Hey Everyone! Long time no see, speak or post. As many of you know, my husband passed away in September 2017 from cancer. Therefore, I took time away from my blog to deal with life and loss.
Much of September, I don’t remember. I was in disbelief and barely making it through the days. On the day of the funeral, God placed it on my heart to speak. My words flowed out beautifully (so I’m told) although I don’t recall much of what I said. I do recall saying my husband lived life to the fullest and he taught me how to live. He always said why put off what we can do today for tomorrow. I said a few more things before saying thank you to all. Our firefighter family gave him a sendoff like no other. There was no dry eye in the building among men and women. The service was the talk of the town for weeks, in a good way.
I returned to work around the middle of the month and it brought on another aspect of grief that I didn’t know existed. There were no calls or texts from my husband to make sure I arrived to/from work safely or to see if my day was going well. I felt so unaccounted for.
We always talked on my drive home. I cried every afternoon because he was no longer a phone call away. He worked 5 minutes away from my job. We occasionally carpooled. And, I could walk to his fire station if I really wanted to. I can hear the sirens in my building when they get a call. The first time I heard those sirens was pure heartbreaking.
It took some coworkers by surprise that I’m not the same Jay that I used to be – happy, talkative, outgoing. I’m now reserved, quiet and withdrawn. Many days I sit at my desk trying not to cry. Somehow, the new Jay came across unapproachable as told to me by a coworker. No one understands what I’ve been through emotionally, physically and mentally. I’m not who I used to be and never will.
Everyone was planning for the holidays and I was barely getting through the days. I didn’t want to spend Thanksgiving locally so mom, sister and I took a road trip to Atlanta, GA to be with close family friends. Thanksgiving was the first big holiday without him and I thought I was gonna lose my mind from what felt like unbearable pain.
Out of respect for those in the photo, I covered their faces but check out mom’s afro (she’s beside me).
Again, coworkers were excited and planning for Christmas yet I was still trying to get through the days. I chose to spend Christmas in Houston, TX. Thanksgiving helped prepare me for Christmas so I held up pretty good. That is, until family reminded me I had a milestone birthday coming up and asked what my plans were. I immediately broke down and cried. My husband made my birthday month special and the thought of it all saddened me.
My birthday month arrived and I cried daily. I thought I made it clear, I DID NOT WANT TO CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY. However, no one listened and family and friends went above and beyond to make my birthday special. Coworkers threw me a Mardi Gras themed birthday party without knowing how much it meant to me.
The last birthday that my husband and I celebrated was January 2016 in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We learned he had cancer months later so all birthdays thereafter was spent in the ER or as an inpatient in the hospital.
My husband took really good care of me and handled most everything. Now that I’m having to do all things, that leaves little time for blogging, filming and social media. I thought long and hard about not returning to blogging. But, I know my husband wouldn’t want me to walk away from something that we’ve worked so hard on. He had a very active role behind the scenes and helped come up with the name A Day By Jay. He took 99% of my photos. Helped shop for hair products, wigs and generate blog ideas. I’m missing my creative partner in crime. However, I’m trying to get back to blogging to make him proud. Thank you all for hanging in there with me as I figure this out.
I haven’t had much time for my hair. I wash whenever gel buildup becomes too visible to ignore. Terrible, right? I wash about once a month. My hair grew from August to November. I have no clue if I’ve gained or lost length since then. I’ll give you a 2018 update soon. Hopefully, I can do it this month.
Remember some time ago when I told you I had fibroids? The largest one grew from the size of an orange in 2015 to the size of a baby’s head in 2017. Basically, it consumes my entire uterus and has caused my anatomy to shift. My uterus presses against my right pelvis and bladder. My stomach is bloated and my neck, back and right hip pain me often. The solution? Hysterectomy later this year but first…
I have to take injections to suppress my hormones which will put me in temporary menopause. Hormones promote fibroid growth. Therefore, suppressing them, will indirectly reduce the size of the fibroids (or that’s our hope anyway) to a point where it’s deemed safe to surgically remove.
The Gynecologist could perform surgery now if symptoms worsen and it becomes an emergency. However, performing surgery now, has increased risks given the size and location of the fibroids. I’ve never had kids, thus the hysterectomy will be performed the old school way via lateral incision. Hemorrhaging is a huge concern if surgery is performed now. Therefore, attempting to the shrink them, and performing surgery later lessens associated risks.
Aside from that, I have some aches and pains that worsened during my time as a caregiver. They are some old injuries that flared up that require physical therapy. I’ll get to it one day. All I know is I wish my husband was here to hold my hand and tell me everything is going to be ok. *sigh*
As you can imagine, I’ve been going through it. This post, although extremely long, doesn’t scratch the surface of what life is really like. I’m currently in grief counseling and trying to put the pieces together. I’m told I have PTSD from everything he/we/I experienced. This process is brutal and I’m trying to get through it.