You Don’t Have Time to Wait on Dying … Become Busy Living!

Brenda A. Jenkins
Scottsdale, AZ
Multiple Myeloma, 8 Year Survivor
Grand Canyon University Doctoral Learner
Inspirational Speaker and Author

1. What was the darkest moment in your cancer journey?
The death of my oldest son was my darkest moment in my cancer journey. He moved back home when I was diagnosed and took care of me for a year. Even after that, I could always reach him by phone for support. His recent death was unexpected and sad for me, but I have beautiful memories.

2. If you could go back and talk to your pre-cancer self, what would you say?
If I could go back to my pre-cancer self I would say, “Enjoy your loved ones every day like there’s no tomorrow.”

3. How has cancer changed you?
Cancer changed me and what I wanted to accomplish. Before cancer, I had no interest in obtaining. Now I am using my skills at a scholarly level, and working on my post graduate degree.

4. What motivated you to pursue your 2nd Act?
After being told I had a rare and incurable cancer, I decided to continue, and even increase, my efforts of sharing my gifts of learning, speaking, and communicating to serve others.

5. What has been your brightest moment in your 2nd Act?
My brightest moments have been traveling all over the country sharing my story.

6. Where do you see yourself going from here?
In addition to working on my doctorate, my plan is to continue assisting groups with research-based parent education programs.

7.What’s your favorite quote and how does it fit into your 2nd Act?
My favorite quote is from Maya Angelou: “Still I Rise. “ It resonates with me perfectly; I am in treatment continuously, but I continue to be able to rise and serve.

 

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My pre-cancer self was innocent and unsuspecting of any health issues; arrogant in her healthiness and immortality. I’d tell her to listen to her body. Don’t ignore the signs that she’s ill. I’d also tell her that she’s strong. Much stronger than she gives herself credit. And that, despite the unbearable hardships she’d face in the coming year, she’d find a wear to bear it. She would come to own the word ‘survivor’ by showing up to the cancer center every day, making soul connections as she fought her way back to life.

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