31 days to a new me

On October 4, 2014, in 31 Days, Writings, by brendajohima

31 days to a new me

there are scads of diets and programs that promise a new you in 10 days, 30 days, on and on. i am smarter to know to not get caught in these expensive traps. but what about writing for 31 days? it is FREE. and i believe it will change my life. it already has. i am learning a lot about myself already, including the parts of me that are lazy and blank

– brenda 


the benefits of being breast cancer bald

On October 4, 2014, in 31 Days, Writings, by brendajohima

the benefits of being bald

  • when applying face cream, you don’t have to worry about getting it in your hair. it’s like a blank canvas, you can get it anywhere
  • no paying for hairdressers and no hair salon expenses
  • save money on shampoos, conditioners and hair products
  • wear funky and cool caps and hats
  • fun … always be on the lookout for new and funky hats and caps
  • eyeglasses fit better, no hair to get caught in the way
  • feels good and freeing
  • people leave you alone more
  • you don’t get whistled at for being blonde
  • you can be incognito
  • your hair goes with everything and anything and nothing

– brenda




On October 3, 2014, in 31 Days, Writings, by brendajohima

writing when you have nothing to say

is like …”

– brenda johima


31 days

On October 2, 2014, in 31 Days, Writings, by brendajohima

i started this thing, writing for 31 days in a row, which makes no sense to me if it does not come from the heart, i told myself, but then i realized, that if every writer put that kind of demand on themselves, would we have books? would good books be written?

who can live and write from the heart 24/7?

so it is a good thing that i am writing for 31 days and that on day 2 i got to figure this out right away, that writing from the heart 24/7 may not happen

speaking of heart

my heart has been open, and heavy and closed and open wide to be hurt over and over again and it has been closed tight shut like an old metal vault to a bank … you know, the kind you see in the basements of old banks

i just made that up because it sounds good, maybe something a real writer would say or write

teddy is here with me upstairs, looking down, down, down, and out the window to the street below

i think that he is looking for cars on the street, which rarely drive by where i live

he looks out the window for things to move, but nothing moves, except maybe a fir tree needle in the small and slight breeze if you look quickly before you blink

unedited, raw writing, this is

let’s put it out there online for the world to read and to see, shall we?

i just edited, so forget the unedited raw writing. spelling mistakes, i cannot put online

unedited, raw writing, this is (not)

i am writing around my heart

breast cancer has been my constant companion lately, but she has been the kind of friend you really do not want to have

scattered smorgasbord

love that

my mind, my life right now, a scattered smorgasbord, rich with flavours and colours and textures and wide open to possibilities and to my future

a future that will be different

very very different soon

i know it. i feel it, i know.

– brenda johima

thursday october 2nd 4:40 p.m. 2014


getting unstuck

On October 1, 2014, in 31 Days, Writings, by brendajohima

when i first got diagnosed with breast cancer, all of a sudden, little bits of poetry just started to flow out of me, out of the blue it seemed … it was FUN and effortless … then i began chemotherapy, and it all just came to a halt on its own, just as fast as it began …

BUT early this morning?

… the poetry snippets began to flow once again :


playing it safe
i have been

forever it seems

fanny bay
silt mud salt and sea
oysters galore
longing no more

it is time
dr. t.

to spread our doggie wings
and flee

to where we will go
nobody knows

but i am sure it will be
for just you and


– brenda johima


october 1, 2014, 6:05 a.m.
it came out like a flash


Breast Cancer and Me

On September 24, 2014, in breast cancer, fundraising, Inspiration, by brendajohima

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for popping by. I want to let you know that at this time, all of my energies online are now being spent on my breast cancer blog/journal at brendajohima.CA … I am also very active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

This brendajohima.com website has had to take a backseat (temporarily) until I am well again.

I got diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2014, and just today, I completed my 4th and final round of chemotherapy. YAY! It has been a rough road, but I have been surrounded by tons love from people online, and social media support has been incredible. I have been shown the kindest people online, and the best of humanity possible. I am extremely grateful.

I have a long ways to go yet, in fund-raising (I haven’t worked since April and have been advised I am still unable to work at this time) and also a long ways to go in treatment. Next, I have 3 weeks of recovery from chemotherapy, and then I commence radiation for almost 4 weeks. Then hormonal therapy.

Then begins the real healing and recovery, getting my energy and stamina back, building back my physical fitness, and beginning to look for a job and to create revenue again. A move away from Fanny Bay is in the works also. A BIG set of changes coming up. Overwhelming, and Exciting.

So please join me at brendajohima.CA and support my breast cancer journey if you can? Also there is a YouCaring fundraising site set up by friends. If you can spare even $5.00, it all adds up and DOES make a difference. I need to get though at least to the end of 2014, and ideally, to include January 2015 financially. THANK YOU to all of you who have already donated funds. I am extremely grateful for anyone who has donated any amount.

I am working on this brendajohima.com artist and photographer website in the background, re-building it as a smorgasbord of multi-talents. I am also working on johima.CA as a pure photography portfolio only.

But my main priority is to KICK Out Breast Cancer! Forever! … and to get well and to THRIVE.

Sending my Love,



A 4 AM New-To-Me Photo/Art Technique

On June 24, 2014, in Art, Photo-Art, Photography, by brendajohima

I’ve been up since 4 AM. I’ve learned to go with the flow with insomnia.

I write, plan, think, meditate, contemplate, look at my day ahead. I always get great ideas at 4 AM, or reminders of things I wanted to do but haven’t tried yet.

Sooooo, today, I’m looking forward to trying out a new-to-me, photo-art technique just for fun. I learned about it many years ago but just haven’t got around to doing it.

Today feels like the right day. Thank you 4 AM.

Love Brenda


Purple Healer

On June 3, 2014, in FLORAL, Garden, Nature Photography, Photography, by brendajohima

“The morning garden heals me, with colour dripping wet.”

purple iris in garden

The morning garden heals me, with color dripping wet.



On May 27, 2014, in FLORAL, Garden, Nature Photography, Photography, by brendajohima

Patience has never been my best quality, but now with having breast cancer, and spending time in the garden with my camera, is proving to be my best teacher for learning patience.

With Gratitude,

green fern in garden

circling, enveloping, nature always moving


Where Did Brenda Johima Photographer Go?

On May 21, 2014, in Photography, by brendajohima

I let a bunch of other competitive “professional” photographers (in an organization)  squash me, silence me, crush me. I regret that. I got bullied. I took less and less photos. I went into hiding. I quit. I let friends and family tell me I could not be a photographer. I broke their hearts by taking better images. I got bullied. I listened. I could not handle breaking the dreams of others who had wanted to pursue photography but didn’t. I quit. I let a group of dog trainers and dog professionals gossip and try to destroy my dog photography Facebook page and phoDOGraphy business. They spread the word in a small town that I cost too much. (I had charged too little and went broke doing so). I quit. I got cancer. I immediately changed all my social profiles and removed “photographer” and “iPhoneographer” and “travel photographer” (wanna be). I couldn’t see how I could travel and be a photographer on the road and have cancer and be in treatment. I quit.

All this crazy thinking and shrinking thinking smaller behaviours and quitting to please others has lead me to …

Begin again!

Today. Lesson learned. I begin again.

xxoo Brenda Johima


I have a new opinion of what a “professional” photographer (which I have never called myself) is … they don’t bully other “wanna-be’s” as they call it, into submission. They encourage, they motivate, they inspire, they remember where they came from when they began, they know that their words and actions displayed to those starting out, ARE their brand and affect their own reputation. They know that anybody may refer them work and clients … even possibly the “wanna be” that they bullied.

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