Rebeccah Silence of Inspired Results: I Survived Cancer and Here Is How I Did It

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

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Cancer is not a death sentence. If you treat cancer as a death sentence, it begins to kill your spirit immediately. You can live with an “I am going to live like I am going to live” mantra, even if you end up dying. Morbid but true. Keep recognizing that as long as your heart is still beating and your lungs are still taking in oxygen that you are still alive and that means you still have a chance to survive cancer.

Cancer is a horrible and terrifying disease. Yet millions of people have beaten the odds and beat cancer. Authority Magazine started a new series called “I Survived Cancer and Here Is How I Did It”. In this interview series, we are talking to cancer survivors to share their stories, in order to offer hope and provide strength to people who are being impacted by cancer today. As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rebeccah Silence.

Rebeccah Silence is a speaker, coach, and international media personality who has impacted hundreds of thousands of lives through her coaching practice, radio programs, podcasts, and appearances.

It wasn’t until she was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant that she walked the very roadmap that she would soon create for others. It was out of this experience that the HEALING IS POSSIBLE movement that helps others heal from their own emotional traumas was born.

As a certified, world-class, and award-winning Emotional Healing Coach, Rebeccah is uniquely qualified to help others achieve their breakthroughs to wellness and transformation. She inspires hope and shows us what’s possible — even in the most challenging of times. Rebeccah is best known for healing heartbreak, and her clients frequently say that she brought them “back to life”!

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! We really appreciate the courage it takes to publicly share your story. Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your childhood backstory?

My life has been a gorgeous mix of dark and light. A psychic once said to me, you have been counseling since you were 10 — this is probably true.

I grew up in a household with one parent who struggled with addiction. There were many dark moments. The light was hard for me to find on many days. But even as a young girl, I had hoped that the family I loved so much could heal and that the experience of family could be safe. I wanted family to be a place where everyone was supported and fully expressed.

Ironically, since all I do today is talk, my way of surviving the darkest moments in my childhood was to stay as quiet as possible in an effort to try not to make things worse or rock the boat. The joke is that I was so committed to Silence that eventually I married a man with the last name, Silence.

My family and childhood prepared me for cancer in a way that literally takes my breath away when I think about it. I learned commitment. I learned endurance. I learned resilience. And I learned how to love life and people, even in the most difficult times.

My early career was as a Music Therapist, and I did a 6-month internship at the State Psychiatric Hospital in Colorado. During that time, I lived on the hospital grounds and studied both the staff and the patients. I made an idealistic decision to believe that most of those people were not crazy — they didn’t have healthy coping skills or a way to express and release their stuck emotions in a safe and healthy way. I made it my life’s mission to help people heal at that time.

From there, I got a Master’s in Counseling, worked in schools as a school counselor, and eventually as a school counseling coordinator. Next, I began my training as an Integrative Holistic Life Coach and Facilitator.

I’ve built my life work around striving to become an expert in human behavior with a mission of helping people, couples and families, emotionally heal what is seemingly impossible.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

What a great question!

My favorite quote is: “Only when you are willing to subject yourself to annihilation over and over again can that within you which is indestructible be found.” — Pema Chodron

The way I have lived my life before and after cancer has been to look at my internal struggles, triggers, and upsets as the ultimate gateway to my personal freedom, and I teach this to my clients as well.

I lean into the dark in order to access the light. I want to know my weak spots, where life can level me, and I know that it is never other people or situations that are the cause of my distress. I know that I can’t change circumstances but that I can get emotionally clear, and live into inspired and healed leadership in any moment or situation.

This undercurrent of how I am, came in especially handy when I got sick, while I was pregnant and was blindsided with a cancer diagnosis.

I love this quote because it keeps me in a “Bring it on!” mentality and emotional state. I want to use life to make me better, for people, and that is how I live every day of my life.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about surviving cancer. Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you found out that you had cancer?

I am an open book. If sharing my story can help anyone, it’s absolutely worth it to unpack and to share. During my pregnancy with my second daughter, I had a mole on my left arm that was changing. Before the pregnancy, years before, the mole had been dark and when I asked my primary care doctor about it he said he would not refer me to dermatology and that we could watch it. It didn’t change until the pregnancy and then it grew fast, changed quickly, and eventually burst open.

I was coaching a surgeon and his wife and they said to me, in session after the mole had burst open, that I needed to come in the next morning to get the mole removed and tested.

I followed their lead, completely ignorant about skin cancer. I thought that even if it was skin cancer, it could get cut out and life would go on as normal.

A week later when I went back to get the results, I heard the words, “It’s cancer, it’s malignant. The next step is surgery, and we won’t be able to stage the cancer until the baby is born. Malignant melanoma is deeper than the surface. We need to make sure that the cancer cells don’t spread.”

