Sunday, February 7, 2016

Archive: January, 2013

Patient #1:The secret society of cancer fighters

Thursday, January 31, 2013, 10:50 AM
A common theme in the cancer world is that you are not in this alone. Many, many individuals are stakeholders in the battle. Some, like the medical professionals, have both a professional and personal interest in your treatment and recovery. Others, like the hospitals and pharmaceutical companies... Read more

Patient #1: The cancer diet

Thursday, January 24, 2013, 12:30 PM
"One day they are gonna do a study that shows chicken causes cancer and pizza is good for you." -Slim, Spring 1999 "Chicken is poison." -Dr. Matt; ER at Broward General who made my initial cancer diagnosis, Summer 2012 Two quotes, taken 13+ years apart and in completely different contexts, and yet... Read more

Patient #1: Over the hump but not out of the woods

Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 10:40 AM
The most difficult stretch of my treatment is officially in the rearview mirror. I was discharged Monday morning from Moffitt, almost a week to the hour after checking in. The recovery indicators shot up between Saturday morning and Sunday, so I just needed to remain off oxygen all Sunday and I was... Read more

Patient #1: Bring on the first rounds of IL2

Thursday, January 17, 2013, 7:30 AM
“Do or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda Since I received my diagnosis in August, Interluken-2 (IL2) has been something that was tossed around in a serious voice by every oncologist we spoke with. The initial view was that it was a long shot we didn’t want to try – something... Read more

Patient #1: Ringing the bell to end chemo

Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 9:30 AM
Today is the big day. Navy SEAL-like t-cells are “storming the beach” sometime in the afternoon. We don't have the exact time; apparently, I am on a need to know basis, and, well, I don’t need to know yet. Chemotherapy has knocked out my immune system, and I am physically ready... Read more

Top 10 silver linings of having stage 4 melanoma

Thursday, January 10, 2013, 12:40 PM
Yea cancer pretty much sucks, but there are small benefits here and there if you know how to find them: 10. Facial hair freedom – First it was the playoff beard, now we’re rocking the Fu Man Chu (poorly I may add), who knows what is next. 9. Mid-day naps – I average two. Per day... Read more

Patient #1: Using laughter to get through chemo

Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 9:30 AM
When you think of chemotherapy, images of suffering patients, clad in hospital gowns and bandanas, pop into mind. Hours into my first chemo dose, I'm still waiting for our night to tailspin into the medical nightmares you read about. Instead, it has been surprisingly good hospital food, surprisingly... Read more

Patient #1: Getting the green light for chemo

Sunday, January 6, 2013, 4:00 AM
167 days. That’s how long it will be fromfirst checking into the hospitalwith flu-like symptoms and when I start the most intense, and important, treatment for Stage 4 Melanoma. For you moms out there, I am almost in the third trimester – many surely remember the feelings of anxiety mixed... Read more

Patient #1: Beat cancer is my New Year’s resolution

Wednesday, January 2, 2013, 4:00 PM
res·o·lu·tion [rez-uh-loo-shuhn] noun - The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. - A resolving to do something. - A course of action determined or decided on. - A formal statement of a decision or expression of opinion put before or adopted... 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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