Sunday, September 29, 2013

Halfway to Heaven: The Healing Power of Pets & Who We Are

I had the most incredible nurse by my side when I went through all three of my breast cancer challenges.

This nurse not only brought me food and laid it gently  on my chest to coax me to eat after a particularly bad chemotherapy sessions, but also slept beside me and followed me into the bathroom during my many nightly trips to the toilet.  There, he would cover my cold feet with his warm furry stomach and patiently waited for me to finish.

This amazing feline nurse was my Siamese cat of 27 years. Baby Cakes was the cat who barked and healed.


The first time I saw Baby Cakes he was all alone in a pet shop window. “How much is that white kitty in the window?” I asked. “And may I please hold her?”

Baby buried his face in the bend of my arm and sneezed when the sales girl returned. “That kitten is a he, not a she. He’s some kind of white Siamese, and I’m sorry, but he’s not for sale. He’s sick. We’re returning him to the breeder tomorrow.”

I knew what that meant, and it was not good. Caring for a sick kitten was costly and most breeders were not into spending money. They were into making it.

As she reached for him Baby barked like a dog. “Darn it. He always makes me jump when he does that. Learned it from the dogs in here. Too bad he’s going back. He’s so smart.”

“He’s not going back. I’m taking him home. Help me make this happen.” She did.

That was 27 years, 3 breast cancers, 2 chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and 21 operations ago. We’ve been to hell and back together.

Hell, we’ve been through cancer together!

Baby’s unconditional love was expressed in tweets, purrs, and barks. When my health reports faxed to my home had ALERT typed on all four sides of the paper, Baby would sit in my lap, gaze into my eyes, read my emotions and then reach up and gently caress my face with his paw as if to say, “It’s going to be okay. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. I’m here. Let’s take a nap. We’ll feel better.” And we always did.


Dreams were our escape from cancer reality during treatment because truth be told, it was when I was awake that the nightmare always resumed, those many years ago.    


Last night’s dream was the beginning of today’s nightmare of a different sort because I am cured of cancer, now. I got my report of clean health for the seventh year in a row a few weeks ago. But this prophetic dream was a forewarning that prepared me for the end of my life with Baby Cakes. My nurse, having finished his work, was finally ready to leave me.

Two spirit guides dressed in brown hooded robes with a rope belts stepped through the pop-up in my epic dream. This pop-up is much like a pop-up on your computer, except that it is the doorway to the room-between-realms that is neither of the living nor the dead, but a place where spirit guides can enter dreams with prophetic information.

In the dream, I’m told by my Spirit guides that Baby is dying. I run through my house looking for him. I recognize one of my Inner selves from a previous dream holding him in her arms. “Baby is dying,” she says and holds him out to me. Suddenly my house begins to fall apart and I have to run across the failing floors and jump over the abyss that extends down two floors to take him from her.


“This is Baby’s last day. Carry him with you in your dreams because this is the last night you will have with him,” a hooded guide says on my left.  I hugged him to me and walked though my dream house cradling and singing to my Baby.


The next morning I jumped out of bed, searched for Baby and found him beside the fireplace sleeping on his heated fur pad. He purrs when he sees me and then begins to groan from pain.  My nightmare flowed into my morning and became a reality as Baby, a big eater, refused his favorite jar of baby food.


The dream made sense. My Inner guides, knowing my love for Baby Cakes, had warned me that my home would be losing an important part of its foundation. My Inner self found him first and I was willing to hurl myself over the abyss of death and destruction to hold Baby’s spirit in the dream world one last night. We would always be able to find each other and meet in the dream world. 


 On the way to the vet, I am still in denial of my dream and Baby’s fate. I decide that I will not leave Baby at the vet if they need to run tests.  I’ll bring him back tomorrow.  In 27 years Baby has never been away from home. No, I’ll not leave Baby alone at the vet overnight.

“All of Baby’s organs are failing. He is diabetic and in a ketonicc state. This is not unusual for a 27 year old cat that has tongue cancer.” 
The cancer had been discovered during a routine dental check-up seven years ago and at that time Baby had been given six months to live. The months came and went but Baby stayed. “Baby Cakes is a miracle cat to have survived this long with or without cancer. But now he is in pain and not going to get better. He is shutting down.”

The decision is made.  A shot to quiet him and stop the pain is followed by pink death. Pink nose, Pink month… Synchronicity can be a kick-in-the-pants.

 “He’s halfway to heaven,” the vet said after the first injection.  “You can leave if you want. We’ll take care of him.”

 But I didn’t. I wouldn’t leave my Baby. And my husband wouldn’t leave me. So we sat together and waited as a family. When I was in my darkest hour, Baby never left me. He purred to me. He stroked my face and warmed my feet.

