Ode to my Lost Hormones

A breast cancer diagnosis, brought questions flooding in,

After the process was explained, one tiny question remained,

scores of specialist could not answer, I was scared silly of what was to come.


They called me “Lucky”, to have the tumor caught so early,

The treatments that followed were easy to get through,

Thanks to my cousin, Cindy, for sharing her secrets of survival,

What could have been unbearable, became tolerable,

Thanks for the info cuz, it was much appreciated.


Once the lumpectomy was over and the chemo began,

I found myself awestruck of the millions that have gone before me!

all  of the fight, strength, love and passion that has gone before me,

I persevere to continue the fight!


Thank you, Ladies for the inspiration to keep going.

I am a survivor, I refused to let this bring me down.

My chemo was coming to an end and I knew radiation was the next step,


Little did I know my journey was just beginning.

My sweetheart became seriously ill and needed immediate surgery to survive,

The same night my father went home to be with the Lord. As Barry slept, I told him to be strong,

I knew he was a survivor, Several family members and our Pastor helped me through the hard parts.


Life started to calm and a routine began, while Barry was being cared for at the hospital,

I left daily for my radiation treatments and returned just before supper.

Our Jeep had to be on auto-pilot to get me, from the hospital and back daily.


Once the oncologist suggested we turn my ovaries off,

first thing I pictured was a little switch that needed to be turned on each ovary, she had other things

in mind, once I knew my options,


I took the injection until I could schedule the surgery needed,

I knew the minute I woke from surgery, that my Doctor had been successful.

My first official hot flash was in the recovery room! 


The Estrogen and other things produced by my ovaries are now gone, the surgeon had a wee surprise for me,

Soy can mimic Estrogen in the body, soooooooooo…..no over the counter remedies for me!

Now the brown spots, the “hot and cold” flashes and mood swings were just around the corner,

On March 28, 2014, I was thrown face first into MENOPAUSE!


Writing Through Cancer | For the Week of August 4, 2013: Can It Get Any Worse? Part 2

Part 2

My strength comes from the Lord, my family, and my handsome husband Barry. I draw a bit of strength from each of these people. Together, day by day, problem after problem, we grow stronger as a group. The easiest way to deal with issues is one at a time, one day at a time.”Hope springs eternal”, from Alexander PopeAn Essay on Man. That quote says it all. Keep hope alive.

Barry and I are adapting well to dealing with our illnesses. We had to get re-acquainted with each, but everything has worked out. He had to retire.  The stroke left him unable to handle working full-time. Barry  made adjustments around to house to aid me in normal daily function. He helped Libor and Jonny build a porch and ramp off the front of dad’s home. Worked beautifully.

There is no course reversal for my illness. There is only management and learning to cope. You keep up with your yearly appointments, take your medications as prescribed, eat healthy, and exercise. Cowden’s Syndrome is a rare disorder about a mutated gene in my DNA. To learn more, follow the link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowden_syndrome is related toLDD: which is just a symptom of Cowden Syndrome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lhermitte%E2%80%93Duclos_disease

No one looks forward to losing a loved one. I for one, can definitely say, I am not ready to lose my dad, Barry lost his father at a younger age, so he is helping me deal with the emotions, while I take care of my health. My sister’s are in the boat with me. We’d like to keep mom and dad around forever. But that is not in God‘s Plan. Only he knows when it is our time to be with him. So, One day at a time. Slow as we go, enjoy every minute we have.


The daily prompts I write from each week come from the following blog by Sharon Bray:


Follow the link to her blog. She is incredible! Thank you, Sharon…..Jill Baynes

Daily Prompt: Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

I decided to make a list to share a few things not commonly known about me, as well as a few you should know if you keep up with my blog.

1. We love the Lord and our life as a Christians.

2. We love each other and our family, with all our hearts.

3. We love small town America, but Barry does love the ATL. After working downtown for so long, he learned to love it!

4. I love to read, but have not been able to focus on print since having brain surgery. I love my tablet because I can control the font size.
5. I am learning what it means to get dead-dog tired.
6. We love antiques. They have a mystery about them.

