Hi my name is Byron and I was the husband of Datula Cox at the time of her demise.
We met in Kingston, Jamaica when we were both at the beginning of our respective careers. We became friends, a friendship we maintained for many years, ultimately leading to our marriage which lasted for 16 years until her passing. We lived together in Laurel, Maryland, U.S.A.
In 1993 Dottie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer which she battled for 11 years. She underwent several treatments of Radioactive Iodine Therapy, radiation, as well as two surgeries. All of those treatments she bore with remarkable strength and courage. She was a “good patient”, in that she was meticulous in taking her numerous medications, and was very organized in doing so. She kept track of them, even made an effort to know their names and what they were for.
Dottie always maintained a positive attitude and was always upbeat, even when she experienced setbacks. She never complained, nor dwelt on her illness. Rather, she maintained a keen interest in everything – friends, family, the news, reading, and was always ready for a lively debate or animated discussion. She was always ready to get dressed to go, whenever there was an opportunity to do so.
I was her principal caregiver until the last year of her life. While sometimes challenging to balance my role with keeping a full time job, I was able to do so due to the understanding and support of my immediate supervisors, and employers at that time. I will always be grateful for their support during the many difficult times we experienced, and to her for being such a good sport through all of it.
To Jean and Hepsy Golaub, who cared for her during her final months, we owe a debt of gratitude for their devotion and tireless effort in caring for her. Thanks to them for picking up the slack, making things good for both of us, when it was more than I could manage by myself. Dottie enjoyed their company, and friendship as well as the encouragement and care they gave.
We cannot thank enough her primary care doctor, Dr. Anthony Zavadil and his colleagues at Argento Gaynes Hagen Lance & Zavadil Md’s, for all their patience and understanding in caring for her over the years. Throughout all the ups and downs, it made a lot of difference.
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