Becks in the City

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Tag: cancer

The 10 Changes I’ve Made Since Becoming Cancer Free

20643275_10159506323540221_103051546048746514_oIn two days, it will be exactly 6 months since I had my breast cancer surgery – a bilateral mastectomy to be precise. It has been one big ole crazy journey and I guess one that will not end anytime soon. The reason doctors generally don’t say, ‘You’ve been cured’ and prefer the term ‘cancer-free’ is because once you’ve had the disease, you are at greater risk from getting a recurrence (though the likelihood does lessen as time goes on).

This little piece of knowledge could really depress me if I let it. I could constantly be on edge, checking myself daily for any changes, getting paranoid from the tiniest niggle or ache but I choose not to. Instead, I am seeing the opportunities to live a healthier, fuller and more fulfilling life. I am embracing the gifts cancer gave me.

My life has already changed dramatically since 28th April 17 when I was officially charged with DCIS and invasive breast cancer. As I lean into the changes that I know I need, I vindicate my spirit and choose to live life on my terms.

I am now…


  1. F25158435_10160085984140221_8269649721085243961_nollowing a plant-based lifestyle. Most people who know me, see that I now follow a plant-based diet. This means different things to different people but what it means for me is that I no longer eat meat or dairy but instead, my diet is filled with natural produce from the earth and fish for my essential fatty acids & vitamin B12 (although I am working on weening fish out in 2018).


  1. Minimising social chatter. Those who know me on Facebook or Instagram, may have noticed that I am not as present as I used to be, that’s because I have deleted these apps from my phone. Oh my gosh! This has been a Godsend! My clarity of thought has improved, I do not get anxious as easily, I am much more focused and I get more done! After all, did we not have rich and fulfilled lives before the existence of these mediums?
  1. Avoiding toxic people. You can just smell them before they enter the room. They stare at you, beckoning you into their poisonous atmosphere. I am having none of it! If I suspect you are carrying bad vibes in your aura, I’m gone to tomorrow. There is not much worse than allowing a soul vampire to suck your positive energy dry.
  1. Indulging in music therapy. My soul has been soothed with some serious vocal and musical delights this year. I have attended quite a few of ‘Reed Bass Presents’ events this autumn. I cannot tell you how cathartic these sessions have been. I have sat there, sometimes with tears flowing down my face as the melodies and the golden voices of vocalists such as Nat Chards, Ola Brown and Sapphire Sings reached my core and coerced me to feel emotions again and released the numbness I used for protection.
  1. Being mindful of my thoughts. I am not going to sit here and pretend that everything is ‘cook & curry’ (as many Jamaicans would say. Meaning ‘everything is okay’); it’s not. I have had some really dark days (and still do), when I allow my mind to think about the dire possibilities i.e. the cancer returning, having to have another operation or worse still, leaving my daughter without a mum. Or sometimes, I try and reconcile what has happened to me. Some days I still find it difficult to believe that I had cancer. It’s weird. But lately I have had to remind myself of the energies that I am attracting when I think about these things. I believe that you attract the energy you focus on the most. I want to live a life that is full of fun experiences, magical moments and lots of happiness. Therefore, I actively choose to think about the endless positive experiences coming my way, in order to think the right elements into existence.

workout-1931107_12806. Partaking in Pilates classes. I used to think holistic classes such as Yoga and Pilates were boring. As a former Zumba instructor, I was used to loud music, high impact jumping and pumping. That certainly has its place, however what has been so lovely about Pilates is that I have been able to show kindness to my body whilst still challenging it. It’s going to be a while before I can bounce (I’m still healing from the operation), so Pilates offers me a way of staying toned in a way that will not interfere with my healing. Plus, the relaxing environment and serenity leave me feeling renewed and chilled out.

  1. Not caring so much about what people think about me. I have just gone through the most traumatic experience of my life and for the most part, I was very public about it (as it helped me to deal with the enormity of it all). Compared to this, most previously little stressful events, now feel like an ant scratching a giant’s foot. They just aren’t relevant.

25182113_10160077279240221_5819973162538717592_o8. Being completely present when playing with my daughter. Prior to my diagnosis, I was guilty of utilising a double consciousness when spending so called ‘quality time’ with my daughter. Half my mind was in the activity in which we were engaged and the other half was in: work, my list of chores, who I needed to email next, etc… It wasn’t fair on her. Now, I put down my phone, turn off the TV, I actively listen to all the important words coming out of her mouth and I dedicate chunks of time when I am completely hers. What played in my mind many times when I first found out I had cancer was ‘I can’t leave her.’ So why would I choose to be here and not be present in her life now?


