"for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he that believes that Jesus is the son of God." I John 5: 4-5 As most of you know about me, I am a man of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and getting cancer on my birthday of this year did nothing to change that, it only drew me that much closer to my Lord and Savior. With that said, in early January of this year I was on a business trip to Memphis and was feeling great. I had always kept myself in relatively good shape at 5'11, 212 lbs. Didn't smoke or drink. I had not only kept my regiment of weight training, benching close to 400 lbs. at almost 50 years of age and able to do 30-40 pull-ups. Two days after returning from my trip, I looked in the mirror to shave and a golf-ball sized knot appeared on the side of my throat. Didn't think much of it at first, just thought it was a swollen lymph node, which everyone was saying it's no big deal. Go to the doctor, get some antibiotics and it will go away, which is what I did. I took antibiotics for 10 days and nothing changed. I didn't wait for the two weeks of taking the antibiotics passed. I immediately went to an ENT doctor in my home town. The ENT doctor did three tests. She inserted a scope/camera down through my nose and throat and saw what she thought was cancer caked on the back of my tongue. Then I was sent to do a CT scan of my head and neck, then it was back to ENT to get a biopsy on the knot on my throat, where she took a needle and stuck it in my swollen lymph node and drew out what turned out to be cancer cells. The results came in a few days later and it was cancer. I just tipped over into stage 4 only because of the size of my lymph node. there was also a tumor way back of my tongue. I never knew. I felt no symptoms: No sore throat, no problems swallowing nothing! The tumor could have been there for a year and I never knew. The good news was that this type of throat cancer was very curable. The bad news was that the treatment of this type of cancer is the most brutal of all! It involved possibly surgery and radiation or radiation and chemotherapy. I was advised by my ENT doctor to seek further treatment at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, N.C. I first met with a surgeon who wanted to try a state of the art surgery with a robot to remove the tumor, however, my tumor, along with the structure of the inside of my mouth only gave me a 50/50 chance to remove it with the robot. If while on the table, the surgeon couldn't get to the tumor, he would have to cut into the side of my neck, which could cause problems the movement of my head and neck post surgery along with maybe having to cut into some of my tongue, possibly leading to speech problems post surgery. So, I opted for radiation and chemotherapy treatment. I was told both treatments were equally effective. So then over the next several weeks I met with my radiation oncologist, a hematology/chemo oncologist, speech pathologist, and nutritionist! I also met with a Dentist and had to have 4 teeth removed and had general surgery to insert a feeding tube, because I would not be able to eat for a couple of months! I also had to have a special mold made to my head and neck, because it was very important for me to not move during my radiation treatment. You're basically clamped down to a table while a laser burns your throat while killing the cancer. After all of this, I was ready for treatment. I won't go into all of the detail of what radiation/chemotherapy does to you, but it wasn't pleasant. The most difficult thing I've ever been through in my entire life. I will tell you that it took 7 weeks. Radiation was 5 days a week and chemotherapy was once per week. The last 2 weeks were the worst and the 2 weeks following treat were just as bad! I lost 50 lbs. and was in a lot pain and that's about all I'll say. LOTS of side effects! I had to wait 3 months after my last treatment to through another PET scan to determine that I was cancer free which I am now thankful to say, that I am indeed cancer free! I had another check up yesterday and because I do not smoke, I do not have to have anymore scans and there's a 98% chance of the cancer never coming back. I have learned many things about cancer over the last 6 months. The first thing I would tell y'all, if you see or feel something that's just not normal on your body, don't hesitate to see a doctor. The sooner you get checked the better. It could save your life. Cancer, although concerning is not as scary as it once was. Cancer patients are being cured at record paces if detected early. You don't have to be a smoker or drinker to get throat cancer. Most cases of throat cancer among non-smokers is caused by the HPV-virus. My doctors told me they are seeing more and more of this kind of cancer caused by HPV. I have two friends who had the exact same cancer I had. The last thing I'll say is that I thank God/Jesus Christ that he gave the doctors the ability to cure my cancer. My radiation oncologist is a christian and very thankful for that. I had a great support group, including first: my wife, my parents, and my church. Thank you Don and CF for allowing me to post this! If anyone has questions, please post them and I'll try to answer the best way I can. I would like to help in any way I can.