After the first surgery, I was told that I had a 95% chance that the cancer was stage 1. The baby came out early at 38 weeks so that I could get staged. Three weeks later, I had my lymph nodes tested and they found more cancer. Two weeks later, all of my lymph nodes were removed and my odds of survival got lower and lower. The cancer was stage 3.

What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?

Scary doesn’t even begin to describe my journey with cancer. I had an older child who was terrified, a new baby I couldn’t hold or be with for months, and every day I wanted to give up.

That was the worst part. The voices in my head were telling me to quit. That it would be easier to die.

My body did not have time to recover from one surgery to the next. Once all of the cancer that the doctors could see was removed, I was told that chemo was the only option to try and tackle the possible cancer cells in my blood that could take the cancer from stage 3 to stage 4. I agreed to the chemo.

My body reacted very poorly to the chemo and immunotherapy treatment plan. After 4 months of what was supposed to be a 12-month treatment plan, I had drop foot on my right side. All of the nerves going down my right leg were dying and my foot lost its arch and was locked in a pointed position for months. The first physical therapist that I saw said that I was like a kid with cerebral palsy and that my leg would never heal.

Later, I found out that one of the major side effects of the chemo I was on was suicidal ideation. It was a daily struggle to not fall into the depths of despair and darkness — and to not listen to what terrible things I was being told were possible.

I learned to create my own reality and possibility. I also learned that I had an extraordinary opportunity to meet myself during cancer. And I did.

How did you react in the short term?

I immediately went into blame and persecution thinking about the doctor years earlier and realized that I hadn’t used my voice or demanded extra care around the mole. This was the beginning of me becoming my own advocate on the cancer journey, and in my life, and it deepened my commitment to supporting my clients in becoming their own advocates. I vowed to never make the mistake of not speaking up for right again.

I was 7 months pregnant with cancer. It felt like a cruel joke since I had built a business, had a radio show, had a great second marriage, and the life I’d dreamed of.

When I told my oldest daughter who was only 8 at the time about the diagnosis she said, “Great, so, you are going to die?”

I decided I would live like I was going to live and that I would let my body and my internal guidance system fight — and that is exactly what happened.

After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use? What did you do to cope physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually?

I like to say that it’s easy to be our best when life is going our way. But what about when it’s hell? I’m not perfect, nor do I strive to be. I am, however, committed to being and finding the light and rising to the highest version of myself in those moments that feel like I may not survive.

Basically, I threw the kitchen sink at cancer. I followed the traditional medical model, had multiple surgeries, agreed to chemotherapy, and I hired all of the holistic health practitioners that I could find. I built an army of support that included coaches, reiki, chiropractic, yoga therapy, massage, physical therapy, a naturalist oncologist, acupuncture, cranial-sacral therapy, and eventually, personal training.

I know how to keep going, how to not give up, and how to hope for and expect miracles when it seems ridiculous. Because the miracles are there, just often hidden in plain sight.

I fought and fought and fought. Instead of identifying as sick and dying, I identified as healthy and like I would live. I was very careful about who I was around during this time as well. I asked people to see me as healthy and to speak to me like I was going to beat cancer.

I also let myself feel. I would cry, scream, laugh, and process as needed. It was also important to have someone assigned to each day of the week to check in on me. I had 7 people lined up, and I let them know that even if I was too weak, sick, or tired to talk that them reaching out on their day meant everything. I believe that this was game-changing.

Finally, I did a lot of muscle testing to see what my internal guidance system thought about different doctors, options, treatments, etc. I let my body lead and it did. I became a statistical anomaly. Thank God.

Is there a particular person you are grateful towards who helped you learn to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?

My coach, Heather Steele, was unmatched support when I was sick. We spoke often and coached the entire time I was sick. She continually reminded me to get up, to look forward, and when the time came to make the decision to quit chemo, she was unwavering in her belief in my body knowing what was best, and encouraged me to be my own lifeline and to follow my internal guidance system. We had an unforgettable coaching session the day I quit chemo that gave me the strength, support, and confidence that I needed to make that hard call. I am certain that Heather and her support helped save my life.

In my own cancer struggle, I sometimes used the idea of embodiment to help me cope. Let’s take a minute to look at cancer from an embodiment perspective. If your cancer had a message for you, what do you think it would want or say?

Life is going to go your way, and then, it won’t go your way. None of that will be about you, it will just be life. Who are you going to be? What are you going to choose? How will you serve? How will you live in the darkest, hardest, and most challenging times of your life? Healing IS Possible. Healing to me means that it doesn’t hurt anymore. Emotionally, we have what it takes to get out of suffering, always. We can’t change circumstances, but we can choose emotional healing in all moments.

