Thursday, March 3, 2016

Breast Cancer Warning Dreams: Interview with Kathleen O'Keefe Kanavos

This interview with Kathleen O'keefe Kanavos is part six of my Breast Cancer Warning Dreams Series. The women in these interviews and myself were part of a study that profiled women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in dreams and then in real life.

Can you set the stage of your life at the time of this dream that suggested you had breast cancer? Were dreams about health issues common for you or did this come out of left field?
Kathleen O'keefe Kanovos
This was definitely out of left field. According to my yearly check –up I was the picture of perfect health. All my mammograms, blood tests and physical exams “proved” to the medical community that my cancer concerns were unwarranted. However, my recurrent precognitive dreams would not be ignored and hounded my every sleeping and waking hour. Nightmares often accompany health related dreams.
My daily routine was to get up-whenever I felt like it- pick out a tennis outfit, join my team for an inter country-club match, decide where to go for lunch, go out with friends for dinner. Go to bed, get up, and repeat. My life was very different from the life I lead in-service today.
It all began one stormy night when my husband and I were in the bathtub together looking up through the skylight at the full Halloween moon when I remembered a recurrent dream that kept telling me to go back to the doctor despite my healthy mammogram because I had breast cancer. That was the beginning of the end of my old care-free life.
Fortunately, I had a husband who supported me in my old life, and still does today, in my new one.
Sometimes you don’t know what you are made of until you start to fall apart and your best parts pop out and hold you together. We are made up of so much more than id, ego and super ego. Often, bad things happen to good people. That’s life. But, you don’t have to be a victim of circumstances. Listening to our dreams can save us from being a victim at all. 
How did the dream unfold? Did it move you to seek screening right away or did you wait?
Kathleen O'Keefe Kanavos
Three days after my memory of the dream in the bathtub, I had an appointment with my gynecologist, Dr. Wagner, whom I also used as my general practitioner.  “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.  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 Mom’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.
            That night’s strange dream sent me scurrying back to Dr. Wagner. I had been enjoying my dream when suddenly it froze, much like the screen on a computer freezes, and a pop-up window appeared, also like one on a computer. 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. 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.  You 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 sword to fence with in your verbal battles with the doctors and you will win against scientific facts. You need exploratory surgery. If you present your case to the doctors as though you were an attorney standing before an incredulous judge that dislikes you, 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.
             “You want an exploratory surgery!  I can’t take something out that isn’t there.  An operation is a serious decision, and in your case unfounded and unnecessary.”  My doctor is upset.  So am I, but for a different reason.  His concern is that I’ve overreacted to an “invisible spot.” Mine is that I haven’t reacted enough to this damned spot.
            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.  In mine I have an angel feather from a dream. I dug into my mental chest, pulled out the tiny feather and imagined pointing it him. His defense is logically indisputable. Yet, I pleaded my case like a lawyer  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 while mentally pinching my feather between my fingers. Then I turned to face my medical opponent, who I must win over to become an ally to live.  
What was the outcome of your screening?
Kathleen O'Keefe Kanavos
The first warning bell tolled in my brain when my doctor pulled the privacy curtain behind him in the little recovery cubical. The second one gonged when he took my hand. “Pathology didn’t like what they saw when they cut the tumor open,” he said.  That shocked the s*#t out of me and my nausea was momentarily replaced by panic.
            “Is it cancer?” I held fast to the side of the gurney and braced myself for the answer I already suspected.
            “Yes, I’m sorry.  I’ll get your husband and also refer you to a specialist now.”
            The specialist I requested in your office when you told me I was too young for cancer? I thought.
              So my dreams had been right, the doctors and tests wrong.  With my surgeon’s words, the first shot of my ensuing battle had been fired and it is not a warning shot across my bow.  It is point-blank into my breast.  I glance down at my painful wound and weep.
            This uphill march began my Alice in Cancerland descent down the dark rabbit hole of crisis. The corner has been turned.  There is no going back to my previous life. Like Alice, I was falling, falling with no bottom in sight and little hope of a soft landing.
Did you tell your physician or his/her staff about the dream? If so, how did they respond?
Kathleen O'Keefe Kanavos
           Yes and no. Five years later two of my New York doctors walked into the examining room with a look of concern on their faces and asked, “Are you psychic?” It turned out that a dream I had had concerning my treatment had been right again. I finally told them the whole story. They told me to write a book ad that they planned to tell the story at every cocktail party they attended. “Your dream story will be the talk of the town.”  I sent my Boston doctors an autographed book.
Do you believe your dream and subsequent actions you took as a result saved your life? If so, how?
Kathleen O'keefe Kanavos
Absolutely! If I had followed my doctors suggestion the first time and waited six months for a second set of tests my stage 2 aggressive cancer that was also in a lymph node would have had time to grow and spread out of control. Six months would have been too late. If I had listened the second time when my doctors told me was too healthy to qualify for an MRI, my recurrent stage 4, 9x11 cm lobular cancerous area would not have been found in time. I was on the edge of doom.
How did you come to be included in Dr. Burk's study?
Kathleen O'keefe Kanavos
A friend of a friend of a friend contacted us and we then met by email and later by phone.  Kelly Sullivan Walden was one of those friends, and I credit her with Dr. Larry Burk and I meeting for the first time. We then met in person at IASD; the International Association for the Study of Dreams, where we later did presentations together.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Kathleen O'keefe Kanavos

