October brings awareness to the battle against breast and other types of cancer. I will be blogging stories and shots from survivors and warriors in the struggle like survivor Jennifer Taylor. Throughout the month I will blog on my conversations with these mighty women and how they battled or still are battling cancer.
Jennifer Taylor, Detroit, MI
Diagnosed – 2012
Survivor since April 2013
Jennifer Taylor is a married mother of an adult daughter who learned of her breast cancer diagnosis in 2012. She recalled during our conversation that she didn’t put much thought in putting off routine scheduled mammograms stating, “I didn’t have time.” she said. But this time, it would be different.
She remembers being at work and getting a phone call that she could not answer at her desk but had to take the call in the stairwell. It was her doctor calling her around 1:00pm to tell her that her tests came back positive for breast cancer. The range of emotions that went through her ranged from confusion to disbelief to finally, melting down right there in the stairwell overcome with grief.
Jennifer summoned the courage to finish her shift and mustered enough strength to tell her husband the next morning. She would tell her daughter later. This would be a test of faith as she did not know what to expect as she discussed options with her doctor. She would not face this challenge alone. Her family which included her husband,daughter, sisters and many friends assured her that this would be fought and won, together!
“My faith in God got me through this” she says. “I have an awesome family that was there with me. Even on the days when chemotherapy made me so sick I could not even get up but my support system was there for me.”
Shortly after her diagnosis, she underwent surgery, faced chemo treatments and dealt with the reality that she would lose her hair. Faced with challenge after challenge, she endured for 18 months until her doctor told her after a checkup in April of 2013 that she was cancer free!! She told me she felt like “kicking up her heels!” Through it all, she gave God the praise for giving her a victory saying, “God says He would not forsake me if I believed and He delivered.”
Jennifer has attended events conducted by the Sisters Network River Rouge chapter, an African American Breast Cancer Survivor organization that raises funds for breast cancer awareness. Their national slogan is, “Stop the Silence.” She also helps to support other survivors and warriors by offering calls of comfort and support.