  1. Meditating. I am very conscious of the fact that stress can lower the immune system and that when it is lowered, you are at greater risk from getting a disease. So, meditation offers a great way to de-stress. When all is quiet, I sit on my sofa or bed, switch off the lights and either listen to some meditation music, or sit in silence. This leaves me feeling clear of the brain fog and much more relaxed. I have on occasion, woken up with very stiff crossed legs.
  1. Following my dreams. When I was at my mum’s house recovering for weeks on end, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I really wanted to do. For a few months after that, I dismissed those things as pipe dreams but now that I have started to seriously focus on that which I truly desire, I’m already starting to reach for those dreams. I am not saying much now but I will say: You’d better keep watching this space. 😊 


***If you want to keep up with my continued journey to stay cancer-free, subscribe to this blog below. ***

Zumbathon for Breast Cancer Care

“I’m a bit sensitive and don’t want to be a blubbering mess. Is it okay to come back to you by Tuesday with a reply?”


About 2 weeks ago a long-standing Zumba colleague, Andrea Edwards, told me she and her Zumba partner Helen Challis, were having a Zumbathon in Tipton for Breast Cancer Care. This is just one of the charities that took great care of me whilst I was going through my cancer ordeal. Andrea had asked me to speak for a few minutes about my experience and to create awareness of the disease.

Though I have happily shouted from the roof tops on social media about my experience, being faced with a hall full of ladies, telling them about my experience and having my breasts stared at (because people do look – it’s natural I guess), unnerved me. I am still wrapping my head around what has happened and sometimes I do get tearful. I didn’t want that to happen in front of an audience.

However, my fear of breaking down was not realised. I did my 5 minute speech where I warned women to:

  1. Watch out for signs of breast cancer: dimpled skin, dry skin, inverted nipple, nipple discharge as well as the notorious lump
  2. Insist on getting genetically tested for BC if your mum, sister or auntie had breast cancer.
  3. Act quickly if they do find anything untoward as early detection saves lives.


p1020868.jpgThe event was full of joyful vibes, it was visually poppin’ and so well organised. The atmosphere was buzzing! About 200 people came adorned in their pink, reppin’ for Breast Cancer Awareness

Though I still can’t bounce due to my scars (they hurt like hell when aggravated), I did what I could. I remembered why I fell in love with Zumba in the first place. My heart nearly exploded with joy when I led my routine to Mr Vegas’ ‘I am Blessed’.

Thank you so much to Andrea and Helen for inviting me to your much needed event. You are fab instructors who clearly mean a lot to your local community, this is evidenced by the great turn out. 

In my hospital bed, about 4 days after surgery, I said to myself “I want to speak to other women about breast cancer so that this disease kills less people.”

I guess I have now started on that journey and…

…it feels right. 


Blowing Darkness a Goodbye Kiss

Thailand 2007

Bangkok 2007

I am my own angel but never knew it! I wrote this poem back in 2007. Ten years ago! I wonder if I had followed my own advice to the letter, if I would have still been diagnosed with breast cancer? Perhaps I felt I was too radical at the time and was just being a conspiracy theorist.

I don’t support everything I wrote back then. For instance, I no longer eat meat and I am very respectful of medical professionals in general. Their knowledge, skills and understanding around cancer, saved my life. However, I know there is a lot of truth to the research I did. What I am saying is, that when profit-making is connected to our health and well-being, there has to be adequate levels of supply and demand. We just need to be informed so that we remain healthy individuals and not merely bodies from which our illness make corporations billions of pounds yearly. 

Read it, and take away what you need.

Blowing Darkness a Goodbye Kiss

by Rebbecca Hemmings 2007 (c) 

Recently I made a decision

If you let it, the system will kill you

And I’m not ready to go, so

I’m on a natural tip

No more cows’ milk; its Soya all the way

The taste is an acquired one

But preferable to decay


The caffeine that used to get me hyper

Has now all but disappeared

Recent reports say it causes stunted growth

Now I’m not the tallest person in the world so

I guess the damage has been done

But bun that cos I’m more informed now

We’re eating goat, we’re savouring  lamb,

Yamming foul, consuming ham

Cancer causing carcinogens

Make your blood cark, it’s dark!


Now I’m not preaching

I suppose I’m just teaching

Blowing darkness a goodbye kiss

Breaking news; ignorance is not bliss


I’d be lying if I said I don’t eat meat, Chicken is the one!

Giving that up ain’t no easy feat

I have to work on them one by one

But the levels of consumption

Have seriously depleted,

One more step to getting the pharmaceuticals defeated


Cos you understand that don’t you?

It’s important you understand

If we all lead a natural lifestyle

We’d be taking money from the man

You understand?

