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Kathy Kanavos

Cancer Q & A

with Kathy Kanavos

Your Concerns About Cancer

Dear Kathy,

I just finished chemotherapy and am starting radiation therapy in three weeks. I’m experiencing a lot of anxiety and I don’t know why. Is this normal and does it ever go away?

Nancy in Hyannis

Dear Nancy,

To have this type of anxiety is very normal after experiencing any life threatening event, including and especially cancer treatment. I experienced it, too. You’ve been in a state of “fight or flight” for quite some time and, like so many of our soldiers returning from the war in the Middle East, it is hard to flip that anxiety switch off and return to a “normal” life.

Give yourself permission to have these attacks because being upset by them only adds fuel to the fire. It is also a release, like the valve on a pressure cooker. I found that meditating every day really helped with my attacks and over time my anxiety levels diminished.

Please email your questions to
Kathy O’Keefe Kanavos

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Dear Kathy,

I’ve been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My dilemma is whether to go to a leading cancer hospital close to my home or to Cancer Centers of America in another state.

The cancer center close to home has given me no encouragement for recovery and is offering minimal treatment. Cancer Centers of America has offered hope and a full treatment that includes mind/body/spirit, and has agreed to work with doctors in California using the CSRA tests. What do you think I should do?

J. in Centerville

Dear J.,

I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this difficult time, but it sounds like you have some big decisions to make. Unfortunately, only you can decide where you feel you would get the best treatment. But let me share some of my experiences and hopefully they will help you with your decisions.

I found that having confidence in the medical team responsible for my treatment was very important. My sense of hope was as important as the pharmaceuticals I took. I believe in mind-over-matter and miracles.

I am familiar with the CSRA tests because I had one done by Dr. Robert A. Nagourney, of Rational Therapeutics in Long Beach, California. I found the idea of testing chemotherapy drugs against a sample of my tumor to identify which chemotherapy was the most effective in killing the tumor cells just plain good sense.

I’ve heard very good things about Cancer Centers of America. My mother went to one for her chemotherapy and I found them to be very positive in their approach to treatment.

Good luck in choosing your place of treatment. Let me know how you are doing because I do care.

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Kathy's interview with Dr. Mark Walcutton HEALING will be aired on local ch 17, TV3

  • Thursday October 15th at noon
  • Friday October 16th at 11:00pm
  • Monday October 19th at 8:00pm

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is a two-time, ten-year breast cancer survivor. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband of 25 years and their cats.

A retired special education teacher, Kathy also taught psychology at the University of South Florida, and is a Reiki master. She is a regular contributor to CWO and a mentor for WE CAN

For seven years, Kathy has been a phone counselor to women throughout the country & seven foreign countries for the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation. or email:hotline@blochcancer.org

She has penned a book, Surviving Cancerland: A Memoir on the Psychic Aspects of Healing, and recently signed with New York literary agent Jack Scovil to find a publisher for her work.

The Pink Pages of her book have been added to the R.A. BLOCH CANCER FOUNDATION reference booklet.

Kathy was featured in the Barnstable Patriot Newspaper and interviewed in January, 2009, for the PROFILE program of TV Channel 17.