Another win for social media! A few weeks ago, I was bouncin' around Instagram and stumbled upon this post on Maria Taylor, analyst and host for ESPN and the SEC Network, page:
From there, I was able to message Jordan and, eventually, hop on the phone with her. This girl is cool, ya'll! She really has shown her cancer who's in charge as she's been killin' it in school, clinging to her faith in Jesus, and encouraging those around her. Jordan was totally open to sharing her story on her blog, so today, I'm privileged to share Jordan's story with you!
Q: Who are you? How did you find out you had cancer?
My name is Jordan Cook. I’m 22 years old, and about to graduate from college at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. While I was interning in D.C. last summer, I would wake up every morning with a very swollen face to where my eyes were almost swollen shut. I attributed this to allergies and didn’t pay much mind to it. At the end of July, I deduced to go home for a doctors appointment to get it checked out.
As soon as I got home from driving four hours, I immediately couldn’t breathe and my parents rushed me to the emergency room. They did some scans and I was told that they found a huge mass in my chest. I was transported to a bigger hospital and after a biopsy, they treated me for the Superior Vena Cava Syndrome that was preventing me from breathing and gave me emergency chemo. The biopsy came back saying that I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
After 6 months of chemo, I had another scan and the cancer was still there. This time though, it showed up as a different type of cancer. Now I have Primary Mediastinal B Cell Lymphoma, which is a type of Diffuse Large B Cell, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I am now about to start 3 more cycles of RICE chemo and then a stem cell bone marrow transplant.
Q: What was your initial response to your diagnosis?
My initial response to my diagnosis was shock. I had been so healthy living in D.C. and working. I was also so young, that I never thought any of this would happen to me. God gave me an overwhelming peace though, that I can’t even begin to explain. He kept me calm and I knew that everything would be okay.
Q: What are you dealing with the darkness and stay strong while having to fight?
Throughout this fight, I am relying heavily on God. Of course some days I feel angry and confused, but I know he has a plan and he is doing something good through all of this. He has allowed me to share my story and help other people going through struggles, as well as connected me with people who have gone through cancer.
It’s crazy to think that He knows how and when all of this will end and how He is going to use it for good.
Q: Tell us about your support and caregiver(s)!
My parents have been absolutely amazing through all of this. They have taken me to every appointment and been through my side through everything.
All of my family and friends have been so supportive and have been there every step of the way. I could not be more thankful for my family, boyfriend, friends, school family, and church family.
Q: Has your fight changed/impacted your perspective on life?
This fight has taught me not to take anything for granted. You never know how much you’ll miss the days where you can just do whatever you want, whenever you want. You learn to cherish the times with your friends and family and times when you feel healthy.