Network,combined with writer specific sites like Scribblerati and WRITER’S DIGEST COMMUNITY allows writers to post their work with like-minded readers.

Articles shared with e-magazines such as Colette Baron Reid’s Intuitive Now , CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, and ConnectionsForWomen are instrumental in circulating content on a grander scale.
However, single friends are as important as large groups because they reach individual hearts that set viral networking in motion on a different scale—re-tweeting on Twitter and sharing websites distributes information exponentially.
Radio host Hailey Wiseman spread my story over the airwaves, while fellow author Pamela Ferris-Olson blogged and wrote articles about me and invited me to join her “Tribe” of women who promote each other’s work
I have not experienced emotional support of this magnitude since I was a little girl, surrounded by my Band of Mothers, as we celebrated Mother’s Day in our backyards. The feeling is the same. It was impossible to be afraid or to feel alone when surrounded by so much support.

However, my latest internet friend, Catherine Anne Clark, has gone beyond my wildest dreams by promoting my story as a Woman of Action in A Celebration Of Women.

If you are a woman reading this article Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to the Internet’s Band of Mothers by joining me on FaceBook, LinkedIn- and Twitter @ and my website

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Remember when we did not have the luxury of automatic washing machines that spun clothes dry, clothes driers that removed wrinkles to decrease ironing and dishwashers that dried dishes spotless and had garbage disposals in them so that rinsing was unnecessary? For that matter, remember when Mom was the dishwasher and you were the spotless drier?

Our winterized home on Cape Cod had been reopened before our arrival by the same plumber who had drained it. We had been reassured in California by phone that "all was well." The cleaning girls had come and gone and the house was spotless. I called my friends and planned an opening lobster dinner party outside on the porch overlooking Barnstable Harbor. The night before the party my husband and I arrived home at midnight after a long flight with three cranky cats and multiple suitcases. The dishwasher was not working.

"Oh, the Mieli dishwasher is the very best. Top of the line," the appliance repairman said the next morning. I watched him push buttons and talk to a service operator for Meile over the phone while I drank my coffee. "However, they do not like the cold or to be shut down." "Since when does an appliance have likes and dislikes?" I responded. "This one is so advanced that it can practically fix itself." "So why doesn't it?" He ignored my question and went on for ten more minutes explaining the wonders of new electronics and their memory chips and tiny computer boards. Then concluded with, "Well, it needs a special tool to get the motor going. This is a very sensitive machine. The tool will have to be ordered and I'll call you when it comes in which will probably be in two weeks." This super-duper, top of the line machine was ruining my lobster dinner and my week. It was too late to cancel. The lobsters were ordered. The party must go on!

And it did. The views were glorious, the food awesome and the wine washed away memories of the broken dishwasher and the amount of work to come after the party. But when it was time to load the dishwasher I had to confess that I would be doing them by hand. "Get another bottle of wine," Jenny yelled. "We're doing these by hand just like the good 'ol days." And the production line reactivated memories of yester-year and washing dishes as a family. We laughed, sang, dried and finished two bottles of wine.

That evening on FaceBook I wrote about the post-party-dishwashing-line, and asked if anyone had ever encountered this "Miele magic tool." Many friends with Meile appliances expounded on its advanced technology but no one had heard of this tool. Then, I started receiving comments about how my hand washing experience had jogged memories of evenings around the kitchen sink. FaceBook friends remembered how Mom had washed while Sister dried, Brother put away, and Dad watched. As I read their memories, I felt grounded by the past. Had technology, created to save time, inadvertently been used to the detriment of the family unit? These comments on my FaceBook page were the birth of an idea that still grows today. The "Remember When.." post. For the next two weeks I posted You Tube videos of songs from the past like the Beatles and Rolling Stones and added, "Remember When this came out? What were you doing?" These songs touched off strong feelings of nostalgia. My stomach tightened as I smelled the gardenias from a deceased friend's wedding during the song "Hey Jude". "Angie" by the Stones brought back memories of popcorn and laughter from my College dorm room. The memories reminded me of how important the past is when facing a future that appears controlled by much that is unseen...wireless networks and nanobites.

