Friday, May 29, 2015

A surprise party for more than one Sharpe

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 4:10 PM
I planned a birthday party for my five year old – and no one showed up. We had family coming in – my parents, Jen’s brother, my brother, and their families – for Josie’s Saturday afternoon birthday party in the park. She had requested a “hula party” for her... Read more

Patient #1's journey comes full circle at MRA Conference

Monday, March 2, 2015, 12:07 PM
For the second year in a row, I was invited to attend the Melanoma Research Alliance’s Scientific Research Conference, and for the second year in a row, I tried to wade through the combination of biology, chemistry, and statistics to understand what is happening in the research world. For the... Read more

Streamlining clinical trials at SCOPE

Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 1:16 PM
Clinical trials have LOTS of rules. Between the pharmaceutical companies, research sites (like Moffitt or UPenn), other associated stakeholders, and governing organizations, the start-up process for a trial can be painfully slow. Add in the enormous amount of legalese that comes with using humans... Read more

Proactively managing your diagnosis

Friday, February 20, 2015, 4:44 PM
Want any more evidence that you need to take your health in your own hands? How about following the example of one man who diagnosed his wife’s tumor – by printing a 3D model of her head, tumor included. It’s a story that needs to be read multiple times to understand the complexity... Read more

A good week for doing nothing

Friday, February 13, 2015, 3:14 PM
You know what happens sometimes to cancer patients – and, specifically, cancer patients that write a blog? We get busy, we get distracted, and we get mentally stuck, just like anyone else. This week was great for kick-starting the to-do list – ten different appointments on the calendar... Read more

World Cancer Day: Don't be a statistic

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 12:02 PM
Today is World Cancer Day, and while I am usually not a “<insert cause here> Day” guy, this seemed a little more significant to me than, say, World Spay Day (Feb. 25) or International Mountain Day (Dec. 11), or even tomorrow’s Digital Learning Day. What is so important about... Read more

Gambling with life at Mexican clinics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 10:32 AM
Months ago I had saved a link for a future post: “Cancer patients take their hopes to Tijuana.” Even though it’s nearly 10 years old, I had stumbled on it just before my trip to San Diego, and considered spending a day South of the Border to explore radical treatments offered outside... Read more

Taking it easy after surgery

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 12:56 PM
When the worse news in the last seven days is that your PET scan follow-up reveals a sinus infection causing irritation, instead of possible melanoma, I would say it’s been a pretty good week so far. First, the good news: PET scan results had a couple of places light up a bit. Two of them were... Read more

769 days later, TJ is colostomy-free!

Friday, January 16, 2015, 12:24 PM
Back in November of 2012, as we approached the main part of my first clinical trial, a huge roadblock appeared. Scans revealed bacteria in an abscess in my midsection, caused by a diverticulitis (and not cancer-related, just dumb, bad luck). With "lymphodepletion" being a part of the protocol, where... Read more

TJ's colonoscopy tips

Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 4:51 PM
Most of the people reading this have, will, or SHOULD be getting a colonoscopy one day, and probably one day soon. If you have, you know the cleansing preparation is usually worse than the procedure. Over the last week, I have done the prep twice – once for a colonoscopy last week, and now... Read more
About this blog
T.J. Sharpe is sharing his fight against Stage 4 Melanoma. A South Jersey native and Bishop Eustace graduate, he currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL with his wife Jennifer and children Josie and Tommy. He was Patient #1 in a clinical trial at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa as the first person worldwide to use this sequence of treatments to fight melanoma, and is currently in a second clinical trial at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale receiving Merck’s anti-PD-1 drug Lambrolizumab

The Patient #1 blog will update the progress of T.J.'s fight against cancer, and also touch on many cancer-related topics.

Follow T.J. on Twitter and Facebook. Reach T.J. at

T.J. Sharpe
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