Saturday, May 7, 2011

A TALE OF AWARENESS & HOPE....

Trevor here again to help Brenda spread awareness...regarding National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. 

As some of you know...Brenda is a Meningioma brain tumor survivor...of almost 3 years now.  She has asked me to help her...tell tales of awareness and hope.

Brenda still struggles everyday with waves of nausea, feeling lightheaded, becoming emotional...but that has to do with the location of her brain tumor.  She belongs to that special group...and there are many of you out there.."The Frontal Lobe Group."  The way she has explained it to me...is that the frontal lobe is the high functioning part of the brain, which causes one to be quick to anger or tears.  You just can't do anything about the neurons in your brain. 

She copes with it very well.  In fact...she wants people out there that are struggling, to know...that this is okay.  They are not crazy.  You go through a lot when you have a brain tumor removed.  You don't just go to the hospital...have the procedure and go home. 

There is so much more to recovery.  Support is very important.  Brenda was one of the fortunate ones...she had her Mom there with her.  This was a new experience for them...but Brenda's Mom had taken care of Brenda's Dad for over 4 years with his Alzheimer's disease. 

Brenda saw first hand...how loving and caring her Mom was with him.  She knew she would get excellent care and she did. 

September is a special month for Brenda...because that's when she got her second chance at life.  That's what they refer to it at "Meningioma Mommas"...that awesome support group that she belongs to.

Every year since on September 8TH...Brenda has made it a point to make that her special day.  That's a day when she can reflect on her journey and all the wonderful people she has encountered along the way.  She not only has met many wonderful friends from the American Brain Tumor Association and Meningioma Mommas...but she has also discovered many out there who have someone or a relative that has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Brenda's ultimate goal is to spread awareness where ever she can.  She is ready to tell her story...with whoever will listen.

She just experienced this on her recent trip to Omaha for the Meningioma Mommas meet & greet weekend.  She talked to flight attendants, a Delta representative, people at the hotel where she stayed..they were all so open to what she had to share. 

Brenda had a really hard time on that trip.  She had to try to fly...but she probably knows that is no longer a possibility...because she got really ill and had to have her trip interrupted...and rent a car home...but that folks...is in her last blog.  Check it out...it really turned out to be quite a hilarious tale.

That's just the thing...Brenda is always trying to turn something negative into something positive.  She has been through so much in her life. 

She also encourages her friends along her journey.  She has met some really cool people and believes in what they are doing.  She treats you the way she would like to be treated. 

Brenda has been dealing with a lot of head pain lately.  Another one of the wonderful reminders...that she did indeed have brain surgery.  If you feel the top of her head...she has 2 round indentations...much like when you put your fingers into a bowling ball...that's how her GYN doctor described it anyway. 

She wears a cap that is made with elastic...designed after a stocking cap.  There is no scientific logic to this...but apparently it pulls or constricts the blood vessels in her head...much like when you drink caffeine for headaches...as she did in the hospital once, when she had a severe spinal headache after her Myelogram...but again, that's another story.

Her Mom made the cap.  The material is the design of Bugs Bunny and has "What's Up Doc" with him dressed up as a doctor and holding a carrot.  It's very adorable. 

She got this idea...from one her Mommas in her support group...and thought, why not at least give it a try?  When she has a really bad night...she does and it usually works.

Brenda is not one for pills...she did try an anti-seizure medicine for the pain once and that turned out to be an awful experience for her.  She also didn't want to risk the possibility of getting a seizure and then she would have to remain on these for life...so she contacted her doctor and they advised quitting them.

She gets by...but it's very difficult at times.  That's when she leans on her awesome support group.  This is where I am to put a plug in for them.  I doggone almost forgot.  Here it is.
 http://www.meningiomamommas.com/ and while I am on this here's another for her other group that is so important to her.   http://www.abta.org/ 

These are 2 great places to go for support.  You can read stories of encouragement and hope.  In the Meningioma Mommas site...they have a section called "Faces of Meningiomas."  Brenda has her story there and also promotes her blog there...which by the way was started by the urging of several Mommas in her group. 

Brenda is so grateful to Liz Holzemer for having the courage to start this wonderful group...for people to go who just *GET IT.*

This month with it being National Brain Tumor Awareness Month...Brenda and many of her BT and MM's friends on Facebook, have been plugging their cause and bringing awareness.  If you are getting tired of this..well that's just too doggone bad.  This is for the whole month of May folks...so you might as well jump on the doggy trail and enjoy the ride.

Brenda is so very passionate about this...and will continue to be.  This is her mission in life...to help bring awareness, to tell her story and be an encouragement to as many people as she can be.

One thing about Meningiomas...because they are the most primary brain tumor...they are also sadly, the least acknowledged.  More research needs to be done and this can only happen with your generous support.  Yes...I am asking you to consider a donation in order to make this become a reality.  You can donate to either Meningioma Mommas or The American Brain Tumor Association.  You have the tools to get there...because the sites are both listed up above.

So make good ole Trevor proud and have a heart and let Brenda know how much you love her..by donating, reading this blog and please leave comments. 

Thanks for letting me share a big part of Brenda's desire, to always bring awareness and hope.

Until next time, this is Trevor signing off.