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!


My Sisters, Wonder Woman in disguise…..Bet you never knew there were three

I am the middle child of three girls. We grew up in a small-town called Winder, Georgia, in the late seventies into the eighties. We are quite a mix, but we make it work. We all have excessively busy lives. We live within 30 minutes of each other and hardly ever see one another.

I’ll start with the oldest, Sandy, Wonder Women number one. She is hardworking, smart,detail oriented, sweet, loving, caring, kind-hearted, meticulous, adores her children and grandchidren, keeps an emmaculate home, takes incredible care of her husband, whom is wheelchair-bound from a spinal cord tumor. Dennis gets around and takes care of himdelf during the day, he even drives. He manages several household chores and always makes sure Sandy has a hot meal ready at night. She is the secretary at her church and drives a school bus for the county they live in.

She likes things done her way or no way; she doesn’t care to see things go wrong; she believes it is ok to plan gatherings the day before she wants to have it; she tells you what time something will start or what time she will arrive, but is always on average two hours late; but on the other hand. She has my love and respect, but I have to admit, I do not know how she does it. I would have packedup and run away a long time ago. She is one tired, incredible woman and I love her dearly. 

Our relationship has changed since I got sick. I miss the relationship Sandy and I had. We will probably never get it back. I had enough trouble accepting the “new me”, how can I expect others to understand and accept the changes I deal with daily. I just want to be included. If I am able, I’ll be there!

Brain injuries make a person vulnerable to infections and other things that could be deadly. That fact has kept me closer to home in the past few years. I’m a great aunt, now. I’d love to be able to play and have fun with them, just as I did her kids growing up. We had some great times.

Enough of that. Let’s get to Wonder Women number two, my younger sister, Kristie. Kristie is sweet, kind-hearted, loving, caring, smart, adores her dhildren and husband, focused, detail-oriented, hard-working, and is currently using her super powers to take care of father, who is gravely ill. Sandy snd I have helped when we could, but it hasn’t been close to enough to give her a break.

Kristie surprised me after I had brain surgery, she visited daily for a few weeks and cooked several meals, so we wouldn’t have to worry about it. She helped get me to rehab when Barry had a conflict. This was so sweet. Not that she hasn’t been sweet in the past,  Barry and I just were not expecting it. Thank you, Kris!

Kristie has a quick temper and let you know when she thinks you are wrong. I did not witness this, but she took a 6’6″ man to the ground and beat him up. Mom called her a “lightening bolt” when getting her up for school in our younger days. She still carries a bolt in her back pocket.

I love both my sisters with all my heart and will do anything in the world for both of them. Thank you both for being there when I have needed you! I could not have gotten better sisters if I had ordered them from a catalog. God truly blessed me in the sister department! Thank you, Dear Lord for my sisters!

Daily Prompt: RSVP: “Princesses for the Day”

At a birthday party before

At a birthday party before

Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens?

The person I am closest to is of course my husband, Barry. Although Barry deserves a huge celebration, there 2 others in my life that could really use a day to let go and do something crazy. My sisters, Sandy and Kristie, could both use a day of leisure or a day og being “Princesses of the Weekend”.

We would start with packing our bags for the weekend, loading in the car, and checking into the local hotel at the winery near our home.

The day we check in, we will take trail rides and have supper by the lake,  picnic style. We’ll roast marshmallows over the fire and head back to the hotel just before dark.

After a nice long sleep, we slept late and missed breakfast. We had appointments for mani/pedi’s at 2pm. Facials at 3:30pm, then finish the spa day off with a full body massage. Supper served in our room at 7pm.

We rushed to our rooms to prepare for supper. We had pre-ordered the lobster dinners with house salads, with crème brûlée for dessert. I, personally, was starving.

Over dinner, the three of us talked about our lives and families and discussed where we would like to be in 10 years. Each of us verbalized being happy where we are and only had a few things we would change about our lives. Nothing big, just minor little nothings like being healthier, relaxing more,  and more time with our families.

All together, we wished we could work it out to spend more time together and have more time for ourselves when at home. Our families keep each of us terribly busy. Kristie is raising 2 boys and doing a great job. She is also job-hunting, since obtaining her teaching degree. In her spare time, she takes care of our father, he lives next door to her.

Sandy works more hours than humanly possible at her church, but I admire her dedication.When she gets home, she takes care of her home and disabled husband.

Then myself, I’m retired and stay at home. Our mother lives with Barry and I. She can no longer live alone. Barry had a massive stroke in 2011, There are days when he and I takes turns being the clearest head in the house. Barry has a few minor issues from the stroke that he is learning to manage. We research and study my disease daily. It is sad to go see a doctor and know more about the disease you have than the doctor does.  It is truly sad, but that is how rare diseases are.

Sandy, Kristie and I got along wonderfully,  We had a wonderful time and hated to leave. After lunch, we had to pack up and head home. We made a vow to do this again and spend more time together as we headed out.

