Sunday, January 20, 2013



"What a wonderful life I’ve had!  I only wish I’d realized it sooner."
Colette (1837-1954)
Affirmation ♥~ Loving myself heals my life.

            A deadly storm brewed as I reclined against Peter’s chest during our ritualistic nightly bath.  As I massaged him, he lathered my body with fragrant bubbles. The tranquility within our bathroom offset Cape Cod’s nor’easter building over the bay. Romantic candles and music made the squall appear benign through the large skylight. Halloween had ended weeks ago, yet the sky was still shrouded in rich costume. Black velvet clouds embraced the full moon while angry winds rattled windows and howled like hungry werewolves. 
           I adjusted myself in the bath to better view the macabre performance of moonlight’s struggle against darkness and waited for the storm to pass. The serenity of our snuggle-session was shattered by a single life-altering question that forewarned of a deadlier squall building within our lives.

          “Kathy, what’s this hard spot?” Peter asked over my shoulder as he gently caressed my breasts with his soapy hands. 

            My hand followed his to what felt like a pea beneath my skin.  His voice was suddenly replaced by the memory of a dream after my recent mammogram and another “inner voice” that declared, “Get to a doctor, now!” I’d never been sick in my life. Illness wasn’t a concern. Yet, the storm had just invaded our lives.

           Three days later, I had an appointment with my gynecologist, Dr. Wagner, whom I also used as my general practitioner. Dr. Wagner resembled the deceased actor Gary Cooper in both physique and demeanor.  Each time he entered the examining room, the theme song from the movie High Noon played in my head. I expected a Colt .44 slung on his hip rather than a stethoscope around his neck. “I can’t feel anything on or around your breast, Kathy.”

            “Perhaps it’s easier to feel during my menstrual cycle,” I replied from a contorted pretzel position with my arm held over my head. This was the only way I could feel the damned spot. He shook his head as he manipulated the area again. I’m torn between relief and concern. Is nothing really there? Did he miss it, or were the voices of alarm in my head just residual anxiety from my mother’s recent death from colon cancer. But, Peter had felt it, too.  

            “You had a blood test and mammogram less than six months ago and everything was fine,” Dr. Wagner said. He helped me up and showed me a copy of the report. “I think what you felt was just a fibrous tumor that is sensitive to your menstrual cycle.  Let’s just keep an eye on it. Come back in six months and we’ll check it again,” he concluded with a reassuring smile, and snapped my chart shut. We spoke a few minutes longer about how little cancer is in my family history, and my mind wandered back to a day, not that long ago, when I had a similar heartbreaking “cancer talk” with Mom.

       Her gurney had been pushed against the corridor wall as she waited for an ultrasound to see the extent of her cancer metastasis. Our last mother-daughter conversation began with, “Breast cancer doesn’t run in our family, but now colon cancer does. You must get a colonoscopy and be vigilant of symptoms.” She smiled through eyes filled with sadness, pain and love. Was her grief unwarranted guilt at having brought this dreaded disease into our previously cancer-free family?  That was the second saddest day of my life. The first was her death, two days later.

      “You’re only 44—too young for cancer, you know.” Dr. Wagner’s words shocked me back to my present situation.  If he isn’t worried about this invisible hard spot, why am I?  After all, he’s the doctor, right?  I dressed and headed for home, worry free.

        But, the voices from my bath refused to be silent.  They are in my every nagging thought, and daydream.  “Go back to your doctor,” they said.  I had a choice.  Let these voices drive me crazy or listen.

 Join me here again for part II of this article.

 This article is a compilation of context taken from the book SURVIVING TRAUMALAND: The Intuitive Aspects of Healing by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos.

 Learn more about Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos @   where you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. And join her @ & on her 3 radio shows @


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           Three days later, I returned to Dr. Wagner, who had already scheduled me for another mammogram and blood test.           
 “Go home. I’ll call you with the results,” he promised.

            Almost one month later, on my forty-fifth birthday, I receive two questionable gifts; another cancer-free mammogram and “Happy Birthday” sung solo to me over the telephone by my father in Florida.  It must be as difficult for him to sing it as it is for me to hear it.  There was no high-pitched female voice to chime in on a different note or end with “and many more,” punctuated by a heartfelt laugh. Well, my healthy mammogram proves I’ll have more birthdays, unfortunately without Mom. A blessing and a torment all tied up in pink ribbons of lonely lyrics.

