On October 1, 2011 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; 10 days later I started chemotherapy. My world went from busy to surreal, then from surreal to very real. My transition from non-patient to patient was a sudden one. I didn’t have any ongoing symptoms, no drastic changes in how I was feeling or doing, just one day of abdominal pain and bang:
“You have cancer.”
It’s a fairly rare form of the disease and while the numbers are average, math was never my strong subject. So the heck with the numbers, I’ve decided to try and do what I do best, or at least fairly well, photograph the treatment process. You can see the photos here. Every set may have a different look but they simply reflect what I felt at the time, uncertainty, boredom, and probably a certain amount of fear.
Now I don’t remember everything from the book “It’s Not About the Bike,” but one thing always stuck out to me. Once Lance learned of his diagnosis, his reply was something like, “What’s next?” Sure, I got mad, I felt sorry for myself, and I was confused as hell. After all I had lived as healthy a life as I could, rode my bike all the time, was outside as much as I could be, had an active profession, and ate right. This was not supposed to happen to me, but we all know, cancer does not play favorites and it was just my turn. So my attitude became: what’s next?!
What was next was something I could never have imagined. Friends and family stepped forward in incredible ways; people I have never met reached out with cancer stories of their own, offering anything and everything they could. Cancer casts a wide net, and I guess I knew that. But I never really knew until I was caught in it.
I am still right in the middle of my treatment, with a stem cell transplant scheduled right after chemo is done. I have set a goal of riding in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Philly . It’s going to be tough, but whether I’m riding the entire 65 miles I’ve registered for or just 10, just getting to Philly will be fantastic. And it’s trip I plan to make in full remission.
I have the most fantastic friends and family in the world. Thanks…
Sean is from Baton Rouge, LA and currently lives in Minneapolis, MN. He was diagnosed late last year with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a form of NHL, and has been working with the LIVESTRONG Navigation Services team. Sean rode in the original Ride for the Roses many years ago and is now a proud member of Team LIVESTRONG. You can learn more about participating in great events like the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge Philly at TeamLIVESTRONG.org.