My diagnosis of cancer left me feeling devastated, confused, and alone. Illness is costly in the best of times. During economic strife, it can be a burden resulting in financial, belief, and relationship crisis.

Difficult changes must be made. However, change can be beneficial—even lifesaving.

When my intuitive suspicion of breast cancer was medically confirmed, I considered suicide as a means of freeing myself from fear-of-the-unknown, and the gruesome death my mother had suffered from colon cancer sixteen months earlier. Armed with lessons learned throughout life and while caring for Mom, I conquered my fears and learned another important lesson: Don’t tell your Higher Power how big your troubles are–tell your troubles HOW BIG YOUR HIGHER POWER IS.

Controlling fear rather than giving in to it can be a defining moment.

Cancer is guaranteed to knock you down with its series of crises, beginning with discovery, and continuing through treatment, often with no end in sight. However, danger can also open hidden doors deep in our psyche—doors locked out of fear of rebuke or terror. My door led to the psychic realm of healing. Behind that door was proof that we are never alone during any hardship. I found that deceased loved ones were given permission to return to the earth plane and guide me through my treatments.

 I also learned that love is something we can take with us after death, and bring back to the living during challenges in life. Love transcends time, space, and death.

My crisis increased my intuition, which in turn saved my life. How often have we ignored our gut-instincts in favor of scientific facts, and then regretted our decision? It’s time to stop ignoring ourselves. By disregarding intuition in favor of science or science in favor of instincts, we limit ourselves. The best way to survive any crisis is to mix these two different information modals, and then crosscheck them against each other. Listen, then verify.

 By doing this, I doubled my chances of finding answers that were indisputably correct. You don’t have to be psychic to believe your female intuition or inner voices. In order to effectively battle illness, we must get in touch with our inner-selves and work together toward the goal of survival by using everything available to us, seen and unseen. By searching within through dreams, meditation or prayer, we will find our own set of answers to any challenge.

 No matter how confusing they seem, dreams are often telling us something. Through dreams, my spiritual guides communicated life-saving details. They encouraged me to advocate for different medical tests to find the cancer the medical community had missed—twice. Their guided information proved that I was not alone in my fight to survive cancer and its deadly recurrence.

Spiritual guides, angels, intuition, gut instincts, call-them-what-you-will, voices and dreams have gotten a bad rap in society. Yet, they saved my life and comforted me. Without their intervention, I believe I would be dead and my story would be buried.

Sometimes it takes an experience of major proportions to hurl us out of our habitual patterns in life. We cannot change yesterday. However, we can use what we’ve learned to redirect our tomorrow and turn it into a beneficial place for ourselves and others. Without that catalyst we might never find or fulfill our true destiny.

 My catalyst was cancer. It projected me out of my cozy life of social engagements and into one of self preservation. The result was the birth of my new destiny. Fueled with empathy, I began to help others by sharing my unique story of spirituality, hope, and survival against all odds. Realizing that we are never alone during strife changed my perception of life and death.

My darkest hour became a dawn of defining moments filled with doors that opened to a wonderful future.

About the author- Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is a two- time breast cancer survivor who penned SURVIVING CANCERLAND. She is represented by Scovil, Galen & Ghosh Literary Agency & Steve Allen Media.

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