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David's Cancer Blog

My Health Journey in a Sermon

This will give you an idea of my health issues. It will give you an idea of what my cancer journey has been like.

I did this sermon on Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend 2013. I had never done that before. But, some had wanted to hear my cancer story. Remember I’m not a preacher<smile> !

They video the sermons at my Church, but someone forgot to start the video on time. So there’s about 4 minutes left off of the front end and the benediction is left off at the end of the church service. Below is what is not on the video.  I ad libbed  from that. You need to read it first and then clink on the video link to watch the video and the rest of the sermon. You’ll see the link on down the page.

Date of Sermon - May 26, 2013                                                  


Scripture:  Matthew 28:18-20 – Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you, and I will be with you always, to the end of the age.

Title:  God is Always with Us !

Good Morning…..Welcome - I’m glad you’re here this morning and it’s so good to see each of you.  It’s always a great day to be in God’s house ! And, thank you youth for that great song.  We always enjoy hearing you sing.  Good job !  Keep on singing !

Some of you may not know me but I’m David Rowland( Rollin, Rollin, Rollin – like the Google Chrome commercial. the song comes from that 1959 TV series with Clint Eastwood called Rawhide). I’ve been here at St John’s since 1975. I’m married to my sweet Carolyn who sings in the 8:30 service choir as I do. We both love to sing and enjoy singing with our fellow choir members. Music is more than words and notes on a page but rather another way to worship and praise God. I just get an angelic feeling with the singing of God’s word. It just gives me such an inner peace. Oh the joy !  Carolyn and I both have a great love for our Lord, St. John’s Church and the people here.

You know I’m from WV(and I can’t help that) and in school teaching the 3 R’s up there meant reading, writing, and route 77.  So that’s how I got here. I was looking for work.  I’m an only child and my Momma spoiled me and I was born on Friday the 13th. By the way, my Mother was born in Strange Creek WV and so if you find my message a little strange then you’ll understand why.

But seriously, you know, we all go through tough times. We go through hardships and there are times when we feel like giving up. We may feel like we are on a treadmill running but we’re not moving and not getting anywhere. Life can be tough. Sometimes we may feel as if we can't muster enough energy to continue life's journey.

So, all of us have some difficult times.. No one is exempt from trouble and trials. It happens to the best of people. But we have to keep going and pressing on even though it may seem as if the challenges are going to be an uphill battle. But we can be assured that God is always with us.

I know that almost every family is touched in some way by cancer. And, I know that some of you here today are cancer survivors, just as I am. I want to share with you some of my story and how I was so blest to overcome cancer and additional issues associated with it and the radiation treatments.  It’s has been and still continues to be quite a journey. But, I have been comforted knowing that God was with me.  I knew he would always be with me whether I survived or not, because he is always with us in life, death, and eternity.

Some of you know I had what they call head and neck cancer. Well, back in 1997 life was just rocking along and all was well. Carolyn and I were enjoying life. But, things began to change quickly when I was shaving one day and noticed a lump/bump on my neck. Felt like it was the size of a marble. A surgical biopsy was done.

A week later, Carolyn and I were at the doctor’s office at 10 am in the morning when the doctor gave us the news that it was cancer. It was stage 3, aggressive cell type and it was 3 places in my neck and on the base of my tongue way down in my throat.  I had about a 30% chance to live to 5 years. Wow ! That was shocking and difficult to hear, but praise God here I am standing before you 16 years later.  I am so truly blest and very grateful.  God is Always with Us !

That day when we left the doctor’s office...........

Now -- see the rest of the message by clinking on this link.

Now see the benediction  below– Not on video.....

May we go in Peace, and never be afraid, because God will go with you each hour of every day.  And may we go in a steadfast , strong, and true faith, knowing he’ll guide you in all you do. And may we go now in Love, and, reach out to others and show that you believe.  God will be there watching from above so may we go in peace, faith, and love.  In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Janelle38 likes this post.
Anthony sent you a prayer.
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Excellent my friend, truly excellent
Thank you, Anthony


So glad I found this group. I am a head and neck cancer survivor for 17 years.  I am truly blest. Here's my history:

1997 - Squamous Cell Carcinoma, stage 3, agressive cell type. Three places in my neck and in my throat. 37 radiation treatments.

1999 - thyroid effected by radiation - placed on medications

2005 - narrrowing of right carotid artery.  Stent inserted.  Also, the first of 4 aspiration pneumonias cause by radiation. 

2009, 2011, 2012 - Three more aspiration pneumonias

2012 - Placed on a feeding tube which continues today.

I'm just happy to be a long term survivor andI am very active and enjoying every day to the fullest.




Ashley, Lucia like this post.
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Hi David, nice to see a long term guy on here again. 17 years but a host of problems. I have a question and you may reply privately or directly. What were your symptoms for the "2005 - narrrowing of right carotid artery. Stent inserted?" I'm curious as a Stage IV Squamous Cell and 39 rads what you felt. I've been having some issues and want to know before I make a comment with my radiation area and this Carotid artery sounds like a possibility. Continued good luck and I'll look for a post when you have time.
Pat C., Good to meet you on this site. On your carotid artery question: When I had my radiation treatments my radiation oncologist told me that radiation could cause narrowing of the carotid arteries and that it usually occurred at the 6 to 8 year mark. So, what I did I did those Lifeline screenings that you can pay to do. So I did that once a year by getting an ultra sound from them. Sure enough around the 7 year mark the narrowing got past 70%. Went to a vascular surgeon and he put me on an aspirin a day for awhile and when the right carotid artery got to 80% the stent was inserted by going up through the femoral artery. I have had the stent for 9 years and it is about 50% blocked now. I have an ultra sound once a year. The left carotid hasn't been affected enough to anything with it. If I can provide anymore info just let me know. I wish you well. David
Hi David and welcome.. Wow 17 years is so wonderful.. I am sorry you have had those bumps in the road.. what a journey ..good to hear your happy and active hugs and love and always prayers Sabina
Thank you for the welcome !! I appreciate that ! I just try to keep a positive outlook. I will keep you in my prayers !!
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Vital Info


July 28, 2014

Cancer Info

Throat Cancer

April 14, 1997

Stage 3

3.1 - 4.0 cm


From throat to 3 lymph nodes in the neck

Charlotte NC

August 9, 1997



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