April 2012

 


 

 

Name Of Column Author Title Article Type
News Views Pat Sanders Sweet Thoughts Of Krispy Kreme News & Events
VoicePoints Philip C. Doyle Ph.D.,CCC-SLP More Than A Single Option Education-Med
WebWhispers Columnist Jack Henslee Mysteries Of Vitamin D Experience
Between Friends Donna McGary Remembering Paul Daniels Commentary
Speaking Out Members Vacations   Opinion
Nuf-Sed Bob Keiningham Part 3 Thoughts Commentary
Travel With Larys Sunny Bakken New P.O. Box Gold Hill,OR Travel
The Speechless Poet Len A Hynds The Funny Side Of Cancer Prose & Poetry
New Members Listing Welcome News & Events

 

 

 

 

Sweet thoughts of Krispy Kreme

 

For years, I have made a trip to the chiropractor every other week and, as I leave his office, I turn right because that is the only way they let you turn. I get over to the center lane for a left turn to get on the main drag through town and I prepare to stop! Never do I make that turn without waiting for the light. What is that across the street that I am staring at while sitting there for 2 or 3 minutes? A huge Krispy Kreme donut shop!

I have sat at that traffic light as they built that place, seeing it grow, like watching a movie made of still photos, every other week, always looking forward to the opening. It brought back thoughts of vacationing with my long time friend.

Kitty and I were neighbors when our kids were in first grade, shared different graduations, weddings, my divorce, her widowhood, my cancers and, much later, hers.  We vacationed together at the beach for a number of years, and the most indulgent thing we did was drive 50 miles down the beach to the nearest Krispy Kreme donut shop and buy at least a dozen.  We selected with care and discussion the variety we wanted, and you would have thought these were jewels that we would be wearing the rest of our lives, which in some ways we did!  We took them back to whatever condo we had, in whichever Gulf beach town we had chosen, and continued our ceremony of enjoying the sound of the surf, the feel of the gulf breeze, and the taste of the Krispy Kremes.

The light has changed, I put the thoughts aside and I move on with my life.  I do not stop because the donut would taste dry and bland without the ceremony that was the fun and without my friend of 43 years, who, in 2009, did not survive her cancers.

Making normal things fun and memorable in everyday life can be a major item in creating good times to appreciate.  And remembering the great times can improve your life.  For instance, the next time I sit at that light, I shall ponder the types of flavors they have added since those good times. I will do nothing more than think about it... and then proceed on down to the public library to see what is on their new book rack and hope I have the time to indulge myself to read it.

 

Enjoy,
Pat W Sanders
WebWhispers President
 

 

 

 


Postlaryngectomy Speech Rehabilitation:

More than a Single Option?

 

Philip C. Doyle, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry

and

Rehabilitation Sciences

University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario, Canada

 

Introduction


The challenges associated with a diagnosis of laryngeal cancer and treatment requiring total laryngectomy are indeed both numerous and substantial in impact. The array of concerns and resultant challenges are also amplified by the fact that timelines from point of diagnosis to surgical treatment are often very short. In most instances much happens in a very limited amount of time. Given the multiple issues that arise secondary to total laryngectomy, early and long-term communication concerns remain a critical component of effective postlaryngectomy care. While there is a widespread assumption that all potential postlaryngectomy "alaryngeal" speech options should be considered, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this may not always be the case.


More specifically, three potential options exist to all of those who undergo total laryngectomy - esophageal speech, artificial laryngeal (electrolarynx) speech, and tracheoesophageal (TE) puncture voice restoration. All three of these alaryngeal options must be considered a viable alternatives dependent upon the individual's communication wants and needs. Although not widely used, a fourth option, use of a pneumatic artificial larynx also holds potential promise. However, the more significant point of issue at present is the simple fact at least three options exist; there is more than a single alaryngeal option. Additionally, there is no empirical evidence to indicate that use of one type of alaryngeal speech limits, reduces, or diminishes the use of another method. Consequently, the question might be raised as to why some individuals who undergo laryngectomy may have never been exposed to any information on all of the potential postlaryngectomy speech options that might be available to them? I believe the reasons for this are multifaceted and exploring some of those reasons may facilitate a continuing dialogue between clinicians those who undergo total laryngectomy. In order to do so, some history is required. For the sake of simplicity and brevity, I will refer to the historical information to follow as the early, middle, and current periods.


The Early Period


First, esophageal speech has existed for many years and there is considerable historical literature describing it's acoustic characteristics, perceptual features, intelligibility, etc. In fact, records of its use have existed for more than a hundred years. More interestingly, esophageal speech was inferred to be the preferred method of alaryngeal speech prior to 1979. However, despite that assumption, a substantial body of literature also existed that outlined details pertaining to the success or failure in acquiring a functional esophageal speech signal. Based on the literature up until approximately 1982, the "success" in acquiring usable esophageal speech was reported to range from a low of approximately 25% to a high of approximately 40%.


