Friday, December 25, 2009


The Gift of Community
by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

THIS CHRISTMAS WILL BE disheartening for many of us. Our unstable economy, dwindling financial security, home foreclosures, and job losses will not pause for the holiday season. Add health issues to that equation and the result is few, if any, gifts beneath the Christmas Tree. However, there is a bright star in our dark night: community support. We are bigger than the sum of our problems. We belong to the community of mankind. Fellowship and help networks filled with resources and hope are available to everyone. So are sympathetic shoulders to cry on.
In my work as a phone counselor for the R.A. BLOCH CANCER FOUNDATION, I recently received a call from a woman called Lisa, from California. It soon became apparent that this woman, who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer recurrence, needed a whole lot more than just my shoulder for support.
“I can’t start my cancer treatments!” the hysterical voice on the phone cried. “I have to pack all of my belongings because the bank is foreclosing on my home. I’m being thrown out into the street and I have nowhere to go!”
I heard the phone drop to the floor, followed by loud weeping. I felt my heart sink. I wanted to cry with her but that wouldn’t help either of us. So I waited for Lisa to retrieve the phone and resume her tale. Sometimes just listening is the first step in helping.
“I’m the last of my family,” she sobbed and explained that her father and brother had died of cancer last year. Her mother had died two years ago. Her dog was her only companion and she was running out of dog food. “If I start my treatments, I won’t have enough energy to pack, and my things are all that I have left of my family. How can you possibly help me?” she demanded.
Good question! How could I assist a woman in such a severe crisis living on the other side of the country? If stress is a killer, why is this poor woman still alive? Is it any wonder she has cancer, again?
“I don’t want to live anymore!” she moaned. “No one can help me.”
I told her to take a deep breath and reassured her that I have resources and contacts. I could call to get her help. Using The BLOCH FOUNDATION and the ‘PINK’ resource pages from the back of my book, SURVIVING CANCERLAND, I found the toll-free numbers for the director of the Cancer Legal Resource Center in Los Angeles, and the name of an attorney who is a two-time cancer survivor and co-founder of a legal network for cancer patients. Before giving Lisa these phone numbers, I contacted the organizations to be sure they could meet her needs.
Two days later, I followed up with a call to Lisa, and discovered that she had contacted the attorney, and Legal Resource Center. A community animal organization had also donated food for her dog. She sounded much better as she prepared for her treatments. We spoke of the statistically increasing chances of surviving cancer recurrence, due to new treatments, with better results, and fewer side effects.
“Call me if you need me,” I said. “I’m here for you.”
I was reluctant to let Lisa go, but realized I had to respect her ability, and desire to empower herself with these resources.
Unfortunately, Lisa’s story is not the exception during these trying times. Her story, however, has a silver lining, with the uplifting message that community support is crucial during any crisis. As a community, we are our sister’s keepers.

A few days after Lisa’s call, I heard an interesting conversation while standing in a grocery store check-out line. One lady complained about her financial problems to a second woman who responded with, “If you want to change the way your problems appear, change the way you peer at them.” This remark reminded me of the movie Dead Poets Society, in which Robin Williams played an English Professor who encouraged his students to stand on top of their desks to gain a different perspective on life. Another helpful way to achieve this change is by not looking at our problems alone. Like the students in the movie, sometimes we need a guide to help us process challenges differently.
Getting back to holiday basics, and viewing them from a different perspective by remembering the true message of Christmas may also help reduce this season’s stresses. Christmas was a message of hope and joy embodied in the form of a new life: a homeless infant born in a barn with a manger for a crib. This child did not receive piles of expensive gifts. He received a roof over his head, and one small heartfelt gift from each of three wise men.
In keeping with the true tradition of Christams, my husband and I have decided not to exchange Christmas gifts this year. Instead, we are going to give them to children in need within our community. This year we will view Christmas from a differnet perspective, that of the Wise Men.
The internet is rich in local resources for women in crisis. With our extended community of world-wide “womenkind” we have unlimited assets from which to draw at our fingertips. If you know anyone in crisis, please share this article to help them during the holiday season and beyond. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

OBAMA CARE- read this article and my response .