As we held Baby’s paws beneath the security of his towel, I sang his favorite words to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb…. “Baby Cakes mouse treats, Outside play, momma daddy love toy….” The words to the song don’t fit or rhyme but they are perfect.  As I Reiki him, his body relaxes and his spirit slips out. He is free. The pain is gone. And so is my Baby. Where did he go? Who will take care of him? Will he be lonely? He’s never been away from home.

My Inner-guidance answers, “Stop torturing yourself. You know all those answers and if you don’t remember them, you’ll find them in your dreams. Believe.”

 When Baby was all the way to heaven, I closed his blue eyes, and kissed his precious white head. Only the pink tips of his ears distinguished him from the towel.
He was still warm as I tucked him in for his fist night ever away from home.

 Now, as I sit to type, I must stop crying to see the keys. My nose clears and his smell rises from my chest where I held him so close on the ride to the vet. I have to wash my clothes. I know I must. But, not yet. Let me sit with him just a little longer, with his smell and fur all over me—a reminder that there are things that survive cancer and death—LOVE.


 The washing machine will wash away the last physical remnants of my Baby Cakes but his memories are marked indelibly in my mind and life. I’ve read that some pets will take on the illness of their loved one. But I know Baby did not die of cancer. He died of old age. Cancer was a part of his life but did not rule his life. Love ruled his life.

And, love cannot be washed away by soap and water. If love is one of the things you can take with you to the other side, I hope Baby remembers me when I get there because I will be thinking of him as I climb the stairway to heaven on my way to find my little nurse.  If you can take love with you to the other side, is it already there waiting, too? I’ll bet it is.


How did my Spirit guides know? Why did they warn me in the dream of impending death?


Perhaps because even they know the importance of our animals—our furry children—in our lives—and the importance of their unconditional love, loyalty and profound healing powers. Animals are gifts from God with healing powers that we are only just beginning to understand. 


Two days later a tiny wooden box and card arrived from the vet. The card contained a poem that touched my heart and explained it all.



Just this side of heaven lies the Rainbow Bridge.

When a pet dies, it goes to the Rainbow Bridge.

It makes friends with other animals and frolics over rolling

hills and peaceful lush meadows of green.

They are as healthy and playful as we remember them in days gone by.


Together, the animals chase and play, but the day comes

when a pet will suddenly stop and look into the distance …

Bright eyes intent, eager body quivering.

Suddenly recognizing you, your pet bounds quickly across the green

fields and into your embrace. You celebrate in joyous reunion.

You will never again be separated.


Happy tears and kisses are warm and plentiful,

Your hands caress the face you missed. You look into the loving eyes of your pet and know that you never really parted. You realize that though out of sight, your love had been remembered.

You cross the rainbow bridge together.



Animals help bring back the innocence and wonder of life and reconnect to inner joy that is “Who We Are.”


As I place the tiny wooden box of ashes above the fireplace, I hear a muffled bark followed by the sound of a belled toy in the hallway, and my sadness lifts as the room fills with love.


Like a typical cat, Baby Cakes must have used the Rainbow Bridge to find his way back home.


This blog is taken from the soon to be released book Baby Cakes: The Cat who Barked and Healed, by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos


Bio: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) websites: Surviving Cancerland & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio , Cancer Q&A columnist CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, Dream Queen columnist- Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond, Your Dream Intrepretation ,WakeUpWomen; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

3 Health Tips for October's Breast Cancer Awareness, New Danish Study and Working the Graveyard Shift

Although humans living in dark harmony with vampires is a popular entertainment theme, it is far from a healthy reality. New scientific evidence proves that working the “graveyard shift” may put women in an early grave. This is important information for October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Here are three health tips to follow if you are working the graveyard shift.

We are wired to rise with the sun and sleep beneath the moon. Following natural sleep patterns help us stay healthy. The invention of electricity gave us artificial day at night. We extended our work hours. Has progress negatively impacted our health by turning our internal clock upside down? Questions surrounding the consequences of disrupted sleep patterns may have finally been answered.

A newly published Danish study set up a case-control group from more than 15,500 women who had been in the Danish military. Of those, 141 with breast cancer and 551 without filled in a 28-page questionnaire on work and lifestyle. But the analysis was only based on 132 cases and 505 controls.

The study also stated that women working three nights a week were at a 40% higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who did not. That number doubled to 80% if they worked 6 nights a week.

Rachel Crowson of American Radio News Network called me at home to comment on air about this breaking news.

RC: “Kathleen, you are a three-time breast cancer survivor who wrote the book, Surviving Cancerland: The Intuitive Aspects of Healing. Would you please comment on this new finding?”