Yet an additional problem existed; in many instances the definition of "useable" or "functional" esophageal speech was seldom well defined which muddied the waters even more. Thus, there was some tacit assumption up until the early 1980's that when one failed to acquire functional esophageal speech, that the method that would then be used would be the electrolarynx (either a neck-type or intra-oral device). This resulted in the inferential assumption that the ability to successfully use an electrolarynx was going to exist in the range of from 60% to 75%. But once again, the definition of what constituted successful use of the electrolarynx was often poorly defined. At this point in time, two alaryngeal options existed; one was presented as the method of choice (esophageal speech), the other as the secondary option. But both were viewed as options and both were almost always considered as part of one's postlaryngectomy rehabilitation.


It was also during this early period that criticism of both the laryngectomee[1] and the electrolarynx became common in associated with postlaryngectomy speech options. First, when esophageal speech was not acquired successfully, the failure to do so was often attributed to the patient. Reasons for failure were often attributed to the laryngectomee; unsupported claims of a lack of desire or motivation as the underlying causal factor were unfortunately, common. This also then placed the electrolarynx in a secondary role, the back up for a failed effort. Again, suggestions that use of the electrolarynx indicated a "patient" problem were frequently noted. Criticism of the device itself were regularly noted, and clearly the mechanical and robotic nature of the electrolarynx are long-term concerns. However, of more importance to this era was the erroneous belief that if one used the electrolarynx, that this would serve as a "crutch" that would render other rehabilitative methods useless, encourage a lack of personal motivation, and essentially commit the laryngectomee to a postlaryngectomy life of failure. As one can see, though two options existed in this early period, one was essentially devalued. Bad habits are hard to change!


The Middle Period


Few landmark changes are associated with the discipline of Speech-Language Pathology. However, it was in the area of laryngectomy where one of the most significant clinical advances occurred, namely, with the introduction of the TE puncture voice restoration method developed by Mark Singer, M.D. and Eric Blom, Ph.D. The pioneering work of Blom and Singer revolutionized postlaryngectomy speech rehabilitation and it continues to be a widely used method today. However, one of the most important side notes of the early literature on TE puncture voice restoration was related to its early failure in some patients. More directly, Blom and Singer identified that a subgroup of laryngectomees was unable to generate TE voicing; it seemed that once air began to flow into the esophagus for voicing, that it abruptly ceased. In some instances it might start again, but in others, it was certainly non-vibratory. Their observations indicated that continuous voicing could not be achieved in this group of individuals and it appeared to be the result of some type of "spasm". Early efforts to reduce or eliminate this spasm were done via percutaneous block of the pharyngeal plexus with these attempts appearing to support the notion that some physiologic difficulty in generating pulmonary powered "esophageal" voice was occurring.


As the years progressed following the first introduction of TE voice restoration method, others observed a similar problem in some individuals and a variety of treatments ultimately emerged (e.g., myotomy, neurectomy, etc.). Further, some new methods of surgically closing the postlaryngectomy area also emerged at this time. Thus, in the early 1980's may have provided the first real body of evidence indicating that failure to acquire esophageal speech in the early period prior to TE puncture voice restoration may have had a physiologic cause...not one of poor motivation or desire![2]


Because of what appeared to be the rapid and remarkable success of TE puncture voice restoration, its application spread rapidly, modifications in prostheses evolved substantially, and complementary devices (e.g., heat and moisture exchange systems) were developed. Simply stated, TE puncture became the standard, esophageal speech appeared to be a thing of the past, and the electrolarynx was further relegated to the bottom of the list. Some things never change!


The Current Period


Contemporary postlaryngectomy rehabilitation continues to be dominated in many venues by TE speech even though two other methods remain viable options. Obviously, the ability to provide the TE puncture as a primary procedure at the time of laryngectomy offers institutional advantages such as eliminating the need for an additional surgical booking, etc. The relatively rapid acquisition of TE speech does carry some cachet. But, success following TE voice restoration goes well beyond voice restoration alone. However, what is probably a more significant and negative outgrowth from the current period is the fact that the electrolarynx may be disregarded altogether.

In recent years while attending conferences or meetings, I have been dismayed to come across clinicians who work in the area of head and neck cancer who have indicated to me that they have never used or taught the use of the electrolarynx to a laryngectomee. My immediate, and hopefully somewhat cordial question in response, is to ask how people communicate in the early postoperative period? The answer ranges, but it is typically reported to be via writing, and sometimes via mouthing words. Why isn't the electrolarynx offered when it is almost assuredly likely to provide an effective means of early verbal communication at a time when communication is critical? Perhaps the old falsehood that the electrolarynx serves as a crutch that will reduce the laryngectomee's ability to successfully acquire another alaryngeal method persists. Yet once again there is no logical reason, nor is this supported with evidence, to suggest that use of the electrolarynx will negatively influence TE voice restoration.