Monday, November 30, 2009


Cooler weather has arrived. Our sandals are stored away. Nature has repainted life from a fiery palette that will cool to hues of winter’s blues. What can replace a classic sandal? The timeless black leather boot!
One of the staples in a woman’s shoe collection is the 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.
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. There is the ankle boot—great with anything from jeans to pencil skirts, and the patent leather boot—perfect for 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” on your feet. Wear them together and look attractive and confident throughout the holiday seasons.
Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos @PsychicHealing on twitter.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Memories can last a life time, especially when they include food. My Holiday and week-end mornings always started with a family breakfast. I remember how quickly Mom prepared this one, often using leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. It was always a favorite! Now, as the Mommy in my family, I’m passing on the tradition.

Veggi Frittata
This meal is great for three reasons: 1. It can be eaten anytime of the day and is delicious in the evening. 2. ANY LEFT OVERS can be used in the egg base. 3. It is quick and healthy.)
Prep time 5-10 minutes Clean up 2 minutes
8 oz Egg Beaters Cheese and Chives 15 oz potato diced, fresh or canned, drained
10 oz Sargento reduced fat 4 cheese mix 6 oz mushrooms, canned, drained
8 oz spinach, fresh or canned, drained 15 oz asparagus, fresh or canned, drained

1. Spray metal handled frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat broiler.
2. Place all ingredients in pan and cook 1 minute
3. Place pan under broiler (if non-metal handle keep handle out of oven) and allow egg to cook, rise and brown for 4 minutes or until knife comes out clean.


Calling all Mr. Moms and bachelors- read up! This is for everyone with time restraints.
It is the Holiday season. Markets are filled with items that are particular to this time of the year. Utilizing them can bring joy, freshness and a feeling of celebration into the kitchen. These recipes were taken from appendix IV- (QUICKIE COOKBOOK) of my book SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing.
When medical, economic and financial challenges take precedence in our lives, everything else must be re-prioritized including time with our family and cooking. But with my recipes, we don’t need to make the choice between family and food. We can have both with recipes that meet our needs and time restrictions. For those of us watching our waistlines along with our budgets, I’ve add the nutritional and calorie information for the meals.
You probably wonder what could possibly be quicker or easier than picking up fast-food for dinner…. Having dinner cooked and waiting for you at home after spending the day with family doing things you never thought possible and cook. You’re tired. Go home! Dinner’s waiting! And, you’ll never look at left-overs the same way, again. That’s what I call “cookin’.”
DINNER= Apple Cider Chicken Stew over
Sprouted Wheat Pappardelle Pasta 557 calories 25.2g protein
and a tossed green salad.
Prep time 12 min. Clean up 3 min.
( Leftovers can be put in a blender for tomorrow’s LUNCH, --Hot soup with crusty bread!)
12 oz of fresh boned and cubed chicken breasts 1 onion cubed
1 cup of apple cider 1 can of chicken broth
¼ teaspoon rosemary ½ tablespoon flour
8 oz or ½ package of frozen mixed vegetables
DIRECTIONS: Apple Cider Chicken Stew
1. In Slow Cooker, place onions on bottom followed by chicken and frozen vegetables.
2. Combine flour, rosemary, cider and broth. Stir until smooth and pour over chicken. Turn Slow Cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.