K: “It brings to light the health challenges of daytime vs nighttime workers when the obvious difference is natural light. Sunlight and darkness at the appropriate time is important to humans. The hormone melatonin is produced in the body during sleep cycles and regulates wake cycles. It is also a calming agent. Night shift workers may lack adequate amounts of it because the synthesis and release of melatonin are stimulated by darkness. Night workers are exposed to long hours of florescent light which inhibits melatonin production, and the room they sleep in during the day may not be dark enough to stimulate it either. Another consideration is the lack of cancer fighting vitamin D due to daytime sleep patterns. Scientific study has linked vitamin D deficiency to cancer.”

RC: “Kathleen, your story is pretty profound. Would you please share it with us?”

K: “I’m a three-time stage-four breast cancer survivor. What makes my story unique is that I used my female intuitive abilities through dreams to diagnose myself after doctors at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute told me I was healthy. I actually forced them into two operations they originally refused to perform where my true condition was revealed.”

RC: “How did you get doctors to listen to your dreams?”

K: “I didn’t. My healing journey was a double blind study between conventional medical tests and Intuitive dreams. It is a story of faith, intuitive ability, and contact with a Higher Order that gave me the strength to ignore the weight of incorrect medical opinion and the statistical survival chances to survive. I always worked with my conventional doctors, but never forgot to make the final decisions. I think it is important to point out that my dreams told me to go back to my doctors rather than looking for Swami-wami Ramalama-ding-dong. My dreams had faith in my doctors.

RC: How does your story fit into this new study?”

K: “Listen to your body. Deficiencies that lead to illness will make themselves known with signs, signals and symptoms. Our bodies have been speaking to us since the beginning of time. Believe in your Inner guidance.”

RC: “What do you see as a solution to this study? Is there an answer?”

K: “As long as two paychecks are required in homes to make ends meet, and there is a need for round-the-clock health care, there will be night shift workers and increased stress levels. Until more research is done on this information:

1.) I suggest taking vitamin D and melatonin supplements before bed. Melatonin can also help you get that much needed sleep after a long night of work and
2.) vitamin D will help put back some sunshine into your life.
3.) Listen to your body. It also speaks to us through dreams."

According to WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, the hormone melatonin is produced in the brain by the pineal gland.

Lisa Wilde, director of research at Breast Cancer Campaign, said: “Night shift working and breast cancer risk is a hugely complex area and two of the biggest risk factors – diet and physical activity outside of working hours – weren’t considered in this study.”

It would be paradise to work substantial week-day nine-to-five jobs. The reality is our economic challenges have put many families in financial crisis. Unable to afford child care, one parent works day shifts while the other stays home with the children. At night those roles are reversed. Many mothers work the graveyard-shifts in caregiver facilities like hospitals. It pays time and a half.

Coupled with financial problems, working night shift jobs can cause profound stress.  Stress is a proven killer and is cited as one of the reasons for an increase in cancer.

Until we can all have the ideal life, job opportunities and work environment, do your body a favor; don’t put it in an early grave. Fortify it with supplements and exercise, empower it with love, and listen to it. You chose it for this lifetime. Don’t wear it out before its time. Meditate, count your blessings, and thank your Higher Power for guidance.

About the author: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is a repped author, Radio Host, Q&A cancer columnist for Cape Women Online Magazine, & R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor, Patheos blogger, BreastCancerYoga  and Om Times contributor,  Follow her  on her social sites from her  website @

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dreams Decoded: A New Way for a Healthy and Awakened Life

Have you ever had a dream that you were sure held an important message for your future?



A client called me with the most astounding  dream. It was the result of downloading and following the steps of a FREE  Guidebook: 7 Steps to Access, Awaken and Activate Your Inner Guide, on a website called 


She received an important answer to a prayer in her dream concerning her past love relationship and healing.




This is a true story. I’ve changed my clients name to protect her identity despite her permission to use her dream in this blog.




Penny called me on a beautiful Cape Cod morning with what seemed like a simple request. “I’m on my way to the organic market by your home.  I’d love to stop by and talk for a minute.”




This was thrilling news to me because Penny has been suffering from stage four bone cancer for almost 5 years—four and a half years longer than her conventional doctors had given her to live because Penny had chosen to forgo conventional cancer treatment and use only holistic therapy to battle cancer that had metastasized from breast cancer.  Although we stay in touch by phone for sessions, I seldom have the pleasure of her company.




Penny's visit was a treat that would prove to be even more rewarding—because Penny had a profound healing, prophetic, lucid dream  about her past relationships and present healing to share.






Remembering her early morning dream was the result of step-one of the six ways to remember your dreams from the website guidebook:




·        verbally voice your intention to remember your dream  before you go to sleep.  Ask a question and you will receive an answer.


