Dedicated to the Total Rehabilitation of the Laryngectomee

What Would You Say?


The following is reprinted with the permission of Pat Sanders of WebWhispers.

This question was one of the early ones in  Whispers on the Web - Speaking Out Column and I thought it might be good reading for the Daily Whispers on a Saturday Morning.


"If you could tell only one thing to a person facing laryngectomy, what would it be?"


 John Haedtler - 2001
I have said this to many patients prior to their surgeries!
"You Are Not Alone!"

  Len Borucki - 2008
You have to do what is required. Three years after surgery, I own property,  my own home, conduct business, do whatever I want.  My philosophy -"YOU PLAY THE SITUATION, YOU DON'T  LET THE SITUATION PLAY YOU." Good luck, good health, and a fruitful life to you all.

  Sandrogeo Gianferrari - 2010
saluti, sandrogeo

  Linda Palucci - 2002
Be sure you trust your Doctor/medical team and do what they tell you. The healing process is months, not weeks. And there is life after surgery. 
Yeah, I know that's 3 things but I can talk fast. There is so much more I could say. Linda, FL

  Jim Fohey - 1994
Do not give up on life. No voice, and a hole in the neck, is not a reason to stop living. You can still communicate and life always changes anyway; this is just one more change. Build a bridge, get over it, and get on with life. Jim, Oscoda, MI

  Mohan Raj - 2010
I would tell the person--"If you are destined to get Cancer, you are lucky to get Laryngeal Cancer which is curable by Laryngectomy, manageable and not really so life threatening as most other types of Cancer." I would add to him that I sincerely wish Steve Jobs got this instead of Pancreatic Cancer. He would have been around for at least another thirty or forty more  years giving the world so many new and useful products and making the world a far better place. Mohan Raj, Bangalore

  Joyce Hidey - 2007
The only stupid question is the one you did not ask! Get it off your mind by asking it. Otherwise, when you are alone, your imagination will go wild.

  Vicki Metz -1996
It beats dying. There is so much life to be lived and so many things to do yet. I'd rather speak with a "different" voice than be 6 feet under.

  Len Hynds - 2004
Under our Larry ' Buddie ' scheme, the hospital calls me in, normally the day before the operation, when all the family are gathered around the patients bedside,( thinking that it will be the last time they see him or
her.) In order to allay their fears, to give them confidence regarding talking again, and to answer their questions, I answer truthfully and sincerely. This raises their hopes for a completely normal future, and makes them laugh several times. The most important single thing I say to the patient, being listened to avidly by the rest, is:" You know, we are so  lucky. Of all the cancers of the head and neck, that of the Larynx is the easiest to overcome, and I have yet to hear of a Laryngectomee who has not survived the operation. So we lose our voice, but that also is soon overcome." In explaining speech, I tell them, "The valve was invented by two American doctors with German sounding names, and the trouble is, that I  now swear in German.".......... Len of Ashford, Kent U.K. The Speechless Poet

  Vinal S. Smith - 2009
It was pretty scary knowing I'd lose my voicebox, but once I accepted this was going to save my life, I decided to trust my surgeon and know if I had faith it would all go well. It did! The only thing I can't do now, that I was able to do before having my laryngectomy, is dive into my pool. And in the scheme of things, this is so minor!! Good luck!

  David Blevins - 1998
You can live a complete, happy and full life after laryngectomy.

  John Nicols - 2007
Life does get good again.

  Deborah Bradford - 2008
Just believe and trust in GOD . HE wont bring you to something that HE wont  bring you through. CHYOTI

  Steve Staton - 2007
There's a lot to overcome physically after your surgery, but this is something that will take care of itself with time and with you following your Doctor's advice. The most difficult problem for me to overcome was the  attention I attracted in public places. It was something I hadn't considered until the first time I went "public." We all went for lunch at the local Coco's. I spoke with an EL and the first time I spoke everyone in  the restaurant stopped what they were doing, and turned to see what the new noise was. It was silent for a moment, then everyone but small children  went about their business. --It was a momentary occurrence, but it had a huge affect on me. To this day I still attract attention when I speak in a public place, but I handle it much better. This is who I am now, it's not going to change. This is it. So I guess, to me, the most important thing I could tell a "Newbie" is just relax and be yourself. Don't worry about people seeing you as different, it's going to happen. I'm a large person anyway, but I'm friendly and outgoing, which helps.It's been nearly 5 years  now and instead of feelings of embarrassment , I'm proud of the gains I've  made, and feel as though I fit in anywhere.

  Vic Jacobson - 2011
Hindsight is the curse, focus on the future.

  W A Wade - 2008
Be patient with your body. It will heal itself and establish a new normal in time. Everyday will be better than the last. Andy

  Jim Sparks - 2006
It will, with work and determination, get better with time.

  Paul Bradbury - 2008
If it gives you life, go for it; there may be no other choice. A lot of people have harder choices to make. It's only a minor set back.

  Robert Hug - 2000
You, and you alone, are going to make it better for Yourself. Opinions, as they say, everybody has one, (I have to be nice on WW.) Sometimes, your feelings are your best friend. Love - Laugh - Be Happy...................... Bob

  Hope you enjoyed this.... remember we have Speaking Out every month in our Whispers on the Web.....and we need contributions.  This month the subject is war stories about lary care by some professionals (especially those hospital visits!) Jack Henslee is facing some hefty chemo right now and what made him think of this was his own experience in a major teaching hospital the other night.  They woke him because they had to do a pulmonary  function test and they wanted to make sure it was ok to tape his stoma closed so no air escaped.  AARGH!