1 bag of Sprouted Wheat Pappardella Pasta (available in most health food stores)
Prep time 12 min. Clean up 2 min. (Place in blender for LUNCH soup)
DIRECTIONS: Pappardelle Pasta
1. Boil 3-4 quarts of water. If desired add salt before water boils.
2. Add pasta and stir.
3. Boil 6-8 minutes for al dente.
4. Drain and spray with non stick cooking spray.
While pasta is cooking make a green salad and add your favorite dressing, or mine.
5.Spoon chicken stew over pasta and enjoy.
TOSSED SALAD Prep time 1 min. Clean up 1 min.
½ head green leaf lettuce, torn into pieces and placed in bowl 1 Tablespoon extra virgin oil
Salt and pepper to taste or 1/8 teaspoon “jar spices” 1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS: tossed salad
1. Wash lettuce.
2. Pat dry with paper towel.
3. Add favorite salad dressing
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar salt and pepper
1.Toss with olive oil to coat lettuce leaves (this keeps the vinegar from soaking into the leaves and making them soggy).
2.Toss with ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or to taste).
3. salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Stew Nutritional Value per one serving or 365.1g; Calories=207; Total Fat= 2.9g; Cholesterol= 54mg; Sodium=421mg; Total Carbohydrates=21.0g; Daily Fiber=2.0g; Sugars=14.1g; Protein=23.2g.
Good Points= Low in Saturated Fat, High in Niacin, Selenium, very high in Vitamin. A
Sprouted Wheat Pappardella (55g) dry Calories=210; Total Fat= 0.5g; Cholesterol=0mg; Sodium=130mg; Total Carbohydrates=39; Dietary Fiber=3g; Sugars=2g; Protein=11g.
Good Points= Very Low in Fat, High in Iron, no Cholesterol, high in Fiber.
Green Leaf Lettuce, one serving size = 4g Calories per serving=1; Total Fat=0g; Cholesterol=0g; Dietary Fiber=0g; Sugars=0g; Protein=0g.
Good Points= Very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, good source of Protein, Dietary Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, high in Vitamin. A,C, K, B6, Foliate, Iron,Potassium, Thiamin., Riboflavin.
Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Serving size 1 Tablespoon (15 ml)- Calories= 120; Total Fat= 14g; Cholesterol= 0mg; Sodium=0mg; Total Carbohydrates=0; Protein=0.
Balsamic Vinegar- Serving size 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Calories=20; Total Fat= 0g; Sodium=0mg; Total Carbohydrates=4g; Sugar=4g; Protein=0g.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

(632 wds)

New Ruling on Mammograms a Blessing in Disguise?

Women throughout the country are justified in their angst concerning the New Mammogram Guideline Recommendations from the “Government Task Force.” This recommendation breaks with the American Cancer Societies’ long-standing position regarding early detection, and sound like a step backward in health care. It is a fact that detecting cancer early can mean the difference between life and death. If mammograms are discontinued before the age of 50, how will early screening for breast cancer continue? What about arguments concerning false negatives and the panel’s advice that women shouldn’t be taught to do or use breast self examinations? Don’t despair. There are solutions to these challenges.

Now, more than ever before in breast cancer history, it’s important for women to listen to their bodies concerning health. It’s time to discover our inner-voices and self-advocate for the tests we need in order to survive. Medical tests we relied on for early detection may be a thing of the past. Our doctor’s hands may be tied by Hospital Policies that are cutting back on medical costs. We must depend on ourselves because we cannot depend on others to put our interests first and policies second. Education through word-of-mouth and the internet can be an invaluable tool. Four years ago a friend told me about the use of sonograms for breast cancer detection.

According to researchers at the University of Washington and Harvard Medical School, during a 10 year period, 1 out of 3 women had mammograms and breast exams which yielded images of breast cancer when none was actually present—false positives. Conversely, false negatives are common (up to 15%) with mammograms, especially in younger women who have dense breast tissue. However, the fear of a false negative is nothing compared to the panic attack associated with a missed positive. I can attest to this from personal experience. At ages 44 and 49, both of my breast cancers were missed on mammograms—missed positives—but found by self examination, and confirmed by MRIs. Our first line of detection should always be ourselves with self examinations, especially as our healthcare system continues to undergo changes. And, rather than systematically relying on mammograms for early detection, we should be looking at more reliable options such as Breast Sonograms.

The Power Color Doppler Ultrasound technology has been used as an alternative to Prostate Biopsy for years. One of the benefits of the Power Doppler Ultrasound is that it can be used as a mammogram alternative to monitor breast health and obtain clear, accurate breast cancer images. It can provide early and accurate images of most highly malignant breast cancers, resulting in life-saving early detection, diagnosis, and intervention.