“I had never heard my spirit guide's voice in my life, and after all these years of believing they were responsible for guiding me on the correct path to healing by using  raw food,  I wanted to hear their voices,” Penny said as we sat on my back porch and looked out over Cape Cod Bay.  “So I voiced that intention before I went to sleep last night and I think my guides answered me. I think I heard their voices!”


“Tell me your dream—from the beginning—and don’t leave out any details,” I said as I took pencil and paper in hand and began to take notes.




Penny settled back on the lawn hair and began her dreamy story.  “I was walking down a clean and shiny corridor in a high school when I come to the gym where students were playing sports.  ‘How do I get out of here?’ I ask the students dressed in gym shorts. They point to a door.




Standing in the doorway is a female teacher. As I walk up to her I wonder if she is a guide and if I will get to hear her voice.  I ask her if she has anything to tell me. ‘You are one of the lucky ones. We got it all and you’re fine. It was a very unusual mole on your leg,’ she said, then moves out of the doorway and points to an exit sign.




I walk past her and find myself outside the High School building alone. I feel lost,  so I try to call my old boyfriend on the cell phone but the call will not go through.  But, since I don’t know where I am, I don’t even know where to tell him to come and get me and wonder how I am going to get home.




 A female taxi driver has parked in front of me. I ask her if she is going to my hometown and she says, ‘Yes. Get in.’  And as we drive away I wake up.




Do you think I was talking to my guides. What does this dream mean? Do you think I am in remission?”




I told Penny I know she was speaking with her guides, and no I do not think she is in remission. I believe she is CURED! And, that she will stay that way if she pays attention to the messages in the dream, especially concerning her relationship with her ex-boyfriend.




Dream Analysis:




A High School is a temporary place of profound learning. We learn social skills and graces that prepare us for life-long relationships. High School is the basics for happiness, higher education and a successful life in the business world.




A High School education is the basis for the future.  Without it, life is very difficult. In Penny’s dream, she finally graduated from the High School of Life & Hard Knocks where she has been under the direction of her Spirit Guides for the past four and a half years. One of her guides answered her request to see and hear them. 




The mole on her leg referred to by her Spirit Guide was a ‘dark spot on her support system.’  Our legs hold us up so that we can move forward in life. Penny had been putting her faith and giving her power to others rather than standing in her power and speaking her truth. She spent much fo her time "crawling back to an old boyfriend."




In her dream, when she thought she was lost and began to call her ‘past’ boyfriend for help, a cab driver showed up and took her home.  Her future was not in her past. Her relationship with that ex-boyfriend was abusive. It did not support her. It dragged her down. However, in times of confusion, it is easier to fall back into old habits rather than looking around for new guidance. Penny’s guides knew this and sent her the taxi cab.




A car is your life. A cab is a temporary life taking you where you need to go until you learn your way around and can drive your own car, aka, ‘handle your life.’  Her Inner-guides can fulfill all her present needs if she asks for help. Her answer to finding herself is not in the past. Only her problems reside there.




Penny must continue to trust in Inner-guidance until she can find her way around the world of post high school, drive her own car, and control her own life. Not reverting to old destructive relationships is an important part of graduation. We learn from our failures so we do not have to repeat them. This is especially true of relationships. Learning what we do not want in a relationship can be as important as looking for what we think we do want.




Dreams often overlap and Penny’s dream contains three of the seven dream types. Her dream is:




·        Prophetic because she is no longer in physical pain, she has more strength than ever before and is considering joining a gym (like the one in High School) to work out. Her medical reports (validation) state that the nine spots of bone cancer are gone and that she is in remission.




·        Lucid because she knew she was dreaming and wondered if the woman in the doorway was the guide she had asked to speak with in her pre-sleep intention.




·        Healing because it told her she was one of the luck ones, that they had gotten “all of it,” and that it was spot on her leg. 




Penny asked and received the answers to her intentions and prayers through her dreams.






If you enjoyed this article you’ll love the FREE telesummits in which I participated listed below!




Click on the links for more information. 




“My Physician-within came to my rescue through dreams, prayers and meditations when the medical community and the tests on which they rely missed my breast cancer three times.” Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos /author SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House Publishing, Jan. 2014: presale page.)
















CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION, ( Sept 11- Nov 14th) Music Meditations and Inspiration! Join me here






OPEN YOUR MIND TO POSITIVE EMOTIONS (Still running through early September.)






Bio: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) websites: Surviving Cancerland & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio , Cancer Q&A columnist CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, Dream Queen columnist- Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond, Your Dream Intrepretation ,  WakeUpWomen; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media