Two weeks later the repairman was failing in his attempt to perform magic on my dishwasher with his nifty tool when he suddenly yelled, " I found the problem. Hear that?" He shook the machine, reached into a small container beside the catch pan and held the culprit up for inspection. "Well, look at that!" he declared with glee.

"Are you telling me an olive pit brought this 'incredibly advanced piece of machinery' to its knees and me to the sink to wash dishes? So, you didn't really need that magic tool and I didn't need to wait two weeks for my dishwasher?"

"No 'mam." was all he said.

I frowned as I turned the tiny dark pit over in my had. It looked non the worse for wear. I couldn't say the same for the dishwasher. Something so small that had been around before the birth of Jesus had brought technology to its knees and confounded those men and their magic tools. A smile crossed my face as I headed for my computer. My FaceBook friends would get a kick out of this. "Remember When we had to scrape the dishes before we washed them and then later, before we put them in those old clunky dishwashers?...

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos is the author of SURVIVING CANCERLAND
Follow her on Twitter and FB from her web page.

Friday, April 16, 2010


HBO Films
Cordially invites you and a guest to join
Barry Levinson, Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon,
Danny Huston, Brenda Vaccaro and John Goodman
At the New York Premiere of
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
7:00pm Screening
The Ziegfeld Theatre
141 West 54th Street

I was visiting my family in Manhattan when the invitation came. Death and dying had been a frequent theme in my “Stitch &Bitch” radiation group. When you have been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer it is often the theme of your nightmares, too. I really didn’t know Jack, only what I had read or heard from news sources. I decided to attend the premier and learn about Jack, aka Dr. Kevorkian, aka Dr. Death.
The theatre was filled with anticipation. When Dr. Kevorkian was introduced by the president of HBO productions and stood to face the barrage of clapping I realized that Dr. Death was a tiny man, hardly someone to fear. The larger than life physician was frail from age and years of incarceration.

During the film, I was amazed as actor Al Pachino transformed into Dr. Kevorkian’s shuffling, stooped over persona as he lived the doctor’s life goal, “to release people from undue suffering and embrace death.” To his patients, Dr. Death was The Angel of Mercy –A doctor who listened to his terminal patients and respected their individual and human right to die with dignity before their suffering reached a level that was inhumane. This idea is still important today because at some point we are all going to die. That is the rule of life. I accepted this fact after my cancer diagnosis. What I would not accept was the idea of undue suffering until my final moment. Many of my friends in therapy wouldn’t either. Some of them knew that their treatment was designed to give them time, not a cure. They chose to use that time to look for a quicker way out, before it was beyond their control. The fear of suffering is closely followed by the fear of a botched suicide. The question, “Does anyone know of a way to commit suicide that really works and is not bloody or messy?” was asked more than once in our close-knit group. Unfortunately, death and dying by one’s own hand is still a messy ordeal. Although Hollywood has perfected suicide, the human psyche has not. Desperation breeds misery. Where was Dr. Death when we needed him?—In jail!

The movie showed that Dr. Kevorkian didn’t chose his patients lightly, and he turned down more 97 percent of them—his patients chose him. He did extensive video interviews and was selective in deciding whom to deliver from the grip of undue suffering and place gently into the hands of waiting death.

I’ve heard arguments against suicide because people can have miracles healings. The blind might see again and believe me, I believe in miracles! I am a walking miracle. But for certain patients, Dr. Kevorkian was their miracle.
It is not the hospitals or doctors who are to blame for undue suffering. They are bound by policy that is governed and limited by law. The problem is not in the medical field but in the law. If a doctor has his license revoked, how many other needy patients is he not able to help. This is a medical catch 22 that must be addressed. Disconnecting someone from life support and allowing them to die “naturally” from starvation is not humane. We don’t even do that to our pets. We humanely put them “to sleep.” Do humans deserve less? Did Dr. Death do less?

As Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote in 1969 in her book, On Death and Dying, “When a patient is severely ill, he is often treated like a person with no rights to an opinion.” Unfortunately, in 2010, I found that this is still often the case.
In the new age of Enlightment with holistic and integrative medicine are we still in the Dark Ages concerning death and dying? Watch You don’t Know Jack, April 24th on HBO and decide for yourself—Dr. Death or Angle of Mercy?

For pictures on the new Al Pacino movie “You Don’t Know Jack,” go to

About the Author: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos penned SURVIVINGCANCERLAND
Resources: THE NEW YORK POST, Friday, April 16th, 2010, pg 30

Thursday, April 15, 2010


My Article DEPRESSION: A Message From Self in Cape Women Online Magazine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A great first piece of an ongoing series about getting an agent by editor Chuck Sambuchino of WRITER’S DIGEST that features my article.

Friday, April 9, 2010


As a shared recipient of the FABULOUS SUGAR DALL BLOGGER AWARD I was required to share ten unusual things about myself and choose five other awardees. Those awardees must then share ten things about themselves and chose five more awardees.

I have made my decision concerning my choices for the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger awardees. Please forgive me. I tried but could not choose just five. I chose an even six—three Guys and three Dolls. &

Choosing was harder than I thought but for a very different reason than I had originally imagined— I had more than five awardees. Choices, choices! My fear had been that I would not know five people for this award. I’m pleased to say that I could have easily chosen ten or twenty. Networking on the Internet has made me rich in friendships. I thank the Universe for placing these wonderful people in my life and Lia Keys and Rachna Chhabria for creating and sharing this award. If Lia Keyes had not developed the award, she would have been first on my list. Here are my six choices:

Jackie Paulson a friend on C4Women (Connections for women.)

Genny Esterline one of my first friends on Connections for Women.

Richard D. Nielson a friend on Scribblerati who writes about life…just like me.

Jason McElholne- founder of Jason Network and a fantastic person who will go that extra mile for others.

Pamela Ferris-Olson- a great friend and writer who met me on FaceBook, took me under her wing and shared my message on her many sites.

Peter Canova- wonderful man who is deeply in touch with his “inner female” and author of the ground-breaking book POPE ANNALISA.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SHARING: The Sign of a True Friend

Sharing something sweet is the sign of a true friend and I feel privileged to be Rachna Chhabria’s. She shared her Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award with me. This award is given by British Fantasy Writer Lia Keys, founder of Scribblerati, and ScribeChat on Twitter

Although Rachna Chhabria and I became instant friends and blog followers on Scribblerati, I only knew her by her bio and her writing. I got such a kick out of reading the list of Ten Unique Things About Rachna. We shared similarities, such as reading and writing multiple books simultaneously. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I was now required, as a shared recipient, to write my own list. This took some soul searching because it can’t be just any ol’ list. It must be unique. Okay, Rachna, I’m up for the challenge. Here goes….

1.)I was born in Frankfurt, Germany to an American military family. At age five I had to go before a judge to give up my dual citizenship and declare my American citizenship. After saying the Pledge of Allegiance, the judge asked me if I could show in any other way how much I wanted to be an American citizen. So I tap-danced to God Bless America.

2.)I was a first grader in Berlin, Germany the day the Berlin Wall went up. I watched it come down on TV while living in the United States.

3.)I am fourth generation Psychic. At the age of two I could see and hear ghosts.

4.)I love to scuba dive with sharks. I have never had a shark be aggressive toward me.

5.)I love to scuba dive with wild dolphin. It is like having dogs play under water with you—Big time play time! One dolphin handed me a piece of seaweed as a flower by using its tail like a hand.

6.)I never planned to be a writer. But like a kitten, my career chose me and I love it dearly.

7.)My doctors missed twice what my dreams and meditations were telling me—that I had cancer. My dreams proved to be right and my doctors wrong. I’m alive because I listened to myself.

8.)My synchronicity number is 1111. I notice it on clocks all the time. My favorite color is green.

9.)I raised a wild baby blackbird on my Siamese cat’s food. I have pictures of Fe-licks grooming Winky the bird. Winky still lives as a free bird in our backyard.

10.)My husband and I went for a boat ride and almost sank…we forgot to install the plug.


