No Sign of Cancer: After Nearly a Two-Year Battle and Some Touch and Go Moments, Joff Rolland is Declared Free of Disease

By Julie Perine on April 09, 2019 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

For 22 months, Joff Rolland has been battling disease, initially believed to be an infection in his throat and ultimately diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma. The disease started in his tongue and also discovered in some lymph nodes, spreading to his thyroid and liver.  He underwent several surgeries, including removal of his thyroid and some vocal chords. During that eight-hour operation, his throat became so swollen he had to undergo an emergency cricothyrotomywas left with a permanent tracheostomy and the possibility of never speaking again. Rolland also underwent extensive radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
 
There have been ups and downs in his journey, which Rolland personally chronicled on a Facebook page.
 
“So many people read it and are touched and inspired by it. People hear of someone having cancer, but they don’t really have a clue what that is. I wanted to describe it; to paint a picture about what it is,” he said. “I’m just a nobody; a guy who lives in a house and got sick, but people have found it to be of so much help. And that has really helped me a lot.”
 
He shared with readers – with total transparency – details of his disease and treatments, even when his heath was in a downward spiral.
 
“For the past year, Joff has had to sign papers saying he understood that the treatments were not for a cure, but more for palliative care – maintaining quality of life for him,” said his wife Robin.
 
As the new year rolled in, a CAT scan indicated new masses; one on each side of his jaw and dispersed throughout lymph nodes in and around the carotid artery.
 
In February, things looked bleak, but he posted that another day was ahead, Lord willing, and that he believed God had it all under control. “He is my shelter and my fortress,” he ended his post.
 
On March 29, Rolland followed up with a PET scan and on April 2 he went to his oncologist to learn the results of that scan. The doctor had less to say than Jeff and his wife Robin anticipated.
 
“He didn’t know what to say. Everything was clear. We saw in print that were no signs of disease or malignancy anywhere,” Robin said. “It was very emotional.”
 
“We fully believed in what they were praying for, but the manifestation of what the Lord promises is very humbling. It took time to sink in, too,” she said.
 
Sarah Rolland VanKirk said her dad’s story continues to provide unique inspiration and insight.
 
“Anyone who is going through a battle with cancer – or anyone walking through the battle with someone else, do not give up – no matter how many bad reports you keep hearing,” she said. “Never lose your faith and keep fighting. It is not easy to watch someone you love go through this, but there is hope. I hope that my dad continues to receive good reports and that his story can help other people who are going through the same thing.”
 
Her sister Brittany Rolland echoes those remarks and adds that she personally is available for cancer victims or family members of those fighting the disease. 
 
"I am happy to talk to anyone who needs a friend somone to just hear them out and as always, I am happy to pray for and with anyone who needs it," she said. "Don't feel like you have to fight alone." 
 
The Rollands rejoice, but they also remain logical and “cautiously optimistic.”
“Joff is in the middle of the treatment he’s on. It just started the fourth cycle of the six weeks,” Robin Rolland said. “After he finishes that, they will do another scan and if everything looks the same as it did in this past one, he’ll have a choice to either take a vacation from it or continue a treatment – chemotherapy done by infusion – which doesn’t fight cancer, but rather protects healthy cells. If he chooses to stay on that, he will take it every two weeks.”
 
Rolland - who is now able to speak with the help of a device - said he always had less faith in the medicine than he did in his Lord and Savior.
 
“I fully believe that God did this,” Rolland said. 
 
 
 
Editor's Note: Joff Rolland is a 1977 graduate of Bridgeport High School. Find other stories about him during this journey HERE..
 

 



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