With Brain Cancer Behind Him, This Patient Looks Forward to His Next Adventure
Eight years ago, Phil Sharpe was a busy undergraduate focused on his studies. With life in full swing, he began to experience persistent headaches. As the intensity and frequency of his headaches increased, Phil wondered if the pain was something that needed to be evaluated.
“It felt like something was crushing my brain,” says Phil. “I’m a very focused person, but the pain was so severe that I couldn’t concentrate.”
Phil scheduled an appointment with his doctor and underwent a CAT scan. He was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor and underwent surgery to remove the tumor.
“It was a relief to go through surgery,” he explains. “It felt like a weight was lifted.”
Although the majority of the tumor was removed during surgery, Phil had to undergo both radiation and chemotherapy. His case was transferred to Dr. John Boockvar, Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Lenox Hill Hospital, who still saw some of the remaining tumor and recommended a follow-up surgery to remove additional cancerous tissue. Immediately, Phil felt comfortable with Dr. Boockvar and confident that he had found the right doctor to help him continue his battle to overcome brain cancer.
Nearly six years since his second surgery and tumor-free, Phil is enjoying an active life. He completed his undergraduate degree and went on to obtain a master’s degree. He is now a full-time social worker with a passion for travel. He recently hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru and is already planning a trip in 2016 to the Great Wall of China.
“I still have to undergo an MRI every three months to monitor any changes," notes Phil. “But, everything is stable and I’m not going to let anything stop me. I feel very comfortable with Dr. Boockvar. Wherever he’s going to go, I’m going to go, too!”