Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tale of a Certain Age

Hi, it's Trevor and we realize, this is our first blog post of the year. Brenda and I have been busy, with life in general. She has had some great things happen and also a few medical challenges.

We will touch on some highs and lows, before we get to our tale. Brenda was asked to be a guest on Rick Franzo's radio show, Brain Tumor Talk: Worldwide Radio Show back in February. She had the time of her life and Trevor here, got quite the mention. She had an opportunity to not only share her brain tumor journey, but was also allowed to share about her living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and her work with CreakyJoints and Christine's Kids, where I am their MASCOT. The reason she was allowed to share both, is because her creativity: writing, having me as part of her life, was a result of her having her brain tumor removed. It changed her life.

On to her medical challenges. Her teeth once again have been giving her problems and the result was 2 extractions, one of which was a recent root canal. It has been determined that root canals will no longer be a part of Brenda's life, as there just seems to be something about living with inflammatory arthritis and the pain that is not worth keeping teeth, that have and could again become abscessed and infected.

On with our tale. Brenda turned 55, on January 9th. Age has never been a problem for her. In fact, her new tag line has been: 55 and Fabulous. She does not look her age and she is told that all of the time. The problem she has been experiencing is how some who are younger, can sometimes make you feel like you don't know as much. Let me tell you folks, with age comes WISDOM and maybe a few gray hairs, which again does not bother Brenda. She had a conversation with a very wise person who told her that having gray hairs was a sign of WISDOM. They should know, as their hair is white, just like her Mom's was. It seems that this trend is also becoming a fashion statement. Brenda is just happy, that hers is natural. BOL This blog is also the result of conversations, that she had this week, with 2 very special ladies, that she admires very much.

Brenda works in many different capacities. She has a full-time job, which she really enjoys. She has worked in the medical field for well over 30 years, so she is comfortable and has been told on countless occasions, that she is very knowledgeable by several on her medical team. That is one of the reasons she became a RA patient advocate, because of her background and now she was ready to go to the next level of speaking out. This has continued to evolve with CreakyJoints, as she also has joined 50 State Network and became a Regional Outreach Manager last year. She is also the editor of the Poet's Corner (& Artists too), where I also have been sharing my Barks of Gold. I have been told that I will be having a bigger part, as to help alleviate the load for Brenda. Always happy to do my doggone best, so I be sure and get my bones. BOL

Although Brenda enjoys doing this type of work very much, there seems to be a divide or a split in the chronic illness community. People approach living with their illnesses in different ways. Brenda has read your various blogs and how you choose to deal and now, we are going to share our perspective, on how we approach it.

Brenda has had countless setbacks happen. The loss of family members, The reason she does all of this, is because of a promise she made to her Mom while she was dying, to live her life and grab what she wants. She had no idea what that meant. She really thought her Mom's death would destroy her and it very well easily could have. She was fortunate enough after several months, around the holidays of that year, to see an opportunity to get involved with something, as simple as sending in a photo of your hand. She was so excited to be a part of something, that may seem of little or no significance to you, but it meant the world to her. She was contributing.

When asked last year, if she would like to become a Regional Outreach Manager for CreakyJoints, as she was also told, that it would be a great fit with the Poet's Corner, she jumped at the chance. She has enjoyed it, as this is right up her alley, being able to communicate to others, meaning those who live where she does. Most people she works with, are aware of her RA and working in the medical field does have its advantages. As far as the technology, she has adapted well over the years. She works on the computer all day at work, scanning documents into patient's charts, as their clinic went electronic several years ago.

Now to elaborate a bit on the divide that I mentioned above. Brenda approaches her living with RA with positivity and trying to make the best of things. I really want to go into her Sunshine Saturdays, but we will leave that for another post. Basically a day when Brenda sets aside to have a day of positivity and make the best out of any given situation. She has had 2 so far and they have been quite amazing.

I am really getting off course here, as I was explaining about this divide. This is where the age of experience comes in. No matter how long we have lived with our chronic illness, it is something that we probably will have to deal with lifelong, so why not try and make the best of it? Sure, Brenda has times when she is really feeling attacked by her body, but that is when you take the time to rest. She feels it is counterproductive to talk about it 24/7 and every time you meet with someone. There is a time and a place. Having grown up as Brenda did, in very modest circumstances, she realizes that there has to be a work around some things, to help make them easier. She didn't have the latest and greatest of things at her disposal. She tells me that if you wanted something bad enough, you had to work for it. You appreciated it more that way. That is why Brenda appreciates all that has been bestowed upon her, and that means even her illness. Yes, you heard that correctly. Living with RA and also her brain tumor journey have become blessings for her. I don't think if she hadn't had the experience of a brain tumor, this blog would not be in existence and neither would good old Trevor, here. BOL

Brenda has just as much to offer as anyone who is younger or thinks they have the world by the tail. Let me tell you this in all seriousness, respecting your elders or those who possess WISDOM, is one of the greatest things you can do. She remembers a man she knew years ago, that would say how much he enjoyed being around those who possess this type of WISDOM.

Brenda still enjoys going to rock concerts. She is going to one next month and is so excited. She recently got herself a DVD set of The Little Rascals, which she has been enjoying immensely. She hopes to always possess that INNER CHILD, but she also has been endowed with WISDOM, so don't count her out just yet.

Even though she does work with people that are younger than her on many projects and even her work, she does ultimately REPECT them.

Brenda has always been the type of person who is willing to learn new things, but she finds that she does not need to know everything. That is what makes us unique and why would we all want to be the same anyway? Would make for a pretty dull existence, now wouldn't it?

So for those of us that are of a CERTAIN AGE, bask in the WISDOM and enjoy your education and for those younger, learn from the former, as you one day will be there also.

That's it for this time. This is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, wishing you PEACE & UNDERSTANDING.