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DEPRESSION: A Message From Self?
Cancer and depression go together like peanut and butter. During my severe bouts of depression during cancer treatment I had a choice. I could take pills to alleviate it, or I could face it and figure out what my body and psych were telling me. I always believed that depression was a symptom, not an illness. Alleviating the symptom would not cure the disorder. I saw my depression as something that would diminish if I faced and cured the cause. This is easier said than done. I considered suicide as a means of escape rather than facing my “ghosts.” However, deciding to see what lessons I could learn from my depression was the first step toward a cure.

Looking back on those difficult times I can now answer questions I avoided such as, “Why was I depressed? How did depression serve me and what did it teach me?” Our mind is incredibly powerful and will create (manifest) situations to serve and save us.

I came to the conclusion that depression and illness was a way of forcing me to slow down and “look within” at memories (old baggage), events (past and present cycles), people (relationships), and life styles (habits) that are not to my benefit. Without depression I may have continued accepting whatever I thought life was throwing at me—settling for less than I needed and/or deserved.

I learned that just because something is thrown at me doesn’t mean I have to catch it, hold, and keep it, including insults or negative relationships. I can choose to duck or move out of the way. And, if I do catch it, I can choose to drop it. Depression made me stop and reassess my life-choices. I came to the conclusion that how people treat me is their Karma, how I respond to them is mine. Not all relationships or situations should be avoided or dropped. And that is when I learned my most important lesson—the quickest way to change someone’s behavior is to change mine first. They must respond differently to the new behavior.

Illness and depression made me take time out for myself, taught me how to respect, honor, and put myself first, and to choose to change or walk away from bad habits, relationships and situations. I drew new boundaries with which I could live.

A friend once asked,“How can I just quit my job or walk away from my relationship if that is what is depressing or killing me.”

I answered her question with another question. “Are you worried about letting down your job and relationship or yourself? Will they survive tomorrow if you are not around? Will you thrive if they are gone? You cannot hold a gift if your hands are full. Put something down.”

Now whenever I feel overwhelmed I take a step back and reassess my life. One of the first things I do is “check my inner baggage,” –the useless stuff I accumulated. I’m often surprised that I am bogged down with baggage that is not mine. Now, I simply drop it. In the past I took on other people’s emotional baggage rather than respecingt their right to carry it. Old habits are hard to break. I’m still working on them.

As a care giver by nature I often thought that if I carried someone else’s troubles for them it would lighten their load. It doesn’t. It just makes mine heavier. That taught me a very difficult lesson—I cannot carry other people’s baggage or walk their path for them. I have to respect their life-lessons… to be learned by them… and my lesson was to respect and love them enough to let them learn those lessons, including mistakes. I will offer them my shoulder but not my back. Let me explain.

I learned that there is a big difference between being supportive and being a mule. A supportive person lends a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. A mule carries the weight of the world on their back while refusing to focus on their own life—this is avoidance. It only takes another challenge to be the straw that breaks their back and sends them spiraling into depression.

Our mind is a beautiful thing. Experience has taught me that we manifest not only what we want but also what we need. Sometimes we need to slow down and reassess our lives. Depression served me in this capacity. I didn’t enjoy it and would not choose to go through it again. However, by facing depression rather than suppressing it, I learned from it, used it to change my life, and ultimately survived adversity and illness.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Big snow storms have arrived. Memories of our tiny sandals are stored away. Nature has repainted life from the fiery palette of fall to hues of winter’s blues. It's time for serious clothing. It's time for the timeless black leather boot!

One of the staples in a woman’s shoe collection is the classic black leather boot—so versatile and sexy it can be worn in formal and casual activities. One word of caution when investing in a pair of boots; don’t sacrifice fit or quality for cost. Comfortable, well made boots can last a life-time if treated with proper care such as a quick cleaning with leather conditioner after trudging though snow or slush.

There are many different styles of black leather boots from which to choose. Locating that perfect pair is both daunting and fun. Defining personal needs can be the first step in finding the perfect pair. It can also eliminate “buyer’s remorse” that often follows random emotional purchases.