According to the American Journal of Radiology, sonography detects four times as many cancers as physical examinations and twice as many cancers as mammography. Other advantages are that they can be repeated to closely monitor areas of concern during treatment. Additional benefits of Breast Sonograms are:
• completely painless, safe, and non-invasive
• no harmful radiation used during the procedure
• inexpensive when compared with the costs of a mammogram or biopsy
• requires no post-procedure medical care or recovery time.

If I’ve learned one thing these past years it is that you seldom get anywhere waiting for someone else to take action for you. Hoping someone else makes the right decision for you is a half plan missing a vital component and your biggest resource—You! Be a squeaky wheel until you are acknowledged, don’t take no for an answer, don’t settle for less, and don’t be dismissed. I am not beholden to medical or insurance associations. I don’t have a Ph.D. after my name, but I do have 10 years of cancer experience behind it. Help others by passing the word.

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 contributor to Cape Women Online Magazine, Twitter’s C4Women, Colette Baron-Reid’s Intuition Now, National, blogs ,tweets and is a volunteer for many cancer organizations and online cancer groups. She is currently working on her second book, SURVIVING RECURRENCE in CANCERLAND

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We understand the concept of death as spirit leaving the body. But, what about the idea of spirits returning for dinner?
Our love for the deceased is shown by talking to them in their burial place, lighting candles for them in places of worship, and displaying their pictures. On the anniversary of their passing we have moments of silence, song, and food where we live, work, and pray. So, is setting a place for the dead at our dinner table going too far? Those who practice the Dumb Supper on All Hollow’s Eve don’t think so.
The Dumb Supper is a reverent event that discourages conversation of any kind. Dumb Supper literally means quiet meal—mum’s the word. It takes place on Samhain, which is All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween. This practice, celebrated worldwide, is one of the largest gatherings at the Festival of the Dead in Salem, MA.
After the family meal is cooked, the table is set with an empty place setting filled with food. This extra setting is for all the family ancestors to come and enjoy a meal with the living family members. Photographs of the deceased are often placed on the table.
Dinner begins with a prayer and a welcoming of the ancestors, and continues with quietude for the remainder of the meal. Appliances and cell phones are turned off because it is believed that silence is helpful for the dead to be among the living.
No one leaves the table until everyone has finished eating. The silence is broken when everyone thanks the ancestors for dining with them.
After the meal is over, the ancestor’s food is fed to the family pets, spread over the earth, or taken to the cemetery where it is left on their grave sites. It is believed that the dead ate of the essence of the meal and thereby shared in the celebration of life.
One of the largest gatherings for the Festival of the Dead’s Dumb Supper is held in the Grand Ballroom of the Historic Hawthorne Hotel in Salem; a haunted site featured on the SciFi Channel’s show Ghost Hunters.
Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos and @PsychicHealing twitter

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Calling all Mr. Moms, Moms, and Bachelors-read up!

From SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing
(This is for everyone with time restraints.)

“Quickie” includes clean up. This recipe was taken from the cookbook section of my book. Over the past days, I posted meals—breakfast, lunch and dinner—with the nutritional and calorie information for a time challenged family. Enjoy!

Dinner after a long day can be daunting. When our fast paced life and medical appointments take precedence in our lives everything else must be re-prioritized including family, home and work. Fast food restaurants can be enticing so cooking and nutrition can get pushed to the end of the line. During a time of watching our pennies and waistlines, cooking at home is more important than ever.
After all we’ve endured, financially, medically, and emotionally, including a cranky belly; we need a belly pleaser meal that meets our nutritional needs, time restrictions and weight concerns.
I dedicate this recipe to all those hard working people, often raising their families alone while undergoing health treatments, and who put their children’s needs first. Not only do they bring home the bacon, they cook it, too.
Throw this dinner recipe together at lunch time and it will be ready when you are thinking about a quick drive through restaurant for dinner. Save you money and energy. This is a childhood favorite that adults love, too.

DINNER: Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese & salad
Prep time 5 min. Clean up 1 min.
8 oz macaroni, cooked 6 oz 2% milk
6 oz evaporated milk 1 large egg
Salt and pepper to taste 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Spray the crock with nonstick spray. Mix everything and put into Slow Cooker. Cook on low for 3 hours or high for 1 ½ hours.

Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese=Calories 342; Total Fat=15.0 mg; Carbohydrates=34.3g; Cholesterol= 81mg; Sodium= 250mg; Dietary Fiber=0.9; Sugars=6.5; Protein=16.4.

Good Points= High in Selenium and Calcium.
Bad Points=High in Fat.

Prep time 1 min. Clean up 1 min.
½ head green leaf lettuce, torn into pieces and placed in bowl 1 Tablespoon extra virgin oil
Salt and pepper to taste or 1/8 teaspoon “jar spices” 1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar

Wash lettuce.
Pat dry with paper towel.
3. Add favorite salad dressing
Home-made vinaigrette dressing.
1.Toss with olive oil to coat lettuce leaves (this keeps the vinegar from soaking into the leaves and making them soggy).
2.Toss with ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or to taste).

Prep time 30 sec. Clean up= 0
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar ¼ teaspoon “jar spices”


Green Leaf Lettuce, one serving size = 4g Calories per serving=1; Total Fat=0g; Cholesterol=0g; Dietary Fiber=0g; Sugars=0g; Protein=0g.

Good Points= Very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, good source of Protein, Dietary Fiber,
Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, high in Vitamin. A,C, K, B6, Foliate, Iron,
Potassium, Thiamin., Riboflavin.
Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Serving size 1 Tablespoon (15 ml)- Calories= 120; Total Fat= 14g; Cholesterol= 0mg; Sodium=0mg; Total Carbohydrates=0; Protein=0.

Thursday, October 1, 2009



This information was sent to me in a number of cancer and health related newsletters. I combined them and did research of my own to pass on to my readers.
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 that their conditions obviously 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, inflammatory breast, liver, mantle cell lymphoma, pancreatic, mesotheloma, salivary, and small cell (of the lung, colon, ovary, prostate, uterus) cancers. Also included are metastic, inorperable or recurrent cases of breast, adreanal, 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 it 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.
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

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Defense Against the Dark Hearts
by Lori Hoeck on May 28, 2009

My Comment-17 Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos August 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm
What a great article to help people recognize between emotional vampires (as I call them in my book SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing), temporarily dysfunctional friends and true friends. If we cannot tell who is who it is more difficult to make intelligent choices about people with whom we asociate. All friends start as associates, then the association grows into a more substantial relationship. Sometimes learning what you don’t want in relationships is as important as knowing what you do want.

We know who is good for us and who is not. Our body tells us with symptoms. Sometimes we simply don’t believe ourselves. It is time to stop ignoring what we know and make healthy choices.

We all know we should not eat bad food. It is not good for us. Yet, we stay with bad “friends.” Friends are food for our soul.

Your article helps people choose good “soul food.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights.

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos
Twitter- PsychicHealing and PsychCancerland

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Letters: 'EARLY' word on breast cancer - Opinion -
Sep 14, 2009 ...

I too was told I was too young for breast cancer, twice। But I knew I had it. I am a two time breast cancer survivor who was told both times that I was healthy and to go home. The first time, despite multiple healthy mammograms and blood tests, I managed to convince my doctor to perform surgery. Pathology reported that I had stage two aggressive breast cancer that had spread to a lymph node. The second time was five years later at a major cancer Institute. After four months of fighting for an MRI, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Like Ms. कर्म, both times I refused to be dismissed and became a “squeaky wheel. If I had not self advocated for tests and believed what my body was telling me over the medical tests and physicians, I believe I would be one of the 1,100 women described in the article who died after being told they were too young for breast cancer. (Breast Cancer Survivors Can Lift Weights.” Life Aug., 13).

Women are particularly in tuned with their bodies. It tells us when we are ovulating; experience PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), menstruation, pregnancy and “nesting” prior to child-birth. Therefore, we understand when our body is saying, “Go to the doctor.”
I applaud Maimah Karmo and Rep, Schultz for their work in Breast Cancer. We need more stories like “EARLY.” Teaching women to self advocate is as important as teaching doctors how to listen when they do.
Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos
Cape Cod, MA