The second point of importance in the context of the above is that it has also been my observation over the past several years that more and more individuals seem to be able to acquire traditional esophageal speech. Could this observation be borne of the many advances that emerged as a result of TE puncture voice restoration? I do believe that the surgical procedures of today create a very different pharyngoesophageal sphincter than that observed prior to the advent of the TE puncture procedure. So, could it also be that acquisition rates for esophageal speech would be higher today than those noted in the past? This question begs to be addressed in some formal fashion and doing so would appear to offer information that further expands our understanding of the postlaryngectomy system.


Summary


Postlaryngectomy speech rehabilitation offers multiple options to all laryngectomees. No one method is perfect, and no method is without relative advantages and disadvantages. At the very least, all laryngectomees should have information on all three methods - esophageal speech, electrolaryngeal speech, and TE puncture voice restoration - provided to them in a fair and unbiased manner. I am adamant in my view that every laryngectomee should be introduced to the electrolarynx and provided with at least basic instruction in its use. The electrolarynx should not only be an essential part of all laryngectomy rehabilitation programs, but I believe it is an ethical obligation for clinicians to teach its use. It should also be added at this point that academic training programs are likely contributing to the lack of exposure and training related to the electrolarynx and esophageal speech. If a student in Speech-Language Pathology in most program is fortunate enough to have any exposure to issues specific to those who undergo laryngectomy, it is likely to be one of terminology solely. Similarly, if the good fortune exists to have some clinical exposure, it is most likely related to issues specific to TE puncture. Expansion of the knowledge base of what options exist, as well as their relative advantages and disadvantages must be an essential component of academic training programs and that responsibility cannot be disregarded. The collective body of information allows the professional to help each patient make an informed decision about what is best for them relative to their communication needs and expectations. In doing so, the best level of care is likely to be offered along the road to rehabilitation.

More than a single option of postlaryngectomy speech exists, so why not provide the information to all of those we desire to serve? Maybe some things can change!

 

[1] This term, while not person-first language, is that which is preferred by many who have been laryngectomized. Consequently, it is used accordingly herein.
[2] For further information concerning this development, please see work by Doyle and Eadie (2005) which appeared in the text, Contemporary Considerations in the Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer, pp. 521-544.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mysteries of Vitamin D

Jack Henslee

(The following is a personal account supported by some Internet research. It is not a recommendation or medical advice to anyone.)


About 2 or 3 years ago I started having some problems with my legs. It started out with some mild “burning sensations” in my calves and slowly got worse. As an avid golfer that has walked most of the time I finally decided to have it checked out, and was diagnosed with peripheral artery disease in both legs. That was successfully treated via an angioplasty procedure first on the left leg and then on the right leg. No more pain and no more severe multiple leg cramps at night. Everything was good!


Then several months later I began to tire easily and the legs were noticeably a lot weaker despite the fact that I walked 18 holes 4-5 times a weeks and went to the gym 1-3 times a week. It was progressively getting worse, so I began the long process to determine the cause,.. Was it medications? I had added a lot of meds to my life because of blood pressure and angioplasty to not only the legs but my heart as well. I tried various changes to the meds, researched all the side effects, and came up with nothing.


My cardiologist was stumped so he sent me to a pulmonologist (breathing was also a issue) and many more tests with the primary concern being a pulmonary blockage somewhere. Good news was no blockage but the bad news was no diagnosis.


The next stop was to an orthopedic surgeon with the thought that spinal stenosis or some related disk problem might be the culprit. A MRI showed the possible beginning stages of stenosis but it was doubtful that was the cause, but it was suggested I try some epidurals (cortisone and other stuff shot into the spine) to see if helped. The first procedure worked for about 2 days so we thought we were on the right track but I had to wait 30 days between treatments. A month later the second treatment seemed to be the cure and 3-4 weeks later I went on a cruise in celebration of my cure. Second day at sea I was barely able to make to the bar and dining room! After returning home I had several more treatments but the only noticeable fact was the $250 co-pays I was making.


As I went into the second year of this, I was still playing golf but had to ride a cart,. But even then getting from the cart to the green became more difficult each day. The low spot came when I knelt down to pick up my ball after a putt, and then didn’t have the strength to stand back up.


