Today I am announcing a NEW fundraising campaign, Help Brenda Johima Build A New Life Without Cancer.
One special friend set it all up for me, did the writing and everything. I am grateful.
Several online friends had suggested that I put up a new fundraising page, since the last fundraiser, A Helping Hand for Brenda, ended on December 31st, 2014, and I am still struggling to get back on me feet again financially, and to regain my health, stamina and energy levels on a consistent basis.
I am still not working.
Frankly, I have been exhausted.
Energy levels are up and down and I still need partial or full days of bed rest sometimes. I wasn’t expecting this … or maybe more accurately, I thought that even though I had read about cancer fatigue, that my healthy lifestyle and good nutrition would allow me to beat it and that I would be full of energy. I was convinced it wouldn’t happen to me. Ha.
Now I know that “Cancer fatigue” and “chemo-brain” are very, very real and although I do hope that these eventually they lift, at this time, it is a daily struggle.
Putting together a few sentences into a paragraph, or a few paragraphs into a page, seems impossible on some days, so completion might take weeks instead of days. Writing, you would think, would be simple for someone like me, who has almost always been writing effortlessly. Chemo-brain makes getting organized thoughts out of the brain and onto paper or screen, a real challenge much of the time.
What were once high energy levels, are reduced to daily fatigue.
I am grateful for the online friends who took the time to suggest ideas and titles for new fundraiser, and to support and love me through this all. I have been in a crisis over the last 3-4 weeks on many levels. Yes, crisis.
I am NOT good at asking for anything and certainly not good at asking for money for myself. The topic of money makes ASKING even harder for me, when you know you that you are going to put yourself out there, the good, the bad, the joy and the ugly, for all the world to see and to read online.
The only way that I know through anything is to keep telling the truth, keep admitting the truth, and to have the courage to share it with others. This is the only way through crisis and pain for me. A shift for the better, eventually happens.
At almost 54, I am just learning to ASK, now. Maybe if I admit this here, it will help somebody else to lessen the shame, and to learn also, to have the courage to ASK, as I am just learning now.
Crisis? What crisis?
On top of recovering from cancer treatments, I am also in a housing transition at the moment, which has been extremely stressful. I am not sure where I will end up next, but am currently staying here and there with friends, with a 70 pound standard poodle in tow. Not an ideal situation for anybody who has had cancer recently.
I stumbled in my own brain for almost 4 weeks trying to write text, just only a few paragraphs. I could not do it.
I am sharing this fact to help others, to release the shame and embarrassment, of chemo/cancer related cognitive challenges, and to provide HOPE, as I know it MUST eventually get better, my memory and brain function post-chemo … and, my life. And it will get better for YOU also, if you are going through similar challenges or know someone who is.
So what about this NEW fundraising journey?
I will be doing two things:
- One, on the YouCaring page, “Help Brenda Build A Life Without Cancer,” I will be providing regular updates, and sharing regularly, my “healing walks” with Teddy along with a photo. This was Philippa’s idea. I like it.
- And here on this blog? My friend Charlsie had another great idea, and I will be implementing this right here. I will chronicle my journey from where I am now, forward to six months. I will share the adventures of Brenda and Teddy as I recover and heal, progress, change and grow, and move forward in my life.
Any dollar amount as a financial gift, a donation from family, friends and strangers, WILL help.
I hope you will join me.
Brenda and Teddy