Black Boots can be as individual in style, shapes, sizes and versatility as the person wearing them. Some boots zip up, others lace, while a third group can be pulled on for a snug fit. This year's popular ankle boot—great looks great with anything from jeans to pencil skirts and the patent leather boot—perfect for slushy or rainy days. However, given all the choices in stores and online, I think a classic knee-high black leather boot is like wearing the timeless “little black dress.” Wear them together and look attractive, confident and "HOT" throughout the cold seasons.
Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos @PsychicHealing on twitter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Women have big hearts and are generally the universal care givers. Yet, they are also the last people to listen to or take care of their hearts. They follow their hearts in matters of love but not matters of life. If someone they love complained of chest and arm pain, or shortness of breath, it is the care giver who would run for the phone. However, when a woman has jaw pain, we rationalize it as having too many “balls in the air” as we juggle our lives, family, friends, pets, dinner, laundry… . So, we sit for ten minutes, a long time in our busy schedule, and take it easy until the symptoms ease or pass.

Few women realize that jaw pain is a symptom of heart attack. If a busy family life can make you clench your fist and teeth, surely that is the culprit of the jaw pain, not a heart attack. Think again! Our body is speaking to us.

As women, our bodies have been speaking to us from the beginning of womankind. Our bodies tell up when we are ovulating, menstruating, pregnant and when a family member is in trouble. This information comes to us through dreams, intuitions and symptoms. This is the spirit of our being. We must listen to ourselves- our inner voices- our intuitions and symptoms. Listen to your heart and follow your female instincts. Take care of your spirit and it will take care of you.

Monday, February 1, 2010





When I was 26, living in Fort Myers, Florida, and thought I would never find the right person to spend the rest of my life with, I had this little chat with God.

“Look,” I said to God, after rejecting another date. “If there is someone you want me to be with for the rest of my life please “bring him on” and if I am to stay single for the rest of my life that is fine too, but please don’t send me anymore losers. I’m almost thirty years old. I don’t have time for these weirdoes anymore. What must I do to find the love of my life?”

A week later, on Sadie Hawkins Day, I met Peter in a grungy bar. A friend was having second thoughts about her impending divorce and asked me to meet her for a drink and a chat. Attempting to have a private conversation was difficult as the chairs around our table quickly filled with men who offered us drinks, dances, and their screws. Yes, their screws! At the door women were given bolts and men were given screws for the Sadie Hawkins Day Party that has been held the first Saturday in November since 1938. Sadie Hawkin, the homely unwed daughter of the Mayor of Cartoonist Al Capp’s Lil Abner pursued the top eligible bachelors in a “run for your life” foot race. The ultimate prize was matrimony for the spinsters. And here I was…at the party for the spinsters.

But, the goal at this party was not to run men down but rather to find your partner by getting “screwed.” I threw my bolt away after a Neanderthal’s almost fit. Just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, in walked handsome Peter, my future husband and love of my life. I was instantly drawn to this gorgeous Greek with sun streaked hair and the most beautiful soft brown eyes I’d ever seen. I fell in love with the “windows to Peter’s soul.” We spent the next three years together until the day my in-laws gave us a society wedding at Copley Plaza in Boston. My father-in- law always said, “Kathy ran from Peter just fast enough to catch him.” If Peter was my Li’l Abner, then I was his Daisy Mae. With Peter by my side, I felt God had answered my prayers. “Ask and ye shall receive.” had worked.

15 years later my Li’l Abner stood by his Daisy Mae. I was diagnosed with breast cancer twice that was missed by the medical community both times but not by my female intuition. We fought this disease together for ten year that included treatment , operations, and soul searching.

When your health is challenged your relationships are challenged. The closer the relationship the greater the challenge because deep emotions result in deep cracks. Crisis causes relationships to either grow stronger or fall apart… but they never stay the same.