My primary care doc finally sent me to a neurologist to rule out brain tumor or other “wiring” problems that may be the cause. After several visits and lots of tests he finally said, ”I can’t find anything wrong with you. But try taking some mega doses of vitamin D for the next 2 weeks and then come back.” He told me to take 20,000 IUs for 4-5 days then cut back to 6,000 IU a day. At that time I could barely shower, get dressed, and walk to the kitchen without having to rest and the fatigue and weakness encompassed my whole body. On the third day of vitamin D I could walk around the house and do other normal activities with no problem. It took a lot longer before I could do long distances and walk the golf course but I was now functional.


On my return visit I reported my progress and all he said was vitamin D isn’t well understood but it seems to cure a lot of things and no one knows why. He knew by my blood tests that I was deficient in vitamin D but he had no idea if that caused the problem, or if it just fixed the problem. Several months later the symptoms started to return but when I upped my intake from 6,000 IUs a day to 10,000 I was again ok.


An estimated 50-75 percent of people in the U.S. may not have enough vitamin D in their bodies. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to the development of several conditions, including rickets (soft and deformed bones), osteoporosis, some cancers, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. People can make their own vitamin D simply by rolling up their shirt sleeves and exposing their skin to sunlight. But for those cooped up in offices all day long, food and dietary supplements can provide vitamin D. Plus, as we get older our skin does not synthesize vitamin D as efficiently. In addition to the conditions listed above studies have shown possible links of vitamin D deficiency to:
1. Numerous cancers
2. Type II diabetes
3. Cardiovascular diseases
4. Autoimmune deficiencies
5. Certain mental health conditions
6. Alzheimer’s disease

It has also been effective in the treatment or prevention of such conditions as lower back pain, allergies, migraines, high blood pressure, depression, and crippling unexplained pain and weakness.

 

In many, if not most, of the above conditions the evidence is largely anecdotal and not documented by strong scientific studies. In fact a lot of the “evidence” only documents that a large percentage of the people with these conditions have vitamin D deficiency, but they don’t know for sure if the deficiency caused the condition, the condition caused the deficiency, or neither. But, at least in the case of cures there are many, to include myself, that swear it worked for them and they are supported by the opinions of many doctors; even if they don’t have scientific proof.

For more information there is a lot of it on the Internet and you will find that there is also controversy. But most do not disagree that the majority of us (especially us older folks) have a deficiency and D-3 would do some good and little, if any, harm. But how much is enough is debatable with government standards of 200-2000 IU a day being adequate and safe while others feel that 10,000 – 40,000 IU probably won’t harm you. But, if you should decide to try mega doses you should have your doctor check levels periodically to make sure you are in a safe range.

References:

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120207133748.htm
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Paul Daniels

 

I have had the privilege of working with many talented writers here on Whispers on the Web. One of my favorites was Paul Daniels, AKA Paul from Alabama. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to meet him in person and we were all saddened to learn that he passed away recently. His spirit, humor, and love for his wife Linda, his gardens and life all came through loud and clear. Thankfully, he was a prolific writer who left us a wonderful legacy of stories colorfully recounted in his inimitable “voice”. Here is one of my favorites that we first published in the October 1999 WebWhispers News.

Donna

 

I Wear Plastic Baby Pants on my Head

Hello again. I have just finished my first shower experience and want to share it with you all. I can assure you this is the first time I have emailed a large group of people about my showering experiences. It is absolutely, POSITIVELY the first time I have worn rubber baby pants on my head!

My significant other, Linda, devised a hellish contraption to keep me high and dry while washing my hair after two weeks of hospital stay. I had been looking at the shower guards in the catalogs but we didn't have time to order one before coming home yesterday. She, as I said, conjured up this miracle of modern engineering. What she did was cut the straddle (crotch) with scissors and left one side kinda long to drape in front. I pulled the waist band over my head. They must be making some gawd awful big babiesthese days because it went over my big old head. She left the elastic in the legs which made the pants kinda pucker in front so I could breathe better.

I will be selling snapshots of this contraption on my head for only $9.95. Remember this is limited time offer. Operators are standing by to take your orders. Please have your credit cards ready. : )

All kidding aside, it worked. I washed my hair for the first time since my surgery, I didn't drown, and I feel a hundred percent better. One more hurdle overcome by a woman's engineering skills and the sad fact that I will do almost anything this woman asks me to do. : )

Paul Daniels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacations?

Where are you going on your next vacation, or where would you like to go?

