Team LIVESTRONG Profile: Sean McCormick

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SeanOn 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.

Sean

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.

10 thoughts on “Team LIVESTRONG Profile: Sean McCormick”

  1. Matt says:

    Sean- You are an inspiration to all of us. You pictures are fantastic and bring a unique perspective to the fight. We can not wait for you to join us in Philly.

  2. As a fellow MCL fighter/survivor and veteran of Livestrong Philly, I am sending nothing but well wishes and good vibes. You can read my story at http://journalofstrongliving.blogspot.com if you’re looking for some hope about your own prognosis. I was riding 400 miles a month, within two months post-transplant! BTW, there is a FB group for Mantle Cell patients, families, and survivors called Our Mantle Cell Family (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ourmclfamily/).

  3. Lynda_boyd says:

    Good luck Sean wishing you well have had recurrent breast cancer 4 times. Living on hope and friendship and caring from family friends and many others I don’t even know. I have met so many beautiful people through this disease but insure wish it would go away. Keep fighting livestrong lynda

  4. I had “Malt” Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A tumor in my Right Lung about 10 cm, that’s large. Did 6 chemo treatments and kept the faith going. I’m now in remission , eating right, working out six days a week, and walking. Stay positive one day at a time ! God Bless !

  5. tal and chloe murphey says:

    I worked with your mom in the Tales for Tots program, Sean, and your folks were as ;proud of you then as they are of you now. Keep on with your great attitude and know that lots of love is coming your way from Franklin, NC.

  6. Mjesiouxfalls says:

    From one survivor to another, “kick it to the curb Sean!” You have an inspiring attitude and an incredible life ahead of you…stay focused on what you love most!

    don’t just live…..LIVESTRONG!
    Matt

  7. Bob & Carolyn says:

    Sean, You are one of the strongest kids I have ever known. Hang in there. Carolyn and I are pulling for you. Marshmutt.

  8. Hi Sean, you don’t know me, I’m the grandson of your parents’ friend Betty in Franklin, NC. My grandmother told me about your diagnosis and your photography, which after a Google search, led me here. As a two-year three-month survivor of “stage 4” metastatic Thyroid cancer I got introduced to the whirlwind of a cancer diagnosis in September 2009, at 28 years old. I’d just returned from an 18 day trek to Everest Base Camp and had a tiny lump on the right side of my neck. For several weeks I had a partial diagnosis of “some type of Lymphoma or Thyroid Cancer” so I got to learn about Lymphomas in my haste to understand what I was up against. I am inspired by your “what’s next?” attitude and your incredible photography that tells your story. Thanks for making that available online. Keep telling your story and kick cancer’s ass while you’re doing it! Cheers from North Carolina – Aaron

  9. Hi Sean, you don’t know me, I’m the grandson of your parents’ friend Betty in Franklin, NC. My grandmother told me about your diagnosis and your photography, which after a Google search, led me here. As a two-year three-month survivor of “stage 4” metastatic Thyroid cancer I got introduced to the whirlwind of a cancer diagnosis in September 2009, at 28 years old. I’d just returned from an 18 day trek to Everest Base Camp and had a tiny lump on the right side of my neck. For several weeks I had a partial diagnosis of “some type of Lymphoma or Thyroid Cancer” so I got to learn about Lymphomas in my haste to understand what I was up against. I am inspired by your “what’s next?” attitude and your incredible photography that tells your story. Thanks for making that available online. Keep telling your story and kick cancer’s ass while you’re doing it! Cheers from North Carolina – Aaron

  10. SHoefken says:

    Sending love from Dallas!

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