They make billions from the tablets, and the medicines we digest

They don’t want you to get better

“Take these pills and get plenty of bed rest”


Now I’m not preaching

I suppose I’m just teaching

Blowing darkness a goodbye kiss

Breaking news; ignorance is not bliss


Yeah I did it, I got a colonic

My system needed to purge

I was turning bionic

Cos what had happened was

My system had overloaded

With the chemicals that had invaded my flesh

I started to imagine me eroded

The monosodium glutamate and the starchy Acrylamide

The mercury and the arsenic

Not forgetting the sulphur dioxide,


If the chemicals were black they’d be up for attempted murder

But their in their nice bright pretty container

Buying them seems to be a no brainer


Now I’m not preaching

I suppose I’m just teaching

Blowing darkness a goodbye kiss

Breaking news; ignorance is not bliss


So I’ve taken my body back from the powers that be

Giving her what she deserves

To be treated nicely

She likes it, so in return she pays me back

With energy, sprite and immaculate health

And a body to be proud of

I’m telling you boy, I love my new self.

Can’t say I don’t miss certain things

Coco bread and pattie

I have to put them to rest

But at least I know the black stuff

Will find it harder to reach my breast


We wonder why we’re all getting fat

Well we all know who has a hand in that.

Just stop the wheel, and get the hell off!

You and your children are in danger

Don’t  tell me seh me never warn you

When your body becomes a stranger

Treat your body right and look after your own

They rely on you not knowing

How do you think the Stock Exchange has grown?


Don’t take my word for it, do your research

But I’m telling you

You will find, if you search

Well time for me to go now,

Go drink some herbal tea, its criss

But before I go, please acknowledge this


I really wasn’t preaching

I suppose I was just teaching

Blowing darkness a goodbye kiss

Breaking news; ignorance is not bliss


You can see me perform this on Youtube here







My 3 Month Cancer Whirlwind


This was taken as I was making my 2nd cancer diagnosis video for Youtube in early May 17. 

The last 3 months have been a whirlwind of stress, upheaval, lessons in controlling my mind, my diet and my environment. They have given me time to focus on what is truly important in my life – my daughter and family are everything! 

I have been enlightened greatly and have had much time to reflect on what I have learned and experienced as a result of my breast cancer diagnosis on 28th April 2017. 

  • I have learnt how important it is to keep only positive people in my circle.
  • I have shared my most private and most detrimental moments with the world (with no regret – it’s for the greater good). I know that already it has prompted people to go to the doctors and get things checked out. Yay!
  • I have experienced the true love of a family that is intensified when crap happens.
  • I have learned to stay calm when minutes before your surgery, you are being told “You have a 50/50 chance of making it through the operation as we have just rediscovered your heart murmur and your heart may not be strong enough to deal with the pressure”.
  • I have learned that not everyone can deal with your cancer diagnosis. Whilst others become selfless in their pursuit of making you comfortable and cancer-educated. Unfortunately I have had the displeasure of discovering those who get excited at the thought you could die (always check who you are sending texts to).
  • I have felt the power of healing through my body as my recovery is amazing even the doctors.
  • I am learning how to make my body nutrient abundant and thus a hostile environment for a recurrence.
  • I discovered this week that I will not have to have chemo (as it came back on the cards).
  • I have experienced the full force of my creator who clearly has other plans for me and I cannot find enough words to show my gratitude. Trust me, I will not let you down. 
  • I know that my perspective, my need to help others and belief that I have much more work to do, has helped me to deal with this whole situation emotionally and spiritually. 
  • I have learned that cancer is on the rise – nearly 1 in 2 people will now get some form of cancer in their lifetime. 1 in 8 will get breast cancer. I now know that causes are closely linked to our diet and environment, yet we are being told more about finding cures over promotion of prevention. 

I am now 5 weeks post surgery and almost 3 months post diagnosis – the enlightenment continues…

The Selfie

Today she put on one of her favourite dresses, did her make up and hair, then took this selfie. A million thoughts dash through her mind hourly on what could have been, what still could be, who she was and who she is now. She has no answers. Instead she smiles and presses the button.


Today I Met the New Becky

Kiss ass networking

Paula (3rd from the left) with fellow Kick Ass Business women Leila, Shanta and Wendy (L to R).

Today, I met the new Becky as she publicly and in-person told a group of people about her cancer diagnosis and how this is changing her life for the better. This happened at my sister, Paula’s Kick Ass business networking event.


It is week 3 post operation. I went with my mum and daughter to break up the monotony of staying at home. It was the first time since my surgery I had attended any sort of social event. More than anything, I was looking forward to lunch at Bearwood’s Kings Head Pub. I didn’t expect to meet her but when my sister asked me to speak for 60 seconds (like everyone else), to my surprise the new Becky made an appearance.

