Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Tale Of Destiny

Well, it's Trevor here again, to share another tale of Brenda's life.  This time, we are
going to do something really different from the norm.  We are going to be sharing
something that few people know about Brenda. 

You see, her career as a stunt person, pretty much ended on that fateful day, when she
decided to jump from a snowbank.  It was, when she was in the third grade.  She was
going to show some people how brave she was, but when she hit the bottom, the
excruciating pain she felt.  Her left knee was all swollen by this time.  Her Mom
and sister came with a sled to take her home. 

She went to the doctor the next day and was told that she tore some ligaments.  Was told
to ice it.  She was also told it was called a jarred knee.  Some people, thought that was
so funny to call it that.  To this day, when she moves it back and forth it will actually
move out of place.  Some people actually got their jollies watching that as well. 

She was also told, that when she got older, she would probably develop arthritis in that
knee.  Well, we all know how that turned out now don't we?  Was she destined that at
the age of 31 to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? 

She's not really sure and had never really thought about that until recently, when her knee
really started giving her problems again.  She sometimes has a hard time walking and
fears it will go out. 

After she injured it, it did go out several times.  She could just be walking or turn wrong
and wham!  The last time it went out was just walking from the hospital, which is less
than 2 blocks from where she is employed.  She tripped on a rock and down she went.
That awful pain came back.  She was on the ground for several minutes.  She managed
to pick herself up and went back to work.  She didn't say anything to anybody.  She
just pushed herself through the pain.  She is a fighter and that is what has been one of
her strong points, in relationship to living with RA. 

The knee injury may not have had any connection at all with the RA, but the fact remains,
that she has pretty much lived with pain most of her life.  That is one thing, I have to
say that Brenda has adapted to pretty well. 

Almost four-years ago now, Brenda had another revelation brought to her, and that is
that she had been living with a brain tumor for at least 20 years.  Seems like something
else was destined to happen in her life, once again. 

This time though, Brenda knew something was wrong.  She had had a prior head injury,
several years before that and was experiencing really severe head pain, from what she
thought was from the head trauma.  Never in her wildest dreams, did she even ever
entertain the idea of possibly having a brain tumor.  She did tell her Mom after it had all
happened, that when she was a child and had lots of bad headaches, that she was afraid
she would end up with one. 

How uncanny is that?  It really makes you wonder about the maps of our lives and what
is really in our futures.  I am not a fortune teller and this is not at all, what this is about. 

Was Brenda also destined to have some great writing opportunities in the year 2012? 
It's hard to say, but without having had this brain tumor, the answer would have to be
no, as that is when she became creative, as a result of having had her right frontal lobe
non-cancerous meningioma removed. 

Was she also going to have some great opportunities in relationship with living with RA
in the year 2012?  Did she possibly know that a book project was in the works, a TV
and newspaper interview, a chance to really become a true patient advocate for one
day, participating in meetings and sharing her journey with RA? 

Her destiny was realized, when she decided to change her mindset about how she was
going to continue on this journey of living with RA.  I think we all in some ways,
determine our own destiny.  Brenda has chosen to let her adversities actually turn
into blessings and celebrate who she is. 

It has been said, that if we all put our own problems in a pile, that we would inevitably,
take back our own.  I think that is really true.  After all, we know how to deal with our
own for the most part, if you really think about it.

Just some things to chew on, so to speak.  Until next time, this is Trevor, The Tell Tale
Dog, asking you, what are you destined to accomplish in your life? 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Tale Of Two Challenges

Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, here once again, to share another story of Brenda's life.  She
has been going through some real deep things as of late. 

She recently experienced a real eye opening experience, that really threw her for a loop.
You see, Brenda not only lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but is also a three-year
meningioma brain tumor survivor.

She has tried her hardest to bring awareness to both, as she personally feels, that they go
hand in hand with coping. 

The hardest thing that she is experiencing right now, is that some people are just not
willing to think outside the box.  They are only focused on their issues and not willing
to branch out and see the big picture.

This is particularly hurtful to Brenda, because all she has ever been is supportive in
both of these areas,  She is willing to at least, look at the other side and make her
decisions accordingly. 

She kind of feels like she has been preaching to the choir, but when she asked for a
little support from some of the singers, it just wasn't there. 

Brenda has been involved in several projects this year.  The majority of them have
been regarding her living with RA, but her life as a brain tumor survivor, has somehow
crept in there also, which she thought was pretty cool.  In fact, all of the projects that
she worked on, welcomed her mentioning this.  After all, Brenda's Brainstorm, would
not even be in existence, if it hadn't been for her brain tumor. 

All of her writing opportunities this year, have been a direct result of her living with RA.
See where I am going with this?  We have all got to start working together and have this
myopic thinking, go right out the window.

What difference does it make where the awareness is spread, as long as it happens.  In
her case, the two life challenges that Brenda is faced with just happen to overlap, and
she truly sees that as a blessing.  There is no competition as far as she is concerned.  She
will gladly support and spread awareness on both fronts, with my help of course.

What really hurt the most, was when she asked for a little support, on behalf of someone
who was willing to cross over to the other side, when it came to spreading awareness, it
was discounted.

You see in her hands story, she was actually given permission to mention that she was
a brain tumor survivor.  That could have gone a very different way, because after all,
the project was about living with inflammatory arthritis and not primarily being a brain
tumor survivor.  You see though, there was also another side to the story, and that her
hands story was about designing a necklace, all centered around, her being a brain
tumor survivor. 

I find this most fascinating, because they truly seem to keep coinciding with each other.
I think support is so important, especially, when we are facing life challenges, as Brenda
does everyday.

Just because Brenda is now on a new path of becoming a true RA patient advocate, that
does not mean that she will not continue her support for brain tumor survivors.  It just
means that she has changed her mindset and now, it won't just be meningiomas, but
all types of brain tumors and brain cancer. 

She has gotten so much support from her brain tumor buddies and in turn, her arthritis
friends have been supportive of her life as a brain tumor survivor.

That means the world to Brenda and she thanks all of you, from the bottom of her
heart. 

I hope I have given you a bone to chew on, so to speak.  So until next time, this is
Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, wishing you all peace and harmony, as we all strive to
work together to spread awareness and hope.