64°F
weather icon Clear

Woman hopes to inspire others with tale of cancer battle

“Sister to Sister” by Jillene Simms

When I first read “Sister to Sister,” the first word that came to mind was courageous, and I felt her agony as I continued to read. Simms said she wanted to write this book to share her experience regarding her battle with breast cancer. Her hope was to help other women who were struggling with similar circumstances. It envelops us into the strenuous effort she put forward and the compassion we feel while reading each page.

Simms found the breast cancer by self-examination. After seeing a physician, it was decided a breast biopsy was in order. Cancer was the diagnosis. She was scheduled for a lumpectomy. During an examination, she was told there was more cancer, and another lumpectomy was performed.

Chemotherapy treatments were scheduled, and as the treatments continued, Simms said her faith in the Lord gave her sustained strength. About a month after the cancer treatments were completed, her husband, John, became ill and was put into a medically induced coma to save his life. No one prepared her for the panic that set in when she realized she was basically alone to care for her loved one. Prayers from family and friends gave her support, and soon John’s strength started to return and Simms was cancer free.

Simms leads monthly support group meetings for the public at HealthSouth in Henderson on the fourth Thursday of every month at 1:30 p.m. The sessions are geared to give emotional and practical support to the caregivers.

“I advise the caregivers to observe as much as they can from the nursing staff as they care for their loved one in the hospital, because most likely they will need to do the same thing when their family member goes home. When the support group meeting is over, someone always comes up and thanks me and tells me how much I helped them,” she said.

“I am sharing my story to help others realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and someone who will walk the tunnel with them. They are not alone. I take being a trusted volunteer very seriously. I put all my effort into my volunteer position and enjoy it very much.”

Simms grew up in Escondido, California. It’s where she went to school and met her future husband, John. They were married after high school and have been together for 52 years. They have two grown sons and two granddaughters.

In 2004, they moved to Black Mountain, North Carolina, but because of the weather they felt they needed a dryer climate and moved to Southern Nevada. Simms is very active with her church in Boulder City and writes its newsletter.

She also enjoys making jewelry using real and man-made stones. She creates the style to accommodate the materials she finds. She found that making the jewelry helped her to relax. It was a key part of her recovery.

Simms said she strives to make special pieces that capture people’s attention and that they can afford to buy. Her favorite piece to make is a crocheted bracelet that has beads in every stitch.

Creative arts have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. In 1970, when her sons were small, she taught children’s groups and had fun writing stories to tell them using a flannel storyboard. In the 1980s, she learned to paint ceramics. She did several large pieces and won a ribbon in a Los Angeles show for an item that took about six months to complete.

Her book can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Her email address is sister-2sister@hotmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Man’s work leads to life-saving effort

When Marcos Caro took a service call at a home in Boulder City, he didn’t know the day would end with him saving a woman and her dog from a house fire.

New religious leaders put faith in community

Despite belonging to different faiths, two of Boulder City’s newest pastors have some things in common. They both answered the call to ministry later in life and they both want to invest in the local community.

Upcycling reduces material use, landfill waste

As BCWastefree.com reminds us, “We’re doing our part. Are you?” Thankfully, our local sanitation company offers residential recycling, but what else can we do to help keep millions of pounds of waste out of our landfills? While recycling is one effective solution, it isn’t the only option. Upcycling is an increasingly popular, fun and creative way to repurpose and refurbish trash or found objects (objet trouvé).

Treat your sweetheart with quick confection

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air and so is the ambrosial fragrance of chocolate. Here’s a great inexpensive, last-minute indulgence to share (or not?). I must warn you: These chocolate candies are dangerously easy to make. So, I’ll apologize to your Spanx in advance.

Community Briefs, Feb. 13

Nevada 2-1-1 topic for retirees

Make macarons for your valentine

Next Friday is Valentine’s Day. Any day we spoil our sweethearts with sweet treats is a great day in my world. One of the most Instagram-worthy, special occasion cookies is the French macaron.

Community Briefs, Feb. 6

Anew will meet at Homestead

Senior Center, Feb. 6

Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday at 813 Arizona St., 702-293-3320. Visit the center’s website at www.seniorcenterbouldercity.org.

Chapman extends friendly hand

Ben Chapman doesn’t wear a mask or a cape. He isn’t able to leap tall buildings, fly or stop bullets with his hands. He can’t travel through time to prevent catastrophic events from happening.