 

 

Donna Bronkema - 2000

I just returned from a three week vacation in Florida. I drove there by myself from Michigan . Had a great time with good talking books to listen too. I did find it sort of funny that when I checked into a motel they gave me the handicap room. Did this at several different hotels coming and going. Guess when you have an artifical voice you need a ground floor and a BIG bathroom. Took in a lot of different libraries (I am a 76 year old librarian, work 20 hours a week) Been a lary for 11 years. I was always a talker and my children say I just wore my first voice out. Donna

 


 

Frank Watkins - 1985

Me and my wife are going on an Alaskan cruise in September. First time on a cruise.Been a lary for 28 years now and it took me this long to get up the courage to sign on for such an exciting vacation. Never knew how to swim so the thought always scared me. On top of that neither one of us enjoys flying so another hurdle overcome. Flying from Milwaukee to Seattle. Actually looking forward to it and putting my fears behind me.
Frank Watkins

 


 

Mohan Raj, Bangalore - Mar 2010

I just signed up to attend IAL conference in June in NC. Does that count towards a vacation?

 


 

Terry Duga - partial 1993 & total 1995

I am looking to have a hip replacement this month, so I don't have immediate plans for travel. As much as I would love to take the WW Cruise through Panama, that is not in the cards this year (or next January). I do hope to cruise again; that is probably my favorite form of vacation. Good friends, good food, good entertainment, interesting stops, being pampered. That's the life!

 




Mike Cohn - 2010

I would love to go back to New Orleans. I have spent quite a bit of time there and I love the food, the people and the music. I was also there soon after Katrina helping to rebuild and once with Habitat for Humanity. This trip I will have to skip the hand rolled cigars, Hand Grenades and Hurricanes, but there is always so much to do and see. The city is so alive, as am I.

 


 

Jim Malony & my cabin girl..Dee, Poconos PA - 2005

Good on yea, Jack!

On one (group) tour in Rome, wandered about the Colesseum, as tourists do, and I took an obvious photo-shot of one of those Italians dressed as Roman Gladiators? NAY, they pose-for-$$$ so with his "Plastic" sword drawn, he started over in menacing stride toward me.. Alas, I fled in the safety of our tour groupies! Of all the world's sites we saw.. that IS a must. Awesome.

When In Pisa..I found it a must-do to get a PIZZA.. we found a lovely shop, Older man and his young grand-daughter shop two blocks off the tourist trapline.

We lastly sailed on NCL GEM Venice to Med, Spain, Port in the Azores... surviving an Atlantic storm to NYC. Long wait.

NJ by contrast is a totatlly great alternate port. Our WW cruise Canada went there.. and we were delighted to make
Webbie friends. We SO appreciate WW !  Bon Voyage

 


 

Sherry Rozar, FL - 2006

I just got back from a 3 week backpacking trip through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. I drew quite a few stares and lots of questions, even had locals want to photograph my stoma. I proved to myself that I am not limited by being a lary. I even got to visit and tour the ATM Cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal) in Belize, which has been a dream. You have to swim into the the cave and several other places. It was a challenge and I loved it, but scared the guide and my husband too death. Just really wish I could still dive on Belize's great barrier reef.

Toured the jungles in Guatemala and Belize and ziplined overhead. I even climbed the Great Pyramid in Tikal, Guatemala and witnessed the most magnificent view. Spanish was a challenge, certainly can't roll my r's any longer. Thank goodness everyone in Belize speaks English, it gave me a rest. I feel really blessed and can't wait to go back to Belize this fall for the wet season.

 


 

Barbara Lyver - 2006

Thanks for asking about vacation plans Jack and for sharing your plans. This surely opens my mind for possibilities that I had not thought about.

My husband and I will take an “American Heritage and LDS History” tour this July, a 15 day educational escorted tour, that hopefully will re-educate us on our founding Fathers purpose in creating this great constitution, and learn of the noble and great people who helped establish this great country of ours.

Happy travels to Italy. Looking forward to hearing all about it.




Marilyn Sensabaugh, Walnut Cove, NC - 2005


I am so excited about my next "vacation!" For the first time, since I became a Laryngectomee in 2005, I am able to attend the International Association of Laynctectomees's Voice Institute! For the first few days, I will be there by myself, learning all I can about how I can live this life to the fullest! Then my dear husband will join me on Friday evening and attend the Banquet with me Saturday night! I'm so excited to learn all I can, and to get to know so many of you!

As for other places I'd like to go...well, one day I'd love to go on one of the mission trips to Haiti or Honduras. Not sure that will happen as I'm not sure I could get medical clearance but I'd also love to see Australia and, just for fun, Universal Studios in Florida. Yes, I'm a fan of Harry Potter, I admit it without shame! What a story of endurance in the face of continuing adversity! One last dream is to get back to Connecticut, where I was born, and see some family I haven't seen in decades - as well as just tour the areas we lived when I was a child.

Many blessings to you all and may your dream vacations become a reality!