7. We enjoy gardening. Watching something come to life that you planted is an amazing feeling.

8. I’m shy. No really……very shy.

9. I love to draw. At one point, I was pretty good. My disability has effected my drawing capabilities. Barry is an engineer, he can draw anything.

10. I love to sing. I miss singing more than my balance, I think. At church, I just hide in the crowd and let it rip. My disability interfered with my vocal chords taking my ability to sing away. At one point, I was a high soprano. Barry has a gorgeous voice when singing, but I believe he prefers to keep it a secret between his mom and the two of us.

11. My father is gravely ill.

12. I have a genetic disease. My body is prone to form tumors, cancerous or benign.
13. I try not to let my illness interfere with life.
14. We love our sweet puppy-dog! She has saved my life many times.
15. Barry and I are caretakers for my mother. Oh, what a challenge. We always claim we love a good challenge.

16. I’m the middle child of three girls.
17. Barry grew-up an only child.

18. We have one child. Barry’s son, Frank. He hates me. His loss.
19. Barry suffered a large territory right MCA in 12/2011. You cannot tell he had anything happen. He is my miracle.

20. Our exes would be perfect for each other.

Well, you now know a more about both of us. There is more,  keep reading.

Writing Through Cancer Daily Prompt for the week of May 12, 2013: “Mommy, It’s Your Happy Day”

Mommy, it’s your Happy day!

I plan to take this a different way. Motherhood is a previous gift from God. Anyone lucky enough to be blessed with such a privilege, should cherish every moment they are given. Growing up, the only things I wanted to do was fall in love and have a houseful of children. My first husband and I tried for years. We both suffered through 5 miscarriages and a physician told that us if we wanted children, we needed different spouses. Fortunately, our inability to have children was not the reason our marriage failed.

With a pregnancy, you start making plans, look forward to the future and then you realize the pregnancy is failing. It breaks your heart. After the fifth miscarriage, your heart feels like a dried up lump of clay. There is no way to describe the agony your body goes through mentally and physically. A miscarriage is a horrible thing to live through. Accepting that it doesn’t seem to be in the Good Lord‘s plan for you to become a mother or father is intense, but as Christians our pregnancies are in the hands of the Lord.  Our lives are part of God’s plan. He has a plan for us all. It is not our place to question that plan. Even though it is in the Lord’s Plan, you still go through a period of regret and doubting. It is not easy to hand everything over to the Lord without some grieving. You get past the emotions and find the strength to give it over to God and get on with your life. You do a lot of praying. Asking for Grace and Strength to get through the misery. You do get through it!  I did it five times and lived. So did my ex-husband. He has remarried and has a son. 

I , also, have remarried. I managed to find my place in this world. I met my soul mate in 2001. We were married three years later. I love him more everyday. I don’t know what I would do without him. He makes me want to be a better person. We have both done things that neither of us ever thought we would do. I made an attempt at being a step-mother ( I gave up when my step-son made it clear, he wanted nothing to do with me). Barry is learning to love my mother.

Her health was failing and she did not need to be living in the situation she was, so we packed her up and moved her in with us. The situation is actually working.  I did not think it would. As mom ages, she is learning the art of compromise. It has tickled her pink, to have Barry start calling her “Mom“.

Barry put’s on a Mother’s Day show every year. He says “I was a wonderful mother. ” When Barry and I married, we discussed children. He asked if I was okay with not having a child. He said he was ready to focus on home and retiring. I was good with that. Our health issues haven’t allowed us to do everything we wanted, but we still enjoy each and everyday. We now have a beloved family pet boxer, named Maggie. She thinks she is human. In a sense, I’m mothering our family pooch.

Barry’s mom passed away a few months before he proposed. I was lucky enough to spend a little time with her. She was a sweet, wonderful woman. I know where her son gets it from.We did agree on one thing. We started to make the same statement at the same time once. That statement was, “He sure does have the best-looking legs around!” She turned and looked at me oddly and said, “I knew I liked you!” When Barry got in the car to find us giggling, he wanted to know if he should be worried.  His mom looked at me and smiled. We didn’t say a word. Barry started the car and headed to the restaurant. 

