Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Tale of Discovery

Hi, Trevor here again, to share with you discoveries that Brenda has made along the
way on her journey of living with RA and also being a meningioma brain tumor
survivor, for almost five years. 

This has been quite a year for Brenda.  She became an editor at the beginning of the
year, for CreakyJoints, Poet's Corner (& Artists Too).  She had no idea what this all
entailed when she signed on, but she has given it everything she's got, and has really
enjoyed how it has all come together.  She has had some wonderful entries share
their various talents and it has just been wonderful.  I am going to share the email
address if this is something you would be interested in becoming a part of.  It is
for anyone living with a chronic illness.  She accepts, poetry, short stories, photography,
drawings, paintings, you get the idea.  Here it is.

Another thing is that yours truly, got a job as well.  I became a mascot for "Christine's
Kid's, who are children and teens who live with arthritis, (JA & JRA) being the focus.
I offer barks of wisdom, by sharing special messages for these special kids. 

Brenda has made some wonderful friends with being involved with these great projects.
We all have one purpose in mind, and that is to spread awareness and hope.

Along this journey she has also discovered that there are some people out there, that
are not happy with their lives and have actually written to Brenda, telling her she is
bragging.  So what if she is?  At least she is doing something with her life.  Believe
me, she could sit at home and cry all day long about the terrible pain she is in.  Yes,
she lives with chronic pain 24/7 folks.  What good would that do her?  I am so proud
of how she handles everything that life has thrown at her.

The past five years alone, she has had so much happen.  She had a craniotomy.  For
those of you who do not know what that is, it is when they drill your head open and
remove whatever should not be there.  In her case, it was a meningioma, her type of
brain tumor, which ended up being the size of a golf ball.  It was removed on
September 8, 2008 and that is when a new chapter in her life began. 

Three years later, another challenge she faced, the illness and passing of her Mom. She
made a promise to her Mom while she was dying, to live her life.  Boy, has she been
doing this.  I have been a big part of that. 

Her first published blog post in CreakyJoints was written by me.  BOL.  "A Tale of
21 Years," is her personal story of living with RA up until that point.  She also changed
how she was going to continue to live with this disease, due in a large part to a special
friend and fellow RA comrade, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy. 

She discovered by accident that he was wanting people to send in picture of their hands
for a collage, "Show Us Your Hands!"  She just happened to have hers on hand.  BOL
I am just so funny sometimes.  Anyway, so she submitted her picture and this was the
beginning of another wonderful journey of being involved with several great projects,
that we have shared with you in various blog posts. 

She also discovered that on the CreakyJoints Facebook page, that they were interested
in having people contact them, that deal with RA in the workplace.  She thought about
that one for a few days, as she was not quite sure she would do that.  Just imagine, if
she hadn't made that phone call 2 days later? 

One thing Brenda has discovered on these journeys, is that she is stronger or even more
capable than she ever thought possible.  There would not be this blog, if it hadn't been
for the fact that she had a brain tumor removed.  That is when she became creative.

I couldn't image life without Brenda and her fighting spirit and tenacity, that she
exhibits on a daily basis. 

Two weeks from today, she will be celebrating her 5th craniversary.  She has come
a long way on this journey and has discovered some great friends and also that when
times get tough or jealously sets in, some will scatter.  Your true friends will stick
by you, no matter what. 

I would not want Brenda to live her life, any other way.  Her Mom would be so
proud of her.  Here are just some highlights of the past 5 years. 

1)   Starting a blog and becoming a writer.

2)   Being featured in a book, by sharing her hands story in "Our Hands Can!"

3)   Working with the Global Healthy Living Foundation (aka) Creaky Joints with a
       special work advocacy day, commemorating her 11th anniversary of being on
       Enbrel, by doing a TV interview, newspaper interview and also being featured
       in a YouTube video highlighting that special event. 

4)   Becoming an editor.

5)   Working again with CreakyJoints and testifying for a bill at the ND State Capitol
       and end up with having it pass.

So you see, Brenda sure has had some great things happen in her life.  Make no mistake,
she goes through her rough patches as well. 

Another thing she has been doing this summer is participating in an online writing
memoir course, which she has enjoyed so much.  "Writing Your Life. Writing to
Heal."  She has made some wonderful connections through this experience and it
has been real therapy for her. 

This is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, until next time, wishing you hope and love.