 

James Sparks, Jax, FL - 2006

Have not ever been on a paid vacation . . but if I could, I would love to ride my Hog in the land of my ancestors. Doubt I'll ever have the funds to get the Ol' Lady, my Harley, and I over to Scotland . . but tis nice to have dreams . . and hope one day they come true, eh?  The Trollman

 


 

Dennis Ewald, Niles, IL - Oct 2010

I am looking forward to once again being able to go to my vacation home in Wisconsin. Haven't gone since last October as I found the humidity was not sufficient even with the humidifier going. My family has been going to this lake for over 40 years and for our 25th wedding anniversary my wife presented me with the title to our vacation home. We've been married 42 years this June and she is my caregiver and soul mate. It was her persistence that made me see the ENT for my foggy voice.back in 2009. Being at our lake house is my ideal vacation. I'm hoping to get there more this summer.

I am learning new ways of adapting to my new world. I work as an auto body technician but now only part time. With the use of the micron filter I am able to do what I love, rebuilding cars. I use an electro larynx to talk but also use the Ultra Voice when not working and am adjusting to the workings of the Ultra Voice. I still find I tire easily after work. Had CT of neck and chest today so am praying all are clear. Read Webwhispers every nite and thank all of you for reassuring me that my symptoms are somewhat normal.

 


 

David Blevins, Virginia Beach,VA - 1998

My summer plans this year include a (hopefully) one-time event and an old familiar one. I will attend the wedding of my oldest daughter in early June. It will be a creative wedding and I am now making a "boutonnière" for myself and brother-in-law out of buttons to honor my older sister who died a year ago. She sewed and was a crafter.

My second trip is my yearly pilgrimage to the IAL Annual Meeting and Voice Institute in Durham, NC. I am convinced that every laryngectomee should attend at LEAST one Annual Meeting. I have also attended two Voice Institutes, my first as a patient (VIP). It was there in Reno, NV that I finally got TEP speech after being given up on by my state's best medicos. Years later I attended a second one as a Laryngectomized Trainee where, I must say, I got some satisfaction from taking and passing the same test the SLPs take to be listed in the IAL's Directory of Alaryngeal Voice Instructors. I hope to see lots of you in Durham, NC!

 


 

Neil Arnold, Mendota Heights, MN - Aug 2011

We are planning to go to Israel the end of October with three other couples. We will travel with our own driver and guide, spending the last day in Petra.

 


 

LLoyd Carroll, El Reno, OK - 2007

This summer, the wife and I, with two other couples, are going to Branson MO April 2 to 6th. We have been going to Branson for several years. The guys fish for 3 days and the girls go shopping in town and we have a great time. We have been to several shows over the years but we usually go to at least one while there.


Then, June 1st to June llth, we are going on a bus trip to Cape Cod & Plymouth ,MA, which I hope will be a great trip. We have been on several bus trips and met some very good people. The trips have always been a lot of fun.


We both love to fish and we fish often in lakes within 100 miles of home.

 



Bob Keiningham - Sep 2008

Since we've already hit 84 degrees in Oklahoma this year, I expect a long, hot summer with enough tornados to keep things interesting, so we plan to head for Vail, Colorado when the first 100 degree day arrives here. We will golf, fish, and lay around until Shirley starts missing our grandkids and makes me drive back here for a week or two. After which, when they get out of school, we'll kidnap some of them and take off for anyplace that's cool for a little sightseeing. We will head back home in time for the birth of our first great-grandchild!

 


 

Wayne Hughes - Dec 2010

 

Before my laryngectomy, my wife and I would go to Bryson City, NC. And ride our horses up in the mountains for 2 weeks a year. We always stayed in a small camper that we rented that was small and cramped. My wife has always wanted a living quarter’s horse trailer. I am an ultra conservative. so much so my friends that helped me tear down a barn recently told everyone I made them straighten the nails in all the lumber to use again. I am not quite that bad but maybe close! At any rate after recovering for 3 months from my operation after 37 years of marriage we purchased a new living quarter trailer.

Now we go for 4 weeks a year but my favorite vacation place is Bryson City NC. While in the hospital and on the feeder tube I wondered and dreamed if I would ever be able to eat and taste a buffalo burger at a restaurant in Bryson called Jimmy Mac’s ever again. During vacation you will find us there for lunch or supper almost every day and YES I can taste and the burgers taste as good as ever if not better.

Then comes the best part riding up in the mountains you see flowers in the spring that are beyond description. Bears, Deer and wild Hogs running wild making each sighting so wondrous. We ride the tunnel to No Where which is a tunnel that is 300 feet or longer that has no lights. And when you enter the tunnel you can barely see light at the other end of the tunnel. A road leads up to the tunnel but after exiting the other end the pavement extends another 200 feet and then it melts into wilderness. The trails up in the mountains go from valleys running along the sides of streams with water falls. You can imagine Indian children swimming and playing on the rocks. Then you ride up high in the mountains and on cloudy drizzly days you actually ride in the clouds. On clear fall days after the trails are covered with leaves and as the sun shines thru the trees down on to the leaves they appear to be paved in gold. Bringing to mind the song that if Heaven isn’t a lot like Dixie, I don’t want to go. I actually took a picture with me to the hospital to look at and I remember thinking if I were to die I wanted to get on my horse in the picture and ride the golden trails to heaven to meet God.


