The day I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer
Back in 2014, I left my cute little basement apartment in DC to live with the love of my life, MJ. His furnishings were nice but def very ummm...BROWN? (Why do men LOVE brown?)
In September of 2016 we had a beautiful wedding. Just a few months after our wedding we bought a home. We moved to a cute little suburb that was close to 4 grocery stores, restaurants AND a Target. (Because easy Target access MATTERS) This was a huge step up from the small town we had just moved from in Southern Maryland. I was counting down the days until we could move out of Southern Maryland and into our new home.
It was time to make this next chapter OURS. We were buying brand new stuff for our brand new house. I felt like a low budget Real Housewife! Honey, we had boxes of stuff coming from Target, Wayfair, CB2, Macy’s, you name it. The house still had that new house, new paint smell and I was literally floating in a big ass bubble of happiness. By the end of summer this house would be made a home. Our home.
I had somehow convinced one of my best friends who is a culinary arts teacher in Houston to come and visit me in DC on her summer break. She thought about it (for .5 seconds) and the next thing I knew I was looking at her itinerary. Not only was she coming but she was staying for a whole month.
Oh yes. This was going to be good. Just like old times. This time with more money than when we were broke college students at Howard. It’s on! Lots of drinks, good food and shit talking of course.
I picked her up on June 22nd 2017. This was literally one week before receiving my biopsy results. We were so happy to see each other. The first thing we did was grab tacos. I’m from California and she’s from Texas. So I guess that makes us Soul Foodies.
Later that night we drove home and got her settled in. I don’t know which one of us was more excited. We had grown to be like sisters over the years.
Little did either of us know, God had all of this in HIS plan.
After college Ashley went off to culinary school in Austin, TX. Probably the best thing she ever did, AFTER attending Howard University that is.
Earlier that year Ashley decided to start her own catering company in Houston and my goal for the summer was to share all of the knowledge I had on how to get it off the ground and market it on social media. Pretty presentation and dope backgrounds could go a long way! I’d been working in catering for the last several years. We were going to make her company GREAT if I had anything to do with it.
Fast forward to June 29th.
Only a day or so had gone by since my biopsy. Ashley and I (and everyone else) had already rebuked Breast Cancer in the name of the father, son AND the Holy Spirit. So we were just patiently waiting for the doctor to call and tell me that those masses were non cancerous.
I went to work that Thursday and counted down to 5:00. Lord get me out of here. I’m so ready for this 5 day weekend.
I decided that when I got off I’d stop to Home Depot to buy some wood and tiles so that we could start photographing some of Ashley’s impressive meals. I was all happy to surprise her. We were going to get these Instagram photos poppiiiiin. I made one more stop to the grocery store to grab ingredients for dinner.
Yaaaaasss this Thursday eve was off to a great start! I was less than half a mile from home, jamming to 90’s R & B, looking at the beautiful freshly mown grass in my neighborhood, feeling the sun shine down on me on this beautiful summer day and then...the phone rings.
This unknown number must be the call I was waiting for. Not to worry, Jennifer. You’ll get the great news and have even more to celebrate this weekend.
I answer the phone. It's Dr. Rebinowitz. All he had done was greet me and from the sound of his voice I already knew what was to follow.
(It's the BIG one. *grabs chest like Fred Sanford*)
“I regret telling you this Jennifer, but your labs have come back positive for cancer.”
(Remember that little bubble of happiness I’ve been mentioning? Yeah, that shit just popped and I came crashing down from the sky.)
A slow stream of tears come running down my face. I ask him to repeat what he said. He repeats it one more time in a lower voice. I heard what he said. I ask him again. He repeats it a last time.
I ask what this means. What stage? He has no details other than that my results are positive. He tells me that an appointment has been scheduled for me for the following Wednesday.
That’s almost a whole fucking week!!!
He offers some encouraging words. Those fall on deaf ears.
He tells me that he will be reachable for the next few hours.
I hang up, drive 3 minutes down the road to my house and wipe my tears away before Ashley sees.