Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tale Of A Braggart

Hello, it's Trevor once again to share another tale, which I feel will be of
extreme interest.

As you know, this blog is based on situations or happenings in Brenda's life.
It is called Brenda's Brainstorm after all.  I was added later, to do my part with
telling her stories.

She recently was called a "Braggart." Webster's Dictionary defines braggart, "as
an offensively boastful person."  Brenda is anything but offensive.  She was also
told that if others don't think like she does, then everyone else is wrong.  Are you
kidding me?  She has never ever told one person how to live their life.  All she
wants you to do, is to try and make the best of what you have.  Is that so wrong?

She was also told that EVERYONE was sick and tired of her bragging, blogging,
and her fake stupid dogs.  Well the last comment really was an attack on her
personally.  I am a big part of her spreading awareness and hope.  I after all
have a job, being a Mascot for Christine's Kids.  A job I take very seriously. 

She was really blindsided by these comments, which she realizes came out of
anger and also jealousy.  She really started to doubt herself and so she asked
if these things were true?  She got so much support back from people, that it
was amazing.  I am thinking to myself, OMD, how can people be so cruel?

So we decided we would just run with this and turn it into a positive.  Apparently
being positive is also a bad thing in some people's eyes.

Brenda's life has really turned around in the past year in a really big way.  She is
what is known as a super advocate, along with all the others that recently joined
Seth's 50 State Network.  So we are going to be doing some bragging of our own
right in this blog post.  Check out this link, and if this is something you think you
could find yourself doing, by all means sign up.

She had her first conference call the other evening.  She told me it was inspiring to
hear so many people out there, that truly want to make a difference.  The call was
almost an hour.  She even got to speak briefly with one the ladies that was featured
with her in the book, "Our Hands Can!"  If you haven't already purchased one, this
is a great month to do it, with it being Arthritis Awareness Month.  Here is the link,
and you can actually preview before buying.  Brenda's story is on page 28.

So we thought, we would go one step further and explain why this blog post is so
important.  As advocates, we should be proud of what we are trying to convey and
let it spread like wildfire.  Excitement and positivity are 2 great things to see, when
you are working with someone.  She has experienced both on 2 very great occasions.

We have covered both in detail in previous blog posts, with her special advocacy
work day and also with her testifying at the ND State Capitol. 

So she wants to encourage you to find what it is you are passionate about
and go out there with everything you've got.  I even suggested we get buttons
made up for our campaign.  BB, no not Bugs Bunny!  "Braggart Brigade!"

After all, if we are not being bold and boastful about what we do, how can we
expect anyone else, to see that excitement or even want to jump on that train?

So when you really think about it, being a "Braggart" really isn't a bad thing
after all, now is it? 

This is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, until next time, encouraging you all to find
what you are passionate about and shout it out loud! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Tale Of Emotions

Hi, it's Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog here to share another inspiring tale of Brenda's

Today, makes 22 years since she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis or
RA, which we will refer to in this blog post.  It has been a long road, make that
a roller coaster, with ups and downs, as this disease pretty much has changed
her life significantly.  One thing she wants to tell you, is that living with RA
is a part of her life and not her entire life.

She is much more.  She likes to write, sing, do her computer projects at home
and even at work.  She enjoys a challenge and being able to figure something
out is huge, since she is also a brain tumor survivor.  We mention both of these
aspects, because it just happens to be Arthritis and Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

She considers this to be a double blessing.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  Brenda
has certainly turned her lemons into lemonade and has shared her profits with

This blog post is about emotions, something Brenda is keenly aware of having
lived with a chronic disease and also being a brain tumor survivor.  The emotions
of living with RA, when the pain gets so bad at times, that all you want to do is
curl up in a ball and cry your eyes out.  She also deals with emotions being a brain
tumor survivor, because of the location that her BT was, the right frontal lobe,
or has been referred to as the White House of the brain.  The high functioning
part where emotions can run wild at times and believe me, they do.

One of the ways she copes and deals with her emotions, is by writing.  She keeps
a journal, which has helped to be able to express how she feels and it is completely
private.  She also writes for pleasure and to spread inspiration and hope. 

Living with these 2 significant challenges, you certainly go back and forth with
emotions.  You can be laughing one minute and then see something so touching,
that it just causes you to burst into tears.  She experienced this once when she
was shopping.  A little girl got lost in the store and was crying for her mom.  She
started to cry too, because she felt empathy for the little girl.  It turned out well,
as they did end up locating her mom. 

Brenda has a passion and that is to help others.  She takes this very seriously and
when that is discounted, that really hurts.  How many times are you going to offer
your services, if they are not wanted or needed?  She has found where she fits in
and that truly seems to be in the arthritis community. 

CreakyJoints has really been a nice fit for her.  She started by writing blogs posts
and working with some great people.  She has enjoyed working with every single
person from there.  She is really happy to be part of a team.  She has been working
as an Editor for their Poet's Corner (and Artists Too), since the beginning of the
year.  She has really enjoyed this and has been told she is doing a great job.  There
is nothing more gratifying than to hear that. 

When she was diagnosed, she really thought her life was over as she knew it.  She
fought hard and continues to fight every day.  She found something almost 10 years
into living with RA, that truly changed her life.  Enbrel a biologic, has allowed her
to continue working full time.  Here is the link that describes what taking a biologic
has meant to her.

She was thrilled that her story was featured.  She has had quite a year with sharing
her testimony, as that has been covered in recent blog posts. 

Another thing she loves to do is write poetry.  A gift she really believes was passed
down from her Mom.  Here is her most recent poem, along with a word cloud, she
also created on a sleepless night. 

                         Emotions Unplugged

                       Living with chronic pain,

                       What have I to gain?


                       Those feelings of fear,

                       knowing RA is always near.


                       Crying in the night,

                       well, that just isn’t right!


                       Anger takes over,

                       Where is my four-leaf clover?


                       Joy and laughter for the day,

                       helps to keep my pain at bay.


                       Empathy, true understanding from friends,

                       gives me hope, till this pain finally ends!



                       Brenda Kleinsasser
We hope you have enjoyed this blog post.  Until next time, this is Trevor,
The Tell Tale Dog, wishing you all peace and understanding.