My mom is a character. I told Barry stories before he met her. He later told me it found my stories hard to believe, until mom started letting the true Betty out in front of him. Mom is a doll and a beautiful woman. She is the perfect work the room character. As long as things are going her way, she is fine. I love her to pieces and look like I could be her twin. I will do anything in the world for her, when I can. Mom living with us has been great. I’m getting to know mom better than I ever have.

Her health is declining and I am trying to help her deal with or understand the changes her body is going through. She is actually listening to me and learning about her illness. Telling my mother the truth about things she does Isn’t easy. I’m getting better at it and she is taking it better.  She has not taken my illness well. I’ve had to ask her to change certain behaviors to help me deal with my health. 

My sister’s and I got our families together and took her out for lunch on Mother’s Day. Barry and I treated her to a new haircut. She really looks great. Sandy has taken her on a trip to North Carolina; to see her grandson graduate from college.I hope she is enjoying herself. She deserve’ it. She is my mom’s.

my momma

my momma

Daily Prompt: Unleash Your Inner Dickinson

National Poetry Writing Month is nearly at end. To celebrate it, try your hand at some verse.

The Fight in Me

Facing the illness,

Building my strength,

Dealing with pain,

Day by day,

Doctors so confident,

With so few answers,

But their abilities are lacking!

As I enter an exam room,

Their knowledge is useless,

My body out of control, 

As strange things continue, 

One doctor’s academic experiment,

Lab-rat I am not,

Without knowledge of applicable treatment,

We play the game “What to try Next?”,

Not knowing the outcome,

But something has to be done,

The pain remains unending,

But my spirit wains,

Unsure of the outcome,

But a new willingness to try,

Something has to treat this disease,

I will not let it get the best of me,

I am a different person,

Than earlier days,

My faith in the Lord,

Keeps me going,

For in his hands my body lies,

The world around me appears different,

 This disease has changed my insight,

And perspective of my surroundings,

Thank you, Lord

For showing me the way,

To manage this illness,

In a positive way!

Continuation of the week of April 21, 2013, The Healing Power of Forgiveness

A friend pointed out to me, that I may need to forgive myself to truly feel free and get rid of the feeling in my stomach.

If I can say anything about myself, I can truly say I am my own worst critic. Most of us are, but I am extremely hard on myself, always have been.

My third grade teacher wrote “Jill needs to learn that it is OK to be wrong and make mistakes” on the back of one of my report cards.

That was many years ago and you would think I had changed a little. Apparently not! I may have lightened up a little on myself, but not enough.

Working on apologizing to everyone I feel had to deal with my mess, I think I’ll add myself to the list. Surely I can figure out how to forgive and apologize to myself.

For the week of April 21, 2013: The Healing Power of Forgiveness

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

The morning of April 18, 2013, I received a call from my physician specializing in breast health. She called to let me know my biopsy results did show cancer. Some called Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

She informed my husband we need to schedule an appointment to discuss options and she asked if we had thought of what to do if this matter came up.

Barry and I had not expected this matter to seem so quickly, so our answer was of course, No! Maybe we were a little naïve, but we were trying to work on the “positive thinking” option I guess we need to work on that a bit more.

I have always been vigilant with scheduling my physical and mammograms.In 2009, the brain tumor appeared and threw us for a loop.

After the brain tumor the weird symptoms appeared and I was diagnosed with; Cowden’s Syndrome, Lhermitte Duclos Disease, Thyroid Cancer, my gallbladder was removed, my tonsils were removed a second time, my mammograms started showing suspicious areas that needed to be rechecked and then biopsied.

During all of this hoopla, I felt the incredible urge to seek forgiveness from my God, my family and friends. When the possibility of death smacks you in the face, it makes you take a step back and look at our life. I felt silly apologizing to some of my friends, but the Lord and my is a different story.