What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? How has cancer shaped your worldview? What has it taught you that you might never have considered before? Can you please explain with a story or example?

Cancer has been the ultimate seminar. I decided to treat cancer like the most incredible opportunity of my life — to really get to meet myself. Who was I going to be now? I went through essentially a spiritual crisis questioning everything from who I was to what I was teaching, to what I believed about God.

What came out of cancer was me. I created a 5-step healing process that I didn’t even realize I was living. Without cancer, the Healing IS Possible movement, coaching, retreats, and courses could never have been born. It felt like I was going to die and like I was dying, but really, my ruthless commitment to life carried me through, and I was reborn. I vowed that if I was able to live, I would use cancer to teach and serve others, and I am grateful every day that I get to do just that.

The biggest lesson that cancer taught me is that the darkness is real and so is the light. And we always have control over whether or not we pursue the light within.

How have you used your experience to bring goodness to the world?

Cancer had me meet me at my worst so that I could become my best. I strive to be better for people every day, and I am the voice and messenger everywhere I go that “Healing IS Possible”.

It’s easy to manage our way through our precious lives, but we don’t have to just “manage.”

The Healing IS Possible movement and curriculums work to give people what they need to truly heal so that they can live free, happy, and healthy. My private coaching practice, retreats, The Tougher Together Breakthrough Podcast, Healing IS Possible FB community, You Tube channel, and media spots, spread hope, healing, and light to those seeking connection and more life.

What are a few of the biggest misconceptions and myths out there about fighting cancer that you would like to dispel?

  1. You didn’t make yourself sick. I think that many people think that they make themselves sick or that cancer is their fault. This is a big myth, in my opinion. Seemingly healthy people that live by the book get sick. Unhealthy people live to be 100. We don’t cause cancer, and we can’t heal it either. We get to have an emotional healing and spiritual journey if we get sick. We can make sure that we are emotionally cancer-free and that is what I help people with.
  2. The Doctors do not know best, you do. They do their best to help with statistics, research, and what works most of the time but we are all unique. I am not suggesting that chemo is bad or doesn’t work, it just was the right choice for me to quit chemo, and I beat the odds and am very grateful. Listen to the Doctors but follow your own inner guidance system to lead your treatment plan and holistic wellness plan. You are not a statistic.
  3. Cancer is not a death sentence. If you treat cancer as a death sentence, it begins to kill your spirit immediately. You can live with an “I am going to live like I am going to live” mantra, even if you end up dying. Morbid but true. Keep recognizing that as long as your heart is still beating and your lungs are still taking in oxygen that you are still alive and that means you still have a chance to survive cancer.
  4. Treat the people you love with cancer like they are capable, healthy, and only speak to their greatness. One of the hardest parts of cancer was being treated like I was sick and dying and watching people grieve like they had already lost me — and I was still alive! Cancer is hard to watch, but be a part of the healing by keeping possibility and the bar of life high.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give to others who have recently been diagnosed with cancer? What are your “5 Things You Need To Beat Cancer? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Decide to decide

Decide to decide, is just a reminder really. A reminder about a superpower we all have, right now, at our disposal. And it’s a superpower that many of us fail to remember to use, especially with a cancer diagnosis blindsiding us like a tidal wave ready to destroy anything and everything in its path. This superpower, the ability to decide, which we all embody, is simply the ability to make a decision. Over time, we can all fall into reacting more and deciding less. Intentional decision-making can get replaced with knee-jerk reactions which will keep us powerless. We all do it. I do it. We can think we have to do it at times when it feels hard to keep up with the world around us, especially with a cancer diagnosis.

I decided to decide to quit chemotherapy. It was terrifying. My family, friends, and loved ones were scared, and so was I. But I wasn’t willing to get sicker because of the chemo. All of the surgeries I had had already got all of the cancer that we could see. I was experiencing such severe reactions and side effects from the chemo that I decided to decide to stop the drug and ultimately that was a big power play in me taking my life and my healing back. Again, I am not saying that this is the decision that anyone else should make. Make your next right powerful decision for you, your life, and your healing. And then pivot when needed.

2. Decide to make the hard and brave decisions

You have what it takes to dig deep and make the hard decisions instead of the easy ones. We all have hard choices to make every hour of every day. And if you are like me, you know when it’s time to make hard decisions and time to deal with things differently. We hesitate and stall because we don’t have all the information. We hope that problems will simply resolve or go away. Or we think time will heal, and it never does. Maybe the decision you have to make sucks, and it’s scary, and you’d rather just not. But you are strong enough to make it. When you get willing to make the hard and brave decisions that you know are best for you and those you love, long term, you get a chance to live without regrets and with dignity, knowing that you did make those harder and brave decisions that will leave you knowing that you did everything you could, when you could.