What is truly amazing Suzanne is that we all spend one-third to almost half of our lives sleeping. Whether we remember them or not, we dream...every night, and even during the day with Daydreams. Yet, for many people, dreams remain an "X" file because in our Western culture they are looked upon as useless, nonsensical, random firings of an over-active, over-stimulated brain. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Your dreams can save your health, wealth, relationships and love-life. We often forget that we go to bed each night with the smartest person in this world? YOU! And, the only person who can answer all your questions and in some ways, save your life.

Here are my 4 tips on how to live a fulfilled and happy life:
Don’t take no for an answer. “No!” means start again at the next level up. Think YES! Don’t be dismissed. Stand in your power and speak your truth.  Be the squeaky wheel until you are heard.  Learn to dance in the rain, sing in the wind, and make lemonade out of a storm. 
Tell us about your life now.

Kathleen O'Keefe Kanavos

After surviving breast cancer three times that was missed by the medical community and the tests on which they relied, but uncovered in my dreams, I spend much of my time in the service of others, helping women, and men, learn how to believe in themselves and their dreams, so they can stand in their power and speak their truth when facing adversity. My missed recurrence was stage four, considered terminal, yet here I still am, sharing my experience in your interview.

I turned my lemons into lemonade and have often found others, like yourself, who turned their rotten potatoes into vodka, and we party with wonderful people like Dr. Larry Burk, to celebrate life and the power of our life-saving dreams. I used my experiences to write an International Best-Seller and multi award winning book titled; Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing. I am a Dream, Health, Wealth & Relationship Expert who believes dreams can diagnose your life and often ask guests on my radio and TV shows, “Did you have a déjà vu or did a dream come true?” Inspirational/Keynote speaking is one of my loves, along with being a multi magazine columnist and avid blogger. I guess you could say sharing dream-health information is a big must for me.

My story is in many books including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions. My columns are in Cape Women Online Magazine as a Cancer Q&A, Wellness Women 40 and Beyond- Dream Queen columnist, Women Voices Magazine where I have two columns, one on cooking based on my recipes written during treatment that take 15 minutes or less and are organic. The second column is SOUL and is dedicated to dreams and spirituality. It is with great pride that I tell EVERYONE I will be on the cover of the June issue of the magazine, & R.A.Bloch Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor & Mentor. My weekly TV and Radio shows require much planning but are worth every second. It is my hope to interview the women you have interviewed on my live streaming skype radio show Wicked Housewives™  Club.

When Epoch Times did an article on my dreams and about being in Dr. Larry Burk’s study we were contacted by other doctors doing similar studies and research, which is very encouraging. We plan to add some of the information in the book we are busy writing together, Dreams That Can Save Your Life.  My focus right now is fulfilling my destiny; sharing that we are never alone and our dreams are Sacred doorways to Heaven.
You can learn more @ 

Other Interviews In This Series:

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