I was thinking about Friday, so few bags of garbage. What took so long?
Shredding. I spent more than two hours, in half-hour shots because of the shredder overheating, shredding paper. I filled three large white garbage bags with tiny paper diamonds, pressed down tight.
Medical films. CT scans, mammograms, x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, a stack of old-fashioned actual films over 10 inches high. All except my mammos and one chest x-ray, and one x-ray of a cat, were Jay's.
I couldn't bring myself to throw any of them out. Just leafing through and figuring out what they were brought back so many memories.
You know, I think Jay was accident-prone, or something. Medical problem-prone, maybe. It's almost like his time was up but he kept surviving anyway, until Fate decided to bring in the big guns.
The brain cancer overshadowed everything else, and I'd forgotten.
A few months before I first met him, he'd been working in Texas, and The Company transferred him to Poughkeepsie, NY. He had been dating C, I believe it had been for almost a year, and when he got the transfer, they decided to hurry up and get married.
In an old box from that time, I found the results from some kind of church premarital counseling questionnaire, showing the answers from both parties. It asked questions like "Are you sure this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?" She answered "Yes". He answered "No". "Does your partner have any habits or attitudes that you think might cause major relationship problems?" She answered "No". He answered "Yes". And so on for four pages. It was really bad. I know they both had to be aware of the other's (his) answers, but I'll bet real money that they never discussed them. I don't understand why no one took him aside and cautioned him. I mean, what else was the purpose of those questions? Why did no one stop him? I know him well enough to know that he probably felt committed and couldn't back out, and this was his attempt to say "Stop me!" but no one listened.
At the rehearsal dinner, he had an attack, turned white, couldn't breathe, passed out, and was rushed to the hospital. C and the guests thought it was a heart attack, but the doctors said it was a severe panic attack. I'm amazed that no one thought about that and talked with him.
So they got married. He told me that C "was convinced" that it really was a heart attack but that people lied to her, so she used that as an excuse to avoid sex, and especially not to have children. Actually, she hated children, and sex was a bother, so it suited her to believe that.
While he was in the hospital with the panic attack, they discovered that his cholesterol and blood pressure were both through the roof, so he started taking the heavy duty meds for that (which he continued to take for the next fifteen years, with the every-six-months tests for liver function, etc.)
Maybe two years after the wedding, his mother died, and he managed to turn his ankle at the funeral, tearing ligaments and tendons. I found the X-rays from that. I remember that he was on crutches for a very long time, and wouldn't let us bring him lunch from the cafeteria, he insisted on going with us. It was a good half mile to the cafeteria.
I found the x-rays for the broken wrist he had about two years later. Then there was the x-rays of his foot. Never did figure out what was wrong, but it was painful. Maybe bone spurs.
Then shortly after we were married, there was the automobile accident. Head-on. Cracked sternum and split ribs.
About a year later his back went out. Ruptured disk. Surgery to remove disk and immobilize the spot.
And then a year later, the seizure, brain tumor, cancer.
It's like Fate had been preparing him - "Get more life insurance!"
When he started chemo, they took him off the BP and cholesterol medications, because his liver would have enough to handle, didn't need more stress. Surprise - his BP and cholesterol were fine. I wonder how long he'd been taking liver-destroying meds that he didn't need.
It's interesting that he died of organ failure, not cancer.