My husband Barry was the toughest, but I could tell he was confused. But we talked it out. One of my desires, was to find and get involved in a good church. I wanted Barry and I to go together. I missed attending church.

We have since found as wonderful church and have become active members. Mom is going with us. It is a pleasure to see her enjoying herself and flourishing in the church community. She is about to be baptized.

I continue to ask God for forgiveness daily and to grant me the Grace, Strength and Mercy to help me settle the uneasiness that remains in the pit of my stomach today; I believe I know what I need to do to settle my stomach, but I am scared.

In the next month, I think I’d like to apologize to my ex-husband. He feels like my missing link. The problem I need to solve.

My family is extremely supportive and I love them each and everyone. They seem to have accepted my apology without fail. I hope this brings the closeness we once had back into our lives.

I didn’t leave my first marriage as I should have. I left my sister, Sandy and her family in town to deal with my mess. I was a mess at that time and truly did not know how to handle the situation. To put it plain and simple, I was young, stupid and scared. I got a new career and threw myself into work.

Seeking forgiveness from everyone involved, has started to ease my mind. I still need to follow through with talking to my ex-husband. We will see if it helps.



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Please Forgive My Absence

Please forgive my absence for the past few days. Imagine the nerve of life getting in the way. I’ll admit I let the “poor pitiful me’s” get in the way. When my favorite urologist found my new problem, my mood kinda hit the toilet with a big splash. I’ve had 2 days of sulking and I’m tired of being the only “stick in the mud” at the party.

Time for a reality check. Yes, I am sick. Yes, I hurt all day everyday. Yes, I have to see a lot of doctors. But………I love the Lord, I adore my husband, I have a loving, happy, sometimes screwed family, I have 2 great pets (a dog that thinks she is human and a fish that will come to the top of the bowl when called), I have a great life.

Why I let myself get all down and depressed, I’ll never understand. One doctor I see told me to quit worrying about getting upset. He said it’s not like I don’t have a million things to worry about.

Maybe all this studying and work I’ve done, on turning my issues over to the Lord, is working. It was much easier to turn this over to God, than in the past. I really think that listening and learning in church is the way to go. Growing up, I was more concerned with who was at church, than what I was learning. I’m learning a lot at Victory Baptist Church, they are such a truly incredible group of people.

Tomorrow is the MRI of my abdomen and pelvis. I’m praying that whatever Dr. M saw on my liver is no longer there. Please think of me tomorrow, Barry and I can use all the prayers we can get.


When Life Hands You Something You Really Do Not Want To Do

OK, I love the Lord, my home, my life, my family, my dog and even my little fish. I would do anything in the world for them.

I was forced into doing the hardest thing I have ever done in my life recently. All joking aside, I found this task extremely hard to deal with, but I did it! The problem wasn’t going away, I had to do something. My mother is my mother and I had to do the right thing. I have to admit, that I was a bit scared.

Growing up with mom wasn’t the easiest task on earth, but I lived. Mom and pop did a great job with the three of us. I was a breeze to raise, the other two….well, mom and pop survived. Now today, the other two faint at the site of blood and I’m a nurse.

My sisters are two of the most strong-willed, engaging and hard-working women I know. They are also, great mothers; which has allowed me to be the best aunt on earth. 

It was Mom. She didn’t want to go to the hospital and I had to take her.Well, Barry and I took her.  My mother prefers to doctor herself and she refuses to admit she isn’t as young as she once was. It’s time to slow down a little. Mom isn’t crazy about doctors or hospitals, but she is doing fine. She survived. 

I wasn’t able to have children and I feel like I’ve become my mother’s mother! It was really hard to leave her there. I wasn’t sure about our relationship, but leaving her there made me hurt. I guess that is what motherhood feels like?

She is home and doing better. She is hassling me about exercise class and wants to go to Starbucks for coffee. Says she wants to give it a try and she misses her exercise class. I guess I’ll have to take her over to the gym and I’ll deal with the rowdy roosters gawking at the class from the upstairs windows.