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 July 21, 2013: Returning “Home”

Barry and I do lot of traveling, unfortunately we haven’t had time for a trip just “for us”. Most of our traveling has been to doctors, labs, coumadin clinics, nuerology clinic’s, oncology clinics, breast specislist, and infusion centers. Those are just for Barry and I, we also handle mom’s doctor’s trips.

Eventually we have plans for ourselves, but I think we will save that for the end of the year. Somewhere quiet that feels like home. Just the two of us, always alone. Loving time together, spoiling each other. After the few years we have been through, we deserve it.

We are discussing some where to spend Christmas away from home. Might take to puppy dog with us. Who knows! Anything is possible.

Returning “home” is the project, so let me stop babbling and get to it. Although our traveling has not been for pleasure, coming home still feels like heaven.

A trip to the grocery store feels like a 10K roadrace at time. So walking back into our meager abode from any trip away from it, is a pleasure.  I love the sight of my fuzzy, velour blanket draped over the arm of my favorite chair in the living room.

Waiting by my chair is Barry’s favorite rocker/recliner. He loves to rock, it relaxes him. His favorite blanket over the arm of his chair, also. His is fuzzy, plaid. But he is so cute asleep, with it cuddled under his chin.

Waiting at home for us, usually, is our sweet little Maggie with her Boxer waggle. Walk into the house and she makes you feel like you have been gone for weeks. She loves you to pieces whether you have been gone five minutes or a week. She loves you no matter what. Unconditional love, what you give your family on a daily basis. Did the Good Lord bless man’s best friend eith such a wonderful quality?

The feeling of brings warmth and comfort over you. Relaxation sets in and the comfy clothes come out. The clothes you would not be seen in public in, along with your favorite slippers. No matter how ratty. In “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy could have not said it better with “there is no place like home, there is no place like home”. There is truly, no place like home. Even without ruby red slippers to get you there.

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

Writing through Cancer for week of June 2, 2013: Hope is a thing with feathers!

This is a continuation of our post earlier this week:

That sweet little boy at the Birthday Party, looking and hoping he could find more presents hidden within the gift wrap piled on the floor. He was frantically searching; he was positive, he would find one more present. he was showing he had total faith in his situation. His thoughts alive with the feeling of hope.  He just knew he would find one more present. So adorable searching.

Before we had wrapping paper all over the house, we got a bag and played gift wrap basketball. Making a game out of the cleanup, let him see there were no more presents. he was able to focus on the gifts he received and the house full of people who came to celebrate with him and his sister.

Hope covers many aspects of  our lives.Dealing with a serious illness brings hope into your life in several ways. you hope the illness will not get bad, you hope to live through whatever illness you are going through, you hope your families will be there for you and not change their minds as you get worse, you hope the people you have called friends for years will be there when you need them.

There is so much hope involved in illnesses. It is hard to deal with hope, when you are fighting so hard to stay healthy and you find yourself surrounded by people you cannot count on. You need to remember that God is always there. Giving your troubles and burdens to God must be done with total faith, then we can continue our walk in life with the assurance that when trouble comes; we know God is there and that whatever the new trouble is,God is never surprised, for He is with you.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea. If your faith is not strong, we lose hope and start looking for a quick fix.

Psalm 46:1-God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble

Psalm 31:24-Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord

Psalm 33:18-Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

Psalm 33:22-Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalm 38:15-For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

                 King James Version (KJV)     

It is that faith,  is our Hope and knowledge that God knows when we are on this rocky bumpy road, and holding that faith is when God puts his loving arms around us and smooths out the road ahead.

Though we may never know the why, but really do we need to know, because this is where we gain Wisdom as we talk to God and, no matter what comes our way, you know God will see you through it.

Through my illness, I have struggled with worry, stress, and anything else that made me worry. It wasn’t until I started praying for hope, mercy and understanding that I was able to but my health in God’s hands. I recently went through a breast cancer ordeal that I had no worries about I knew it would be ok. God was doing the hard work for me.

I am currently struggling with another issue. I am handing it over to the good Lord tonight hoping he can lead me in the right direction with re-motivating my partner in crime, I’m wearing my husband out. Barry suffered a stroke a few years ago and is doing wonderful, but he’s worn out. I need to see what I can do to give him a break. We both need a break, but that will have to wait a little longer. I do not know what I would do without him.

One day at a time!

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.

Writing through Cancer for week of June 2, 2013: Hope is a thing with feathers!