Before the surgery, I was a workaholic and would have never noticed the following. I have been blessed by God with a special wife, friends and so many in the medical field who have showed me so much love and kindness. I would like to thank every one on WebWhispers for their daily posts that have help me realize that there is more to life than work, helping me fight all the problems that are so over whelming in the beginning, the depression, and the panic that happens every time our body changes.

 

Wayne Hughes on horseback in Bryson City, NC

 

 

 


 

Part One may be found at http://webwhispers.org/news/feb2012.asp

Part Two may be found at http://webwhispers.org/news/mar2012.asp

 

May I Help You? - Part Three

THOUGHTS

I did a pretty good job of that during those active years of raising a family and building a business, but over the past twenty years of semi-retirement into full retirement I seem to have pretty much abandoned the processes I once employed to manage my thoughts and I've become a creature of whim and caprice.

My key to managing my thoughts was always built around three primary factors.
(1) My aspirations.
(2) My Goals.
(3) My specific objectives.
I conditioned my mind to think and talk about those three factors so exclusively each day as to provide little space in my mind for random thoughts or observations. It worked!

I became the man I aspired to be. I achieved all the big goals of my life and marched through all my objectives on the way to those goals until I arrived at a point where there was nothing left to talk or think about except what I had done, or what was happening at the moment.

It dawned on me towards the end of last year that I didn't like living that way and I've spent the past three months reflecting on potential new aspirations, goals and objectives that might improve my use of our most limitless resource throughout the remainder of my life.

I'm not "there" yet, but I know I've got to get "there" and once I do, you can bet this vague feeling of wasting my time on meaningless thoughts will become a thing of the past. I want to encourage anyone out there who finds they identify with my problem put all else aside to develop new aspirations, goals and objectives for better management of their most unlimited resource … their ability to "manage" their thoughts.

The way we spend our time influences what we think about and the things we think about influence how we spend our time. I believe it's worth investing more time and thought into improving our use of time and thought.

In my case it's important because it takes a certain amount of time and thought to deal with the challenges of being a seventy-seven year old lary and battling the reality of recurrent prostate cancer successfully since it reappeared in my life last year. But once those jobs are done each day there remains the question I want to resolve before 2012 comes to an end. WHAT IF I LIVE TO BE NINETY … OR A HUNDRED … OR MORE?

I want to change course this year! I'll continue to play the hands I'm dealt, but my time and thought will center on the possibility of this "game" lasting a lot longer, because to my surprise, that is exactly what it has done over the past twenty years of my battles with the big "C". I've lived a lot longer that I had any reason to expect!


Bob Keiningham

 

 

 


 

WebWhispers, Inc.

PO Box 453

Gold Hill, OR 97525

 

Gold Hill! This is the home of the new WebWhispers P.O. Box where we are going to ask that all donations and dinner reservations be sent: PO Box 453, Gold Hill, OR 97525.

It sounds like such a fun place, you might like to visit to so here is what you would find in Gold Hill, Oregon.

First, Sunny Bakken lives right down the road, about 2 miles, over the overpass, cross a narrow bridge and she is there! in this quaint town of 1170, handy to the post office and the Chase Bank.  She writes about it:

The P.O. is at the beginning of town and Chase is in about the middle, not even a half mile!! Think an article said it was about a mile long drive through town. GH does stretch out along the Rogue River going both ways...but the town itself is about a mile, with houses going up along the hillside! Gets busy during the spring/summer months with the activities on the river.

The traffic is brutal....dodging horses, dogs and the ones who hang at the local bar!! There are NO police in the town; they have to come from Central Point about 6-8 miles away. I call the town the Wild Wild West....the self proclaimed "mayor" is a former Hell's Angel, white beard to his chest ( yellow in areas from the beer and cigs), an all around nice guy ( the kind I keep on my side if you know what I mean). Heard his house has bike parts and oil on the floors ... ...gotta love a Harley guy!!

A Figaro pizza joint, Patti's Cafe, which has great down home meals with mismatched coffee cups. I know the bank people by name, the P.O. ladies by name, the people who work in the lil store by name...they have a deli and sometimes I'll get a sandwich for lunch and the lady just says "the same?"

Sunny...lovin' the country life!!

Ed Chapman said he wants to visit when the traffic and pedestrian congestion gets real bad when the Steelhead and Salmon are “running”.

