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Breast Cancer was my Phoenix Process. A deep time of awakening.



Call. Circle. Passion. Truth.

Share thoughts and experiences with the author and each other.

Date: Tuesday June 12, 2007
Time: 7:30pm Eastern

Duration: 1 hour

Phone: 1 (712) 580 1800


This Month's Other Stories

Emily–Worry Gone!!!
Goodbye Season



Rivka's Journey


“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” … brilliant words spoken by Anais Nin.

So for me the petals of my rose blossomed beyond where I had never been before with the diagnosis of breast cancer in August 2004. Many times in my life I had felt the pain of resistance to change. Breast Cancer was my Phoenix Process. A deep time of awakening. I turned my misfortune, if you can call it that, into insight. Keeping or withholding the secrets of my true self was no longer an option for me.

Apparently, my time had come, even if I was risking everything to blossom. It was time for me to find out what I really wanted – not what I thought my daughters needed, not what my parents expected, not what society said was good or bad. It was time for me to step boldly into the fullness of LIFE, with all its dangers and all of its promises. Remaining tight in a bud had become a kind of death – the time had come to Blossom.

I sat with my precious Rabbi shortly after my diagnosis. He looked into my terrified eyes and said, “Because of who you are being in the world – a life coach, a partner who loves people into a deeper level of their truth, YOU WERE CHOSEN FOR THIS. Use the experience wisely and always Choose Life…no matter what!”

So from that moment forward I used the disease and the package that went along with that to illuminate a deeper level of me. The lovely heart, soul, and spirit I was born to be. In turn my light radiated brighter for others around me.

What I know to be true is I WAS NOT THE CANCER. It was a deep, deep transformative experience that was brought to life to enrich and recharge my soul. It was in my genetic make-up. I tested positive for the Breast Cancer Gene as did my daughters Courtney and Carlye and my brother Steve. My beautiful mama passed away at the age of 40 with ovarian cancer. Our breast and ovaries are linked genetically. We carry on her legacy. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to Honor my Mama’s life.

So how DID I navigate from diagnosis to wellness? As I reflect on the experience my response to that seems simple… Keeping my THOUGHTS IN CHECK however on some level that tops the charts in human challenges.

What I came to realize is that the thoughts we think moment to moment and the words that we speak create our reality and experiences in life. Each thought either moves us in the direction of what we really want or creates distance. I was sixteen when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. What I have come to realize is that since the moment I received that dreadful news as a teenager I took on mama’s fate as my own. It was not IF I would get cancer…it was WHEN. On a subconscious level the question was always "IS TODAY THE DAY?"

After my 3rd chemo treatment, a coaching client suggested I see the film What the Bleep Do We Know. What a gift… You see until my seeing this movie I suffered through nausea morning, noon and night. Talk about seeing the light, what I realized 30 or so minutes into the film is that when my Mama was going through her experience with cancer she was also nauseated morning, noon and night. Unknowingly I had programmed into the pathways of my brain that cancer and nausea were one in the same, a package deal. My unconscious thoughts had me believe that. I was repeating a scenario I had experienced earlier in my life, unconsciously of course.

Shifting to being “Dialed in” as I call it with my thoughts created extraordinary results. From that moment forward through 5 more rounds of chemo and 4 surgeries I never experienced another moment of nausea. As a thought would appear that was negative or toxic I would flip the thought. I would at that moment choose another thought that would fill me with life and hope at that moment. This in turn supported my immune system and my over-all sense of well-being. I would make up a thought that would feel good.

Dr. Deepak Chopra acknowledged as one of the worlds greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine said, “Our cells are constantly eavesdropping on our thoughts and being changed by them. A bout of depression can wreak havoc with the immune system; falling in love can boost it. Despair and helplessness raise the risk of heart attacks and cancer, thereby shortening life. Joy and fulfillment keep us healthy and extend life. This means that the line between biology and psychology can’t really be drawn with any certainty. A remembered stress, which is only a wisp of thought, releases the same flood of destructive hormones as the stress itself.”

What’s now seated in my soul is that worrying is like a rocking chair…it gave me something to do, but didn’t get me anywhere.

In order to sustain my wellness, I now know that I have been served the grand task of being vigilant about my personal self-talk – dread, worry, fear-based thinking is no longer an option. And beyond that…if that isn’t enough…if I ever remotely suspect that people who step into my space confuse me for a “toxic waste dump” for their ICK, I am a loving interruption - not interested.

A huge paradigm shift…my relationships and connections are forever different. Thank G-d!

Soon after I was blessed with a clean bill of health…am I powerful or what! A physician approached me with this message; “Ms. From, I am aware that you are cancer free, however I would like to tell you about some statistics concerning re-occurrences for breast cancer. At that moment I looked into her powerful eyes with a heart that felt like it was bursting out of my chest and requested, please stop! I am not interested - What I know is that I am done with cancer. From my heart to yours I thank you and I choose not to plant any unhealthy seeds in my thoughts of what might be. My eyes glazed over to the attending nurse who promptly gave me a ‘thumbs up’. Heaven and Hell are not places we go or conditions the outer world imposes on us; they are experiences we create with our thoughts and beliefs.


Thoughts Pointing the Way
Ralph Marston

What you think influences what you see.
What you think influences what you do.

What you think influences what you can learn.
What you think influences how you feel.

What you think has an enormous impact on the way you experience life. What you think determines the very nature of the world you create for yourself.

Thoughts have no physical mass, yet they do indeed have enormous power.
And there are no restraints or limitations upon what you can think.

Consider all the many places to which your thoughts have carried you. Imagine the limitless possibilities of where your thoughts can now enable you to go.

Choose positive, creative, loving, life-affirming thoughts.

And with those thoughts pointing the way, you can fill your world with love, compassion, and deep value.


Judaism asks us to acknowledge what we’ve been through and then to transform the negative into the positive. My dream is that I have honored that mitzvah!!

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Rivka M. From
To Life Coaching
Raleigh, NC