Giv­ing it his A.L.L.

Jor­dan Bishop shares can­cer jour­ney with the world

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS THE COMPASS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Di­ag­no­sis

Talk­ing about his strug­gle

Jor­dan had been head­ing to a low point in his life since com­plet­ing his can­cer treat­ments a yearand-a-half ago.

“I’ve been kind of strug­gling with de­pres­sion,” he ex­plained.

The soft-spo­ken young man knew he didn’t want to let those feel­ings dic­tate his life, so he be­gan to write about his ex­pe­ri­ence with can­cer.

“It was kind of a way for me to put things into per­spec­tive and maybe help some­body else,” he said.

Jor­dan posted his first blog en­try on­line March 3, one week be­fore meet­ing with The Compass. He has pub­lished sev­eral more since.

Each en­try is a mile­stone Jor­dan has ex­pe­ri­enced from when he first got sick. Those who have read it have now learned about the mo­ment he heard he had can­cer.

Acute Lym­phoblas­tic Leukemia, or A.L.L., af­fects the bone mar­row and blood. It has a rapid on­set, and, as determined by the Mayo Clinic, is more deadly in adults.

“At first it kind of didn’t seem real,” Jor­dan told The Compass dur­ing a re­cent sit down in­ter­view. “Who ex­pects to get can­cer at age 18?”

His treat­ments be­gan at the Janeway Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and

The blog de­scribes raw emo­tion and real ex­pe­ri­ences. He has re­ceived praise for his abil­ity to write on such a dif­fi­cult sub­ject. His first two en­tries were shared over 2,000 times as of last Tues­day.

“I re­ally wasn’t ex­pect­ing it to be shared that much,” he added. “I have views on the blog from Australia and Swe­den.”

Jor­dan ad­mits it’s not easy to re­live the worst days of his life, but feels his story could help oth­ers get through the same sit­u­a­tion.

“I’d just like peo­ple to have an idea what it’s like to go through some­thing like that at that age,” he ex­plained.

He has re­ceived a lot of en­cour­age­ment from friends and fam­ily to keep writ­ing.

“They’re re­ally en­joy­ing it, they want to read more,” he noted.

What’s next?

Jor­dan did begin nurs­ing classes at MUN, but de­cided it wasn’t for him at this time.

He knows there’s no rush to de­cide on a ca­reer path, and is go­ing to spend some time fig­ur­ing out what it is he likes and wants to do. He may ven­ture to Al­berta where his dad works so he can af­ford a few lux­u­ries be­fore set­tling into a ca­reer.

So far, the only thing on his list is to do some trav­el­ling — back­pack­ing through Europe ap­peals to him.

Right now, he’s happy to be healthy, to be able to share his story with friends and fam­ily and just look for­ward to what­ever the fu­ture brings him.

He re­mem­bers his jour­ney, the pain, the sick­ness and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. He used his ex­pe­ri­ences to help him grow as a per­son, and now he will help oth­ers by shar­ing his story.

To read Jor­dan’s blog, visit allmy­cancer.blogspot.ca.

Many Level III stu­dents look for­ward to the last day of school, mak­ing it through their fi­nal ex­ams and be­gin­ning a more in­de­pen­dent life.

For Jor­dan Bishop, the tough­est chal­lenge he has faced in his 23 years be­gan only weeks be­fore he was to take those ex­ams and fin­ish up his last year at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate.

The then 18-year-old was experiencing symptoms that cor­re­lated with the com­mon cold and went to see his doc­tor.

Af­ter send­ing him for blood­work, his doc­tor con­tacted Jor­dan and his fam­ily within two hours of the tests to let them know some­thing showed up. A cou­ple of days later, a bone mar­row biopsy at the Health Sciences Cen­tre determined Jor­dan had can­cer. Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre. He was trans­ferred there be­cause the dis­ease is pri­mar­ily a child­hood can­cer. They were equipped to help him.

“I did three-and-a-half years of chemo­ther­apy,” he said. “I tried to live as nor­mal as pos­si­ble.”

Both his mom and step­fa­ther work in the med­i­cal field, so he had a lot of knowl­edge­able sup­port around him. But his big­gest chal­lenge was just try­ing to keep mov­ing on with his life.

PHOTO BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COMPASS

Jor­dan Bishop beat can­cer, and is now shar­ing his story through an on­line blog.

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