Photos

The Chavner house....registered....looks exactly like that!

 

Love that headstone....

 

Gas station is kinda right in the middle of town

 

House of Mystery

 

Couple more interesting links:

http://www.southernoregon.com/goldhill/index.html

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111124/NEWS/111240310/-1/comm09

 

 

 

 


 

The Funny Side of Cancer

 

I realized I had lost my voice,
"Laryngitis" the general cry.
"Go to the doctors, you have no choice,"
That wisdom, I could not deny.

First Dr. Busk, then Mr. Sharpe,
who told me the astonishing news,
"Spindle Cell Cancer, afraid it's a harp,"
said quietly, giving me clues.

The great man himself, then had a look,
on his tip-toes he peered down my throat.
"Do you tomorrow," as my pulse he took,
and his pen wrote a copious note.

He was as good as his word,
he gave me back life and breath.
Slowly but surely those strange words stirred.
I had side-stepped that premature death.

I now force air through a valve prosthetic,
but only half of it comes out of the mouth.
The words formed are quite pathetic,
the other forced air travels south.

With one’s stomach distended, you’re grotty,
and the passing of wind a disgrace.
In song I could be Pavarotti,
if that valve was in the right place!

"Still Talking" the monthly newsletter in New South Wales, Australia, which serves ten Laryngectomee Clubs in that state, have published my first poem to them and I thought you might like to see it. (Pure nonsense and fun!)

 

 

 

 

Welcome To Our New Members:

 

I would like to extend a "Warm Welcome" to our most recently accepted laryngectomees, caregivers, vendors, and professionals who have joined our WebWhispers community within this past month. There is a great wealth of knowledge and information to be accessed and obtained from our website, email lists, and newsletters. If ever there should be questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to submit them to us from the "Contacts" page of our website.

 

Thanks and best wishes to all,

 

Michael Csapo

VP Internet Activities

WebWhispers, Inc.

 
 

We welcome the 43 new members who joined us during March 2012:

 

Dawn Bice - (Caregiver)
Bremen, IN
Louise Brown
Winston-Salem, NC
Rick Buckles
Lilburn, GA
     
Miriam Campbell - (Vendor)
Pingree Grove, IL
Julia Charsley - (Medical)
London, UK
Davina Cook
Monroe, MI
     
David Cowan
Alberta, CAN
Nick DiBlasi
Philadelphia, PA
Amy Dominski - (SLP)
Eau Claire, WI
     
Jim Ekstrom - (Caregiver)
Reston, VA
Judy Elmore - (Caregiver)
Florala, AL
Laura Elmore - (Caregiver)
Greenville, AL
     
Ray W. Elmore
Florala, AL
Alessio Freeza
Sarasota, FL
John Grundusky
Hawk Run, PA
     
Holly Hess - (SLP)
Charlottesville, VA
Michael Hillman
Newport Beach, CA
Timothy Johnson
Grand Forks, ND
     
George Jones Jr.
Anderson, SC
Tammy King - (Caregiver)
Elcho, WI
Lindsay Laughbon - (Caregiver)
Newport Beach, CA
     
Patrick LeClaire
Fort Worth, TX
Sharon LeClaire - (Caregiver)
Fort Worth, TX
Hai Luu
Newhall, CA
     
Kenneth Martin
Melfa, VA
Bradley Miller
Lincolnwood, IL
Joanne Morris - (Caregiver)
Bristol, TN
     
Joseph Mortz
Ukiah, CA
Jan Potter Reed - (SLP)
Kankakee,IL
Trisha Reinhardt - (Caregiver)
Welch, WV
     
Javier Ricalde
Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico
Evelyn Roberts
Auburn, CA
Kare Roberts - (Caregiver)
Auburn, CA
     
Phyllis Sherrill - (Caregiver)
Cleveland, NC
James W. Simmonds
Vista, CA
Dean Sink
Flora, IN
     
Terri Sink - (Caregiver)
Flora, IN
Raymond Sisk
Bristol, TN
David Smith
Valrico, FL
     
Jackie Tibbs - (Caregiver)
Baltimore, MD
Lou Tibbs
Baltimore, MD
Sue Wheeler - (Caregiver)
Elkhart, IN
     
Tom Wilson
Indianapolis, IN
   

 

 

WebWhispers is an Internet based support group. Please check our home page for information about the WebWhispers group, our email lists, membership, or officers.
For newsletter questions, comments or contributions, please write to editor@webwhispers.org
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Disclaimer:
 
The information offered via WebWhispers is not intended as a substitute for professional medical help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition. The statements, comments, and/or opinions expressed in the articles in Whispers on the Web are those of the authors only and are not to be construed as those of the WebWhispers management, its general membership, or this newsletter's editorial staff.
 
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