On February 1, 2010, I was bolted awake in the early morning by a powerful dream.  Grabbing a pen and the nearest paper available – the blank back page of my calendar (which doubles as my diary) – I recorded the following:

“I dreamt I went to a female doctor with deep bright pinkish red lipstick and dark hair pulled back in a bun.  She palpated my kidneys and told me my left one needed to be removed.  I went to another male doctor in a hospital and he said the same thing and said it should be done in the hospital (as opposed to the doctor’s office).  I was walking through a city calling or thinking I needed to call my homeopath to ask him what to do – I wanted to heal my kidneys without removing them.

“I was at a lifeguard summer camp intensive; we had to pool test.  We had cinch gear bags with the stuff we needed in them.  In the pool, we were squished in like sardines, in a “suicide circle” formation [the former nickname—no longer used—of a test in camp lifeguard training where the guard being tested was in the water surrounded by several counselor “victims”].  We “rescued” an older woman for the first test.  I helped, demoed, led; “you must protect the head.”  Back to locker room to prepare/change for 2nd test.

“Walking back (through a holiday bazaar), I saw three men I knew – and gave one [a friend of mine who is a doctor] a big hug.

“Then I was in ritual ceremony – it was night, candlelight.  It was like ritual dismemberment.  Instead of kidneys it was my ovaries – left ovary.  I sat in my seat, swaying and moving into another consciousness.  There was a large group of people.  I was facing my sister.  My brother-in-law came up to me from the right side and was telling me that part of the ritual had already happened (I was late), as if to keep me in line.  I ignored him and went deeper, swaying to the drumbeat.  I made a stop sign with my hands in four directions to block interruptions.  A woman came up in front of me to talk to me.  My sister laughed (at the futility of me trying to stop interruptions).  My left ovary was sliced, the eggs squeezed out and named – Lily, Mackenzie…  Perhaps this was ritual menopause – the making of a crone?”

After recording the dream, I shut my diary and completely forgot about it.

My waking journey with cancer began about one month later; first, with a visit to my female nurse practitioner and then to the male doctor at the hospital.  I was simultaneously in dialog with my homeopath who was investigating the health of my kidneys (in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidney system includes the reproductive organs).  Throughout this period, my Tibetan Buddhist teacher reminded me that it was vital to keep my mental state clear (“you must protect the head”).  Three days before the first surgery, I had a blessingway ceremony with several of my close friends present.  (Normally, a blessingway is a ritual held for a mother ready to give birth, to surround her with the love and power and prayers of her female support system.  I decided to have one for what I was about to birth in me.)  It was a powerful event and moving for all of us; and at least for me, consciousness-altering.  Three days later, I underwent the first surgery where my left ovary was removed.  There were ultimately two “tests” (surgeries).

On May 9th, more than three months after I dreamed it, I rediscovered my revelation of February 1st.  I was sitting on the couch reading and writing when my diary fell open to its back page. This was the morning following the blessingway and two days before the first surgery.  The accuracy of the premonition, as revealed subsequently in both the physical and psychic worlds, stunned me.

My friend Andrea was visiting at the time.  Calling her downstairs, I shared the dream with her.  Dumbstruck, we sat on the couch and stared at one another.  And I wondered – can we make mistakes?

I don’t normally record my dreams.