            That night’s strange dream once again sent me back to Dr. Wagner. I had been enjoying my epic dream when suddenly it froze, much like the screen on a computer freezes, and a pop-up window appeared, much like one on a computer and just as difficult to remove. My Spiritual Guide/Guardian Angel dressed like a monk in a brown hooded robe belted with a knotted rope and leather sandals stepped through the window and said, “Come with me. We have something to tell you.” 
             I obediently followed him into a room I call the room between realms; a place that is neither of the earth nor the dead, yet the dead can visit to share information. It is a parallel universe of consciousness. I visited here other times in dreams when given information for people. A guide took my hand, placed it on my right breast and said, “You have cancer right here. Feel it? Go back to your doctor tomorrow.  Don’t wait for an appointment.”  I started to cry in my dream and told him that the doctors wouldn’t listen to me now any more than before. “They just keep giving me the same tests over and over. If you want me to get help, help me.”
             My guide reached into the pocket of his robe and handed me a tiny white feather no bigger than a feather that escapes a pillow and glides to the bedroom floor. “Use this feather as a sward to fence with in your verbal battles with the doctors and you will win against scientific facts. You need exploratory surgery. Present your case to the doctors as though you were an attorney standing before an incredulous judge that dislikes you and you will win,” he said, then turned and walked out of my dream. I was outside the room between realms as the window disappeared. My previous dream started up again right where it had left off. Time had stood still.    

            I’m at a crossroads. Whom do I believe: the doctors or the voices?   And, how do I explain to the one I decide not to believe of my decision to believe the other?

            The truth is, hearing voices has never been considered a good thing, by most people.  Yet I feel like I’ve been pushed into action by unseen forces, and this makes me feel out of control, a victim of circumstances. As I see it, I have two choices: ignore these voices and tell them to go away, or use them to guide me in a showdown with the doctors.  Should I  tell my doctor about the voices?  I know how doctors feel about voices, and it’s not good.  It is about as good as teachers feel about them. I learned that in kindergarten….

“Kathy is coloring people funny colors outside the lines,” my kindergarten teacher explained to my parents at the emergency conference she scheduled.  My mother reacted as any concerned parent would.  She took me to an ophthalmologist. He determined that my eyes were fine but that I was in need of attention.  “You color things correctly from now on and stay inside the lines. Stop worrying your mother,” were his parting words to me.

             That was the first time I had realized that the rest of the world, including doctors with their fancy equipment, couldn’t see what I saw; auras, the colorful electromagnetic field that surrounds everything in the universe.  Explaining my colorings to them would be like describing a shrub covered in pink flowers to someone with red-green color blindness.  Their normal reaction would be, “What flowers? Check her eyes! There is something wrong with her.” 

             History was repeating itself now as my doctor became alarmed at my latest request. The look of horror on his face said it all.  “You want an operation?  I can’t take something out that isn’t there.  Exploratory Surgery is a serious decision, and in your case unfounded and unnecessary.”  He’s upset.  So am I, but for a different reason. I want validation that my guides are correct.  His concern is that I’ve overreacted to an “invisible spot.” My concern is that I haven’t reacted enough to this damned spot.  The voices agree with me.

            As a doctor, his war chest is armed with indisputable medical evidence, three mammograms, blood tests and physical exams that all point to perfect health.  I have an angel feather from a dream. I dug into the mental chest, pulled out my tiny feather and imagined pointing it him. His defense is logically indisputable. Yet, I pleaded my case like a lawyer facing a judge to convince him to do what I want and not what he wanted –play the “wait and see” game.  Six months from now may be too late. But, since I am the patient and he the doctor, I am at his mercy. I’m taking a giant leap of faith here, so “voices,” don’t let me down! I silently prayed pinching my feather between my fingers. Then I turned to face my medical opponent, who I must win over to become an ally.

          No one should ever be afraid to self-advocate for their life or their beliefs. If the status-quo were never challenged, the world would still be flat.


This article is a compilation of context taken from the book SURVIVING TRAUMALAND: The Intuitive Aspects of Healing by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos.

 Learn more about Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos @   where you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. And join her @ & on her 3 radio shows @

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