When I think of hope, the saying, “Hope springs eternal” is the first thing that comes to mind. The sad thing about this phrase is it sounds cheerful and sweet, when it means things are hopeless! What a nice way to say something is hopeless. (from Alexander Pope’s poem, “Essay on Man” from 1734)

-Hope springs eternal in the human breast;

Man never is, but always to be blessed:

The soul, uneasy and confined from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

– Alexander PopeAn Essay on Man

Origin of Hope Springs Eternal From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Springs_Eternal

Definition of Hope From:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope

How do I write about hope? My best example is my great-niece and nephew’s birthday party. My great-niece is older, so she understood presents a little better than her brother. I love kids, especially my sister’s kids and their grandchildren. Since I was unable to conceive a child, I spoiled my sister’s children with the loudest, most annoying toys I could find. I was younger and in better health with my older sister’s kids, so I was able to spoil her children more than my younger sister. But I’m having fun with them now, they are older and understand my illness better.

Julie-bug is my oldest sister’s daughter. I have recently discovered that she doesn’t care if we give her kiddo’s noisy toys, Soooooooo…….watch-out Bugs, you may not know what your quiet Uncle Barry is capable of. He is a prankster in disguise. My oldest sister’s brother’s do not have children yet, so their time will come. We cannot wait!

The party we went to was precious. My niece has turned into Super Mom! She is so creative and always has been. Home-made everything from decorations to the cake. She is Wonder Woman. I am so proud. She has always made me feel like a special part of her life and I feel honored that she has let me be part of her life! She has accepted Barry as her uncle as if he had been around her entire life. It thrills Barry to be a part of her kids lives. Luke too, of course. Julie did a super job in that department also. Her hubby is a sweetheart and treats her like a gem!

OK, back to the party……our little nephew would open his gifts, play with the toy for a while and  on to the next gift. When he got to the last of the gifts and the only thing left was paper. He searched every inch of the paper, numerous times,  looking for another present. Until his sweet mommy picked the paper up, he was positive there was another gift lost in all that paper. When Julie took the paper away, he had a look of sheer disappointment on his sweet little face. Just adorable!

About 30 minutes later, he found the bag of gift wrap. By the time he was found, he was upside down in the trash can still looking through the paper. When he was pulled out of the can, all he said was “Birthday, please”. The can had to be removed from the room.

I love kids. I would have had a houseful if I could have, but Barry and I are enjoying being Aunt Gege and Uncle Bear! All six niece’s and nephews have called us that. I’m still called Gege by the 30 year olds. They are still adorable. We love you guys! I hope this is a good example of Hope. A little boy’s Hope that there were more presents. Adorable! I am a little prejudiced.

Daily Prompt: Goals

When you started your blog, did you set any goals? Have you achieved them? Have they changed at all?

Starting a blog was not our idea. Barry and I started sessions with a neuropsychological counselor, Dr. J. Since Barry and I had both recently suffered from serious Neurological health issues, we were butting heads regularly and could not decide how to solve our issues.  At the time, she felt we needed a place to write our emotions and situations down. She felt Barry and I would adjust better, to our new lives, if we put got everything out in the open and talked out the issues we wrote about.  

Goal number one would be for us not to hold our emotions in. When a problem or issue occurs, document it. Write down everything, every detail possible. She did not specifically mean a blog, but a journal. I chose a blog, rather than the other, to really get feedback from others on what Barry and I were facing. 

I believe our goal with a journal / blog met and will continue to be met. Barry was uneasy to start. He has never been one to share his emotions. He is learning that we are two new people and that we have to learn to like the new “Barry and Jill”. We are both learning to look at the big picture, called life. For a while, we forgot we needed to care for each other, not just meet our own needs.  We are also figuring out the way to co-exist and falling in love with each other all over again.  

Goal number two was to spend at least an hour per day alone, together. We spent a few weeks having lunch out, daily. Applebees our favorite lunch spot for months.  The staff knew us on site and what our regular order was. As Barry’s health improved, we increased our time and headed to the gym and when able, we added a walking routine to our daily regimen. We continue our exercise routine today. We are slowly working on gardening projects around the house. Our yard has paid the price for our illnesses and we would like to slowly get it up to par.

Barry struggled with retirement. He attempted to go back to work, but was never able to make it past part-time. By mid-day, he was unable to control the stress. He finally bit the bullet and retired at the end of April. In close to 30 days, he almost has his “Honey-do” List completed. Retirement has energized him. I love it!  

The neuropsychological counselor we were seeing had to close her practice due to an illness. Barry and I continue to follow her advice and our relationship grows stronger daily. I am currently facing another serious illness. Barry is being a doll and extremely supportive everyday! 

Thank you, Dr. J! You are with Barry and I daily. God bless you!!!!!

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!