I chose to write this post over a post about Barry and I. The celebration I would have with Barry would be entirely private and not to be shared with the WordPress world. I like to keep those moments between Barry and I.

Jill and Barry Baynes

Not sure this is an Urban Legend, but I found out it is true….the hard way!

Ever heard that if you stick a snapping turtle to a person, they will not let go until they hear thunder rumble? Well, let me tell you about a fishing trip when I was 2 years old. My sister Sandy was 4 years old when this occurred.

Pop caught a turtle and let Sandy play with it. For years, Dad had told us all these crazy stories about animals. One of those stories listed above. Mom and dad were not paying attention.Little Miss Sandy decided to try this tale out. When I turned around, quickly, Sandy stuck the turtle to my stomach, right at the top of my ribs.

That turtle latched on, Sandy screamed let it go and ran. I immediately started to bleed and I added to the screaming. Mom put her pole down and came to check on us. A storm was blowing up. At the moment mom reached me, there was a rumble of thunder and that crazy turtle let go and fell to the ground. Mom picked it up and threw it in the water. She yelled at Dad it was time to go. We packed up and headed home. I still have a scar today.

As you can tell, we had a little more freedom as children when we were younger!


Another story took place in our backyard. We had a little plastic pool in the backyard to splash around and cool off. Sandy decided she wanted to teach me how to swim. Mom said that was fine. Sandy and I filled the pool up and got in our swimsuits. Sandy’s idea of teaching me to swim was me on my stomach lying on the bottom of the pool with her sitting on my back. I’m just thankful mom checked on us before I drowned. Needless to say we were not allowed in the pool alone anymore. I still thought my big sister was the coolest thing on earth.

I felt so lost…

I felt so lost yesterday, this morning I realized I stayed so busy yesterday, that I never wrote a post. My father had a rough Sunday night. We received a call at 9AM from a friend of Pop’s. He had found Pop unconscious in the floor of his bedroom. He called 911 and Pop was taken to Athens to the hospital. Sandy was on the way when Kristie called. She was working and could not leave. Barry, Mom, and I got dressed and headed to the hospital.  By the time we got there, he was being admitted to the hospital.  Sandy stayed a few minutes longer, then had to leave to do her bus route. She could not find a substitute for the afternoon route.

We stayed until Kristie and the boys arrived. Pop was comfortable in his room. Since he had fallen several times, the nursing staff but an alarm on the bed. Pop could not get up without someone hearing an alarm. This made us feel safe to leave him alone for the night. They said he would be discharged the next day. Between Libor and us, someone could pick him up and settled at home before Kristie was home from work.

Pop has a implanted defibrillator. It went off on the 29th of April. He had a heart attack and that defibrillator saved his life. The cardiologist added a new drug that Pop feeling nervous and not good at all. He could not sleep for anything. He gradually felt worse every day on the new drug. We called the doctor’s office for assistance. They did not believe it was the new medicine and stated they would take a good look at him in the office st his appointment. He was scheduled to be in there in 2 days. He was due to see the cardiologist tomorrow. I guess he could not wait.

God leads and guides our daily activities. God must be telling Pop  it is not his time yet. He’s got to hang out with us a while longer. He ready to help us get his affairs in order. Barry and I will be going up to help him set things up this weekend. We’ll have to work things out for healthcare POA’s and type his will up for him. Sandy will have to sign everything when she gets home. She and mom are attending my Nephew, Daniel’s college graduation this weekend. Mom is really looking forward to it. I hope they have a great time.

Life will eventually slow down. My second surgery has been scheduled for May 28th. Looks like my summer will Will be spent healing. YoU’ll still have decisions to make after the surgery. Radiation and chemotherapy are still a big unknown in my life.

Saw my neurologist this morning. He wants me to have a few health issues checked out and deal with the chemotherapy before he changes anything. So I feel kinda lost or on hold until a few issues are settled.I’m digging deep to pull my patience out and focusing on my health and diet while at home.trying recipes that are results to chew and swallow. My body is getting to the point that it has a little trouble doing those things lately.God is guiding me with this issue. I pray and ask for guidance and patience daily. I have figured out it is not my place to ask God why I am in this shape any longer. It is in his plan and I am in his hands. Not going to Strasbourg anything…..at least I’m going to give it my best shot at trying not to stress. God will guide me!

Growing Up in the Shadows

Before I write this, I want everyone to know every word is TRUE! The sad thing is, this is only one story of many I could tell.

My name is Jill. I am the middle child of three girls. My sisters and I are close. We had to be close growing up. Mom was a little hard to deal with when we were kids. It wasn’t until recently, that we have started to understand mom’s behavior as we grew-up.

Growing up, I worshiped my older sister. I followed her everywhere. I didn’t let her out of my sight for long. When I started my cycle, 2 weeks after Sandy, mom started telling everyone; “Jill never could let Sandy do anything by herself.” I was eight years old and Sandy was 11. At this point, Kristie was young enough not to care about anything her older sisters and what they were doing. She was too busy growing up. 