She was scared, I could tell. Her heart rate had doubled and she was wringing her fingers. She was definitely uneasy because she is no longer the old familiar Becky with the pre-diagnosis confidence. But she is this new, unexplored, uncharted Becky who has gone through an enormous shell shock not only mentally and physically but also spiritually.

Unlike the old Becky, she could not rely on old thought patterns to work her way through a conversation. Every second a trillion thoughts passes through her mind, could I trust the new Becky would pick the right words when responding to friends and strangers alike?19657157_10159341521030221_432370244410654052_n

Unlike the old Becky, she could not rely upon the old body confidence she had, because back then she knew every inch of her perfections and flaws. Would she crack when people tried to sneak a peak at her new frame?

Unlike the old Becky, she could not rely on her previous perspective of the world


This one is completely new and is formulating the whole time. Could this version of Becky express her thoughts as eloquently as her predecessor?

This new Becky is way ahead of me and my limiting beliefs. Although she was scared, unsure of her new body and working through her new way of seeing things, she spoke with a level of strength, self-assurance and wisdom I have never witnessed.

Yes, she was uneasy but she shared anyway, and with each word yielded, she grew that little bit taller. Almost as if her new self was being rewarded with new layers of clay reinforcements for every shared expression. 

new becky

The new Becky


Okay, so she was still getting used to her new body but actually she remembered: it is new and improved. She is nipped and tucked and learning to understand the benefits of this. She knows in time she will be completely ready to show the world what she is working with.

The fact her perspective has changed, is actually a bonus! Her new eyes had been unwrapped, put in place and glistened with the excitement of fresh possibilities. She began to see where she would fit into this unseen world and where she would place herself to not only serve others but finally serve herself (this was a big issue of the old Becky).

The new Becky is gangster! She is a wise new lady. She is the woman I never imagined I could ever be. What a gift! I am honoured and privileged to step into her being. I do not take this position for granted. I step into her greatness fully acknowledging the blessing that has been bestowed upon me, knowing many have not been afforded this opportunity.

Thank you xxx


The Gifts Cancer Gave Me

14990943_10153839119141809_216730187256305489_oI am not angry that I got cancer; I am not upset. This is not to say that I am joyous and happy. Instead I am grateful for the gifts it has given me.

My attitude is similar to that of Sophie Sabbages’, author of The Cancer Whisperer and a stage 4 cancer patient. She believes that cancer comes into your life to tell you something about how you have been living and if you listen to that you can live an extraordinary rich life. I believe that I have been given an opportunity to reflect on my life and change it for the better.

First and foremost, it is important for me to say that I realise how fortunate I am to be in my position. I have been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Although anything could happen in the future, the prognosis for someone in my situation is very good. I am likely to go on to lead a long life (provided I don’t die of something else). I can’t express how much this knowledge truly humbles me as it could has so easily have been a very different story for me. I can only thank God for my situation and try my best to live the greatest possible life, as I imagine most other cancer patients blessed with the same opportunity would.

Things were very different pre-diagnosis. I was stressed, very stressed. I was earning a decent income (for once) from my arts education company but you know how it goes: with more money, comes more problems. Those problems included: taking on more and more work (to ensure I never go back to a life of poverty), managing people, running my Zumba class, balancing my work and personal life, being a single mother and everything that comes with that, blah, blah, blah. It was a lot! Every day I woke up feeling an immense amount of mental pressure. My only outlets were being around my daughter and family and working out… and boy did I work out!

Now that I am being forced to reflect on everything, it is a chance for me to rid my mind and body of toxicity, to pursue the dreams I have always had, to be happy, to spend more time with my daughter, family and close friends.

It is prompting me to eliminate the fear of a lack of abundance, other people’s negative motives, phobias, failure and so much more.

It offers the opportunity to nourish my body with the best live natural foods, to calm down on the exercise and treat it with less intense yet enjoyable physical activities.

It presents the pleasure of spa days, detoxifying saunas, music therapy, singing and dancing for joy, days in the park with my daughter, therapeutic Vitamin D in fabulous sunny climates. 



Zumba Convention 2011 with Ollie and Natallia in Orlando, Florida. One of the best rips of my life!


It promotes more time to read, learn, teach, inspire, motivate and share my learning to those who need it most.

Therefore, I do not regret the fact that I contracted cancer. Rather, I am grateful for the gift that this dis-ease has given me. It has awoken me from my slumber and is allowing me to start again with a full appreciation of the richness life has to offer me, with the horse powered motivation to pursue it.

Thank you cancer.

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