The way I see it, relationships are like bricks in archways; two or more entities fused together to become one. When an earthquake like illness and economic changes shakes those bonds to their foundation, cracks form. If the cracks are ignored, perhaps from denial, they grow larger until they completely split. However, if the cracks are scrutinized with soul searching and repaired with love and respect, the attachment can become so strong that when everything else is reduced to rubble, the archway survives. My illness registered a 5.0 magnitude on the Richter scale of Existence and although my life had tumbled down around my ears, my 27 year marriage is still standing.I had my moments of doubt but I always reflectd on why I made the marriage choice I made, and the doubts are put into perspective. When I remember how I met and why I married my husband, I realize that a prayer was answered--a desire had manifested-- and my Law of Attraction is still in play.

Thursday, January 21, 2010



Dear Readers,

Save your wallet and our economy. I received this comment and email from my sister-in-law, a 25 year breast cancer survivor and my hero. Read it, share your thoughts and pass it on.
Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

Very interesting e-mail. I do always try to buy “Made in America” because it has always been important to me; my mother brought me up that way! She was a small-town woman who always said, “God, Family, Country” and I have always tried to follow her philosophy when possible. It especially bugs my husband when we see items marked “Made in Vietnam”. He said those people were trying to kill him in the 70’s and now they want him to buy something that they’ve made!! Like Japan and Germany after WWII. I know, I know, if they make it better we should buy it, right? Build up their economy at the cost of our own? I don’t think so. Hershey’s, how I loved you!! Anyway, that’s my own philosophy and I don’t try to push it on anyone else (except perhaps my children, but that’s a mother’s duty, isn’t it?) I think this is interesting and just want to share it with you. Check the labels and thanks for listening!




A physics teacher in high school, once told the
students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't
slow a train very much, a billion of them would. With that thought
in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American ….

Good idea .... one light bulb at a time . . . .

Check this out. I can verify this because I was in Lowe's the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose
attachments. They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace
Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in USA . Start looking ….

In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects
someone else - even their job.

My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked
made in Mexico now…. I do not buy it any more.

My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico ... now
I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60 W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats -they were the same except for the price….

The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the
thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland, Ohio.

So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here….

So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets.....yep, you guessed it,
Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value
brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday
and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price!

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for
everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the
job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying
from overseas companies!

(We should have awakened a decade ago.)

Let's get with the our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the USA.

I Passed this on ........ will you???????

An American Consumer

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On February 14th—St. Valentine’s Day—The East will meet the West. The mystical White Tiger will face Cupid’s arrow. As we celebrate the mythical Roman god’s day of love, and Christianities St. Valentine, China will celebrate the New Year. Ancient Eastern mysticism will converge with Western modernism on the day that symbolizes affection. St. Valentine’s Day/Chinese New Year will celebration different cultures and embrace ideals of ancient sorcery and modern realism. 2010 will be a year of combined dualities that will result in a time in history that will be stronger than the sum of its individual parts.

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2010 is the year of the WHITE TIGER—“gyeong” means white and “in” means tiger. The White Metal Tiger of 2010 is the ruler of the Fall season and governor of the metal elements. According to Chinese mythology there are five tigers that hold the balance of the cosmic forces in place and prevent chaos from collapsing into the universe. The year 2010 and the Chinese white tiger have strong numerical and symbolic synchronicities. In numerology, the year 2010 is 20+10=30=3+0=3. Three is the universal number for heaven, earth and waster. It is also the human body, soul and spirit. The month of the tiger is the third month of the year—March. And the tiger occupies the third position on the Chinese zodiac. The time of the tiger is from 3:00am to 4:59am—the Hour of Souls—a special time when the dying often chooses to free themselves from their physical bodies. The tiger is not only the emblem of protection for the living; it is the protector of the dead.

How does all this equate to what is in store for us in the year 2010? Through sheer will power, 2010 will create balance that will diminish chaos. Tigers go where angels fear to tread. The year 2010 will be the year of the protected free spirits. The elements of the tiger will herald in strength, power and wealth—Tsaishen Key.
When the sun sets in the West, love will have united East and West and conquered all. The message is clear: religions, mysticisms and technology will be united and produce offspring capable of living in many worlds by transcending time and space. One of the biggest changes in life on earth will be technological innovations that will align ancient spiritual “truths and scientific” facts. 2010, year of the White Tiger, will be an interesting year, indeed.