We grew up in a small town in the days when it was OK to leave kids at the movies, mall (actually I’m not sure we had a local mall yet), or skating rink without grown-up supervision. When mom and dad left us on our own, Sandy took on the role of protector. She watched Kristie and I like a hawk. She wasn’t going to be in charge if something happened.

An unbelievable incident occurred while we were at the local skating rink. The incident slowly evolved from some bigger kids picking on Kristie. She was wearing a tube top, one of the older girls grabbed by the shoulders and dug her finger nails in, to the point of bringing blood from the scratches, left across her shoulders.

Kristie immediately ran to Sandy and pointed the girls out to her. Sandy told the Security Guard, who had a talk with the girls. Which apparently did not a bit of good, because they ran to their mother’s. Their mother’s proceeded to corner Sandy and threaten her.

When mom arrived, Sandy told her the story. You could see mom’s switch flip from cool, calm and collected;  to do not mess with my kids. Sandy pointed everyone out to mom. The security guard realized mom had arrived and he proceeded to attempt to talk her out of saying anything.

Mom went to talk to the older girls. They ran to their mothers. When their mothers confronted our mother, the security guard called the police. I am not sure how to describe the other women involved, politely. They were like no other women I had seen in my lifetime. This was the first time I ever realized women could actually shave their eyebrows and paint them back on. Not a look I care for.

A crowd started to form around the car my mom leaned into to discuss the situation. She must have said something the women in the car didn’t like because they sell got out of the car, came around and surrounded mom.

The driver of the car, pushed mom backwards. Mom got up fighting. She jumped the driver. The next thing we knew mom and the driver were rolling around on the ground and the other women were landing punches as they could. The crowd was wild.

Before the fight was in full swing, the Security Guard called the police. We could here the sirens getting closer in the background. The police arrived, they attempted to stop the fight and desperate everyone. All I could see of the fight was fists and hair flying. At one point, I watched my mother grab the Security Guard and tell him to leave her alone if he didn’t want to loose what she was grabbing.

The police finally separated the fight and attempted to sort out what happened. I do not remember much after this, because our father had been contacted to pick us up. We were taken home and sent to bed. When we got up the next day, mom was home and the previous night was not mentioned.

I have a relationship with my sisters that others have trouble understanding. Maybe it has something to do with our childhood. We went through a lot together.

My husband was an only child. He had one child with his first wife. My oldest sister’s husband grew up with a brother and sister. My youngest sister’s husband is from overseas and grew-up with a sister. Other than Barry, everyone grew-up with a sibling.

Libor, Kristie’s husband, states that he has never seen siblings get along so well together or exhibit the closeness we do concerning one another. 

When Barry and I were married, it took him ages to get used to our relationship. He became a little upset with me once when he overheard a conversation between my oldest sister and myself. He felt I should have been asking him the kind of questions, he heard me asking Sandy.

I tried to explain that I’ve been depending on my sisters for advice on certain topics since I was a kid. He grew up an only child, not knowing what it is like to have a closeness with a sibling. As time goes by, he grows closer to understanding our relationship. 

You have friendship, brotherhood, and many other words to describe a kinship between people. If you do not know or understand what it means to be a sister, you do not know what you are missing.

Sisters are a different breed. We interact with one another on a different level than brothers and friends do. We know each others deep, dark secrets. We ask and answer each other questions you’d have trouble asking you husband or closest friend.

Sisters tell you when they think you are acting like an idiot and then they will also let you know when they think you are brilliant. You can always count on your sister. Through good and bad times, they will always be there for you.

You can count on your sisters to always be open and honest with you. When you get sick, your sister will be there to do whatever needs to be done. Part of being a sister, is being able to tell your sister when they are being complete turds and need to remember there are other people in this world than themselves.

Everyone has busy full lives today, you can’t shuck off your responsibilities to suit your needs. Once a sister, always a sister. Once a daughter, always a daughter. There are a few things in life that cannot be changed. 

With sisters, you can be fighting like cats and dogs one minute or not speaking for months; let something happen and your sisters will be there at the drop of a hat. Sisters are always there when you need them.

Being the middle child of three girls, I felt like I was in the shadow of my sisters daily. We went through the same school system, rode the same bus, had the same issues with our parents. Some how, I man managed to feel over-shadowed by my older and younger sisters. Teachers, the bus driver and other school-related employees used to ask if I talked as much as my older sister. When I said, “No, I was the quiet one.” Their answer was always “Good”.

Kristie over-shadowed me when she was a freshman in high school. I had spent most of my junior year, sick and out of school. Upon returning my senior year, my baby sister took it upon herself to be my protector. She wouldn’t let anyone mess with me. Mrs. Gieger, the bus driver, said Kristie talked too much also. She told me once I was a nice break between my two sisters.

Stairsteps1- Jill and her sisters

Stairsteps1- Jill and her sisters

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.