Driving up the driveway, walking up the steps to the front door… It all felt like an out of body experience. My chest felt tight, my legs were wobbly and my feet felt like they were weighed down by cement blocks. Jay put his key in the lock and opened the door, we walked in…
Immediately it was a rush of memories. I looked around the main floor and all I could see was her. Janaya helping me peel and cut potatoes in the kitchen, us opening presents in the living room Christmas morning after Jay and I tracked flour footprints coming from the fireplace to the tree the night before. Eating breakfast at the kitchen table, Janaya dragging herself on the floor the mornings she felt too tired to walk, Janaya scaring me almost every time I walked out of my room. She was, and is, everywhere. I was able to keep my composure as I got took off my outdoor gear, changed into jammies and got myself some water. It was going downstairs that did me in…
As mentioned before, Janayas room in the only one that is finished in the house. She has 3 silver walls and 3 “poison purple” walls (like a Barnie purple) that she helped me paint, pokemon posters all over the walls, a TV and PS3 in her room and a plethora of books and toys. She loves it and spends a lot of her time reading books in her pink bean bag chair or nestled into her black saucer chair watching TV or playing make believe with her dinosaurs, pokemon and other toys.
That is where the emotions hit me. Landing at the bottom of the stairs, looking right and seeing her room there… Standing at the entrance, that is where I broke. I went to her bed and spent the next several minutes crying into her blue floral body pillow Jaytes grandmother bought her for Christmas that she slept with every night… It didn’t stop from that point until what was probably hours later. I told Jay I just wanted to go to bed, I felt so exhausted. Mentally, physically, spiritually and pretty much any other possible way I could be tired. I had never been as empty as I was that night. We went upstairs to bed and I wept into her pillow so hard it was soaked as I fell asleep into it… I had violent muscle spasms making my whole body jolt and quiver which Jay later told me didn’t stop until probably an hour after I had fallen asleep crying. I felt empty. I felt like something had been ripped out of my body and I was fighting to get it back but couldn’t. Defeat was the only thing I could feel in that moment.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
The next morning was probably the third hardest part of this whole experience… First was finding out, the next was telling my family, and now I had to tell the people that have seen Janaya every weekday for the last year. I had to sit down with Janayas school and daycare to let them know. Everyone kept telling me I didn’t have to, that they would do it or I could email them. But that isn’t how I work… Imagining somebody close to Janaya reading the diagnosis through a screen or from anybody else was unimaginable in my mind. I needed to be the one to do it, for my own healing process.. I needed to let myself feel it.
I had only emailed the teachers to let them know Janaya would need time away from school and that I needed to schedule a meeting with them. I wouldn’t tell them over the phone or through email, she means to much to them and vice versa. So that Friday morning, we drove to the school at 8am and sat down with the principal, vice principal, counselor and the learning support worker to fill them in on what was going on… The teachers were in class, so they would be told later on.
Jay and I explained everything while trying to choke back tears and just get through it… Telling them was heartbreaking, seeing the pain and sorrow through their eyes was just.. unimaginable. Especially the counselor, her and Janaya have always had a special bond that Janaya has really cherished, and in turn so have I. Anyone my baby girl thinks that highly of is important to us as well, so telling her was like telling our family and I could tell she felt it just as agonizingly deep as we did…
Next was daycare and I had asked the managers to include the staff working in Janayas room to be apart of this as well. Janaya has been there for a year, she spent all summer with them so they too had a special bond with her. Their expressions changed from curious to heartbroken as well.. This is a blow to the chest for anyone who knows Janaya, and even more so to those who are especially close.
Our final stop was at Janayas best friends house to let her parents know so that she wouldn’t find out through school. Since this was all still so fresh and I was still in shock, I just couldn’t stop myself from becoming overwhelmed with emotion. Afterwards we went back home, picked up some stuff to bring to the hospital that Janaya had requested and off we went back to the hospital. We were meeting with the Oncology team that day as well as a few other doctors and we wanted to make Janaya as comfortable as possible for the hospital stay ahead of us. At around 11:30 am, we headed back. All I wanted all night and all morning was to hug my baby girl, and I was finally feeling excited with the eagerness of seeing her again.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Thank you everyone for being patient in between posts. I have been feeling very depleted these last several days between the blog, editing Janaya’s youtube videos, responding to messages, appointments and doing things with Janaya on top of all other daily stuff. Thank you guys for following along on our Journey ♥
** Date the post was written was changed to allow posts to show in order **
** Originally written March 3 **