Help Brenda Build a Life without Cancer

For: Brenda Johima
Victoria, BC, Canada
Organizer: Philippa Rowlands
Help Brenda Build a Life without Cancer (Brenda Johima)
of $10,000 goal
31% Complete
Raised by 42 donors

The Story

Brenda is a talented photographic artist who is recovering from breast cancer and she needs your help to complete the journey to wellness and a life full of joy and independence. Your donation will provide her with the everyday nourishment she needs to take the steps beyond cancer into a positive and productive future. Your support will help her to pay for living expenses, travel to follow up appointments and associated costs and for the the many support services she still requires.

When you have cancer all your energy and all your finances are concentrated on clearing the disease. There are the seemingly endless treatments, the trips to the hospital and treatment centre, the accommodation, and the constant tests and all the self-healing practices that you can integrate into your life…

Brenda has completed much of this journey. She had breast biopsies, a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She is on tamoxifen for 5 years. She has handled herself with grace and with courage and she is doing it alone without a partner or nearby family supports.

But…what happens now?

There is a lot more to the healing journey than just getting cancer free. Healing takes time. Re-emerging takes time. Renewal takes time and ongoing healthcare takes time and money. And although Brenda has the desire to get back into life full tilt, the energy is just not there…yet…she has realized that the process needs to be gradual and she needs to honor rest, healing, and self-care so she can claim the life she wants for herself.

She is also in a housing transition. At a time when stress levels need to be kept low in order to heal and recover, with so many major life changes going on all at the same time, stress is actually at an all time high. She needs a long-term place to live, for her and her beloved standard poodle, Teddy.

Please help support this beautiful and talented human by giving a donation to help her with her everyday expenses, her allied health treatments, nutrition, dog care and her ongoing medical expenses so she can fully recover and then move on with her life.

You do not often hear about this side of recovery.

After the cancer has gone there are still so many challenges; emotional, physical, financial, social, practical…The truth is there are good days and bad days, exhaustion and fatigue, gentle flowing days and days when bed rest is the only answer. This is not easy.

Brenda is committed to creating a positive self-supporting life for herself and her beautiful “healing dog,”her standard poodle, Teddy. The journey post-cancer is like rebuilding after a fire has swept through your house. The foundations come first and then brick by brick you rebuild something new, something stronger and something more nourishing.

Cancer has taken a toll on Brenda's finances. This is a practical truth. For months and months Brenda has been unable to earn an income. It has been a huge financial struggle. This will be ongoing for some time as she takes her first steps to build a new foundation for her life, an eventual new career once well enough to work, and health. This foundation begins with reclaiming good health, strength, energy and security.

You can help.

Please give to support Brenda Johima in her post-cancer recovery.

Thank you

Love and Blessings

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 4, 2015

Posted on May 4, 2015

Thank you for your kindness and financial generosity. I truly am blessed.

April was a busy month, with much of my time spent with doctors, medical, dentistry, opticians, oncologist, medical social worker, counselling and more. It was an exhausting and stressful month, I must admit. I have been in a housing transition, I am still looking for housing. It is not easy to find an affordable place to live I have discovered, especially with a standard poodle. I can't give up. I need a place to live as soon as possible. It's stressful.

For the entire month, I was mostly exhausted and suffering from tremendous and disabling fatigue.

So, as people are curious, let's get to what happened at the BC Cancer Agency during my follow-up appointments, post-breast cancer treatments. I had a follow-up with my medical oncologist and medical social worker on April 30th.

My medical social worker was fabulous. She was proud of me, for all of my accomplishments, hard work on healing, while trying to change my entire life in the midst of so many barriers. She believes that I have a hard year ahead of me, a year at least. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but I accepted it, and agree. I am in the midst of four major life changes all at once.

Miracles can still happen, and I remain open to it, but when you look at one recovering from cancer treatments, needing to move house and home, and geographical location, while making major life changes, filled with loss and grief, it's a long haul.

My medical oncologist appointment went as well as one could accept. She reminded me that April 30th, the day of our meeting, was the anniversary date of my surgery, my lumpectomy. I had not even put the two together, as I have been so stressed. 

So what news did I get with this follow-up appointment?

Well, as last time I met with my medical oncologist, it was not the news I wanted to hear. I always want to hear, "you don't need to come back for another 12 months" or "I don't need to see you again for 6 months." I picture myself jumping for joy.


I must go back in 2 months
, once again.

That is what I heard, "I need to see you again in 2 months."When I heard this, it was like all the air flowing out of a big balloon, suddenly, and quickly. My heart hurt a little and my gut felt queasy for a minute, wishing it wasn't what I were hearing. But it's the truth.

I am also being referred for BRCA1 & BRCA2 Genetic Testing, just to make sure. It hasn't been done yet. I am waiting for an appointment.

So onward I go.

More healing and more recovery time is needed. Exhaustion, cancer fatigue and stress need to go down, and energy levels and health must go up.

One thing I can say, is I do feel fortunate with the superb medical care that I have. They are being thorough. I am not slipping through the cracks. I am grateful. And I am grateful to you, for you. You all help me to keep on going. In addition to your donations, your kindness, prayers, love, support, well wishes and positive thoughts, are lifting me through this all. Thank you.



Posted on April 24, 2015

Posted on April 24, 2015

The cost of cancer goes on, even if you are finished treatments.

But I'm sooooooo grateful for people who are chipping in to help financially again, to get me through this rocky patch.

I can't wait to see who I am once all of this is over. Another transformation is in the works!

I do know, I'll be paying it forward when able, and already do so daily, as much as I can. 

I may not be able to give money right now, but I give with who I am. Things like genuine compliments, praise, encouragement, inspiration, gratitude and applause for others ... I give now, best I can.


Posted on April 23, 2015

Posted on April 23, 2015

Hey, it's me, Teddy! (they call me Dr. T. because I helped Brenda through breast cancer treatments and towards a cure)

Guess what?

I've been having a sleep over this week, OK, a few sleep overs.

Brenda has been so exhausted she had to make the decision to let me go stay with some lovely people who are taking awesome care of me. 

I get to play with my basketball in the back yard and also they let me play in a kiddie pool! You know how I LOVE the water! 

Well, it's not been all fun and games for Brenda though. She's had tough times for too long. The healing and recovery from cancer treatments has been exhausting. She didn't expect it to be so hard and the fatigue, debilitating.

Put out some good thoughts for her? Email her? Phone her? Message her? She'd love to know you are still there for her, I just know it.

And, I'll be in Victoria soon! Next week! Brenda and I head back to the BC Cancer Agency for a follow-up. Hopefully we will be coming back with good news this time!

Lots of Love,
Dr. T.

P.S. So many kind people have been donating to help Brenda out and to build a life after cancer. Recovery is tough. Can you share this link far and wide? Thanks a bunch! Any small amount of money helps, just a few dollars even. It all adds up. Love Love Love Love, Teddy

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