In moments when hope is gone, pain is high, and there seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I want you to know that possibility still exists for you — even with a cancer diagnosis in the mix. You’re going to have to be brave and use your voice to make the hard calls as the leader of your life. When I told my doctors that I was quitting chemo, they challenged me and gave me the statistics that meant my odds were not good. They told me to prepare my will. I made the hard decision to trust my decisions and to not listen to statistics or to fear.

3. Decide to live like you are going to live

Decide to decide that you are going to live like you are going to live, or die trying. Even when it’s hopeless, especially when other people are telling you it’s hopeless. If you won’t decide that you can live against the odds, you will be right. We see evidence to support what we believe is possible. If you aren’t willing to be the exception versus the rule then you won’t see the miracles guiding you into more life and more healing.

I remember lying in bed. I couldn’t walk, and the pain was unimaginable. There were so many moments that I just wanted to die. What carried me through was remembering the scene in the movie “The Neverending Story,” The Swamps of Sadness. The hero in the story loses his horse in the quicksand that will kill you if you let the sadness win. The hero lives because he won’t surrender to the sadness. I told myself over and over like a prayer, “Do not let the swamps of sadness get you. Keep fighting. Fight to live.” I believe that this was a big part of what saved my life as well. Even stuck in bed, in pain, unable to walk with a baby that I couldn’t even hold, I could fight to live, and I did. You can too.

4. Decide to build an army of support

Here’s the big secret I want to share with you. You don’t have to figure everything out. You don’t have to have all the information. You don’t actually have to execute the right decision…yet. All you have to do is decide to decide to get support. You are not alone. You can’t emotionally survive cancer alone, isolating or white-knuckling it by yourself. Be honest with at least 3–5 people about what is going on. Personally, I don’t go to appointments alone, even follow-ups.

When I was sick, I had people around me, checking on me, and loving me, the entire time. There was a day where I was screaming in my room, so angry, and then I was crying, and then I wanted to go for a walk, but I couldn’t walk. I hadn’t showered. I was wearing ratty clothes. I made it to my driveway and my husband came outside. His being with me while I was so raw and vulnerable, just being there, had me cry even harder and yell even louder. The poor neighbors that day… But I wasn’t alone. I was seen in my darkest moment. I had connection. And that connection was like soul medicine that my mind, body and spirit were starving for. Let people see you where you are, love you where you are, and be with you as raw as it gets. Lean on support. You would do it for them, is my guess.

5. Decide to be the most powerful version of yourself

Face it — cancer is hard but it’s not more powerful than YOU. If it’s in front of you, then you have what it takes to live and lead your life through it. Yes, even cancer. Look forward as the most powerful version of you and visualize a life beyond cancer. If you can’t see a possibility, then you can’t create it. Let yourself grieve the life you had, and you can’t skip this part, while you fantasize, flirt with, and design the life you want, now. What’s real in terms of symptoms you can’t change. It’s time to look at the facts and confront what you maybe are not wanting to or willing to deal with. Plot, plan and scheme for life beyond cancer as the most powerful you, even if it seems impossible. Why not? The most powerful you is carrying you through this; let that part of you dream.

I remember losing all faith in what I thought was real. I didn’t know who I was anymore, what I believed, or what to think about what was happening. I was in my worst nightmare. Over and over again, I would think to myself, “This isn’t fair, I just want life to go back to normal.” And then my coach said to me, “Rebeccah instead of trying to find a way to fit back in with your old life, you have an opportunity now to design a life that fits in with you.” That was the beginning of when the Healing IS Possible movement was born.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?

The “Healing IS Possible” movement is something that I am very proud of. I’ve created a Youtube Channel, a private Facebook group, courses, and a book that is coming very soon.

When we believe that Healing IS Possible, we begin to neutralize pain and from there we can access possibilities, solutions, and real healing can begin.

By promising that Healing IS Possible, I am saying that you don’t need to know, and most likely will never know, how the healing will happen.

It’s about making room for the possibility of healing that begins to energetically heal and shift people in a new direction.

From there, we start to change and heal patterns, traumas, and faulty beliefs that keep us stuck. We all deserve to live our most healed lives. By believing that Healing IS Possible, we are on our way.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)

I would love to have a private lunch with Brendon Burchard. I had the chance to be a part of a smaller Mastermind group with him in 2019, and his coaching helped launch the Healing IS Possible movement. I would love to thank him in person and to get time with him to learn even more about how I can make a global impact.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

The best way to stay on top of my latest material is to subscribe to the Rebeccah Silence YouTube channel.

You can watch my 5 steps video here: https://youtu.be/bH0RP3UewMk

Please visit me at rebeccahsilence.com for access to all of my social media channels.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor