January  2007

 


 

 


 

 

Name Of Column Author Title Article Type
News Views Pat Sanders Welcome To 2007 News & Events
News Views Pat Sanders A Limit To Everything News & Events
Voice Points Nancy C Blair MS, CCC-SLP I Married One Education-Med
WebWhispers Columnist Richard Crum Milestones Experiences
My Neck Of The Woods Dennis In Idaho Just Your Basic Plumbing Job Experiences
Between Friends Donna McGary The Comfort Zone Experiences
Vicki's Midnight Train Vicki Eorio That Time Again Experiences
A Scottish Accent Rosalie Macrae Kindness Is A Universal Language Experiences
New  Members Listing Welcome  News & Events

 

 

 

Welcome To 2007

 

2006 was the year for changes. It was a rough year for us as we continued to offer the same WebWhispers services without Dutch Helms, our Founder, who had held us together for years. But, it was a good year in many ways. We had more people step up and volunteer to help.  Everyone opened their wallets and gave generously for the new website. We gained more new members than ever before, right at 400 for the year.

 

We made it through these busy times and now, hopefully, 2007 will be the year for settling in to train and organize our volunteers. Gradually, we will be filling our requirements so that every job has a backup person.  It is a way to be sure the services are here for you and to improve the information available to the next person who joins.

 

 

A Limit To Everything

 

Some things are self-limiting. Our email list has a limit to the number of messages that are acceptable before we get resignations from those who say they cannot handle the mail coming in to their mailboxes. Our VP-Internet Activities, Michael Csapo, is now sending out a response that asks if they really want to give up all membership and he offers alternatives. This is what he is explaining:

 

1. You may choose a Digest Version, which will send only ONE email a day to you, that contains all the messages from that day. It’s easy to scroll through a digest version.

 

2. You may choose the Vacation List that would stop all WebW emails from coming to you but allow you to read any of the list emails in the Archives whenever you wish. Just go to Archives (See the bottom of any WebW email) and use the current password.

 

If you should decide on one of these options, you may switch yourself by following these instructions:

 

The to/from vacation address is:
WebWhispers-vacation@mail-list.com
A blank message from the address you use on WW, if sent to that address, will move you to or from the vacation list.

 

The switch to/from Digest address is:
WebWhispers-switch@mail-list.com
A blank message sent to that address will move you to or from the Digest Version.

 

All issues relating to subscribing, unsubscribing, etiquette, suggestions, or anything relating to the email list should be addressed to Listmgr@webwhispers.org

 

Hope your Holidays were great and our New Year together even better.
 
Pat W Sanders
President
WebWhispers
 

 

 

 VoicePoints     [© 2007 Lisa Proper]
Coordinated by Lisa Proper, MS-CCC-SLP, BC-NCD-A, BRS-S ( proper.lisa@mayo.edu )

 

“I Married One!”

Nancy C Blair MS, CCC-SLP
 
 
 
“I married one!”   It’s an inside joke and an old one at that.  The story behind it is that in a rap session the wife of a new laryngectomee who was struggling to cope listened intently as another member introduced herself and added that she married her husband after his laryngectomy. The struggling spouse exclaimed, “You married one!”  
 
Now I have joined that group not only as the facilitator but as one of the spouses.  I married one and learned the practical side of  life with a person who breathes through his neck, speaks with a prosthesis, swallows a little slowly and occasionally becomes perturbed that life is not quite as easy as it used to be.  I’ve also been enriched by the opportunity to look at everyday events from a new perspective.  I did miss the most devastating features of Charlie’s throat cancer.  I did not suffer the trauma of my husband having a life-threatening diagnosis.  I did not sit in a waiting room unsure of whether or not I would ever have him again. I did not lose the dreams and plans that couples make or just expect from life together.  I know these fears and losses because after a few years together he had quadruple bypass surgery after a minimal stroke.  He recovered completely and is better than ever! 
 
Charlie impressed me from the moment I met him standing outside one of our meeting rooms at the Florida Laryngectomee Association Annual Meeting.  He pretended to have questions about his prosthesis and I pretended to only be interested in how he could best communicate.  A courtship of several months followed and then a wedding.  He was a sneaky fellow who seduced me with unimagined intimacy.  Dancing with him turned into sharing not only the rhythm of his step but the vibration of his voice rumbling in his chest.  He was clever enough to take my hand and hold it in his as he covered his stoma to speak with his prosthesis. The effect was electric!  There are songs and poems written about sharing the beating of hearts but I found it more intimate to share the vibrations of his voice.  We incorporated that unique experience into our wedding vows.  He held my hand in his as he covered his stoma to recite “I Charles…….do take thee….”
 
Now I share the nitty-gritty, day-to-day concessions required by someone who has to eat slowly and needs a lot of liquid to push the food along.  The table is always set with a large glass for water or iced tea and the pitcher is nearby. Snacking at the fair or sampling at the grocery store has to be avoided unless there is a drinking fountain or bottled water nearby.  When Charlie decides to forget the whole business and just take the offered sample of fajita he walks around chewing during the entire shopping trip!  The server in the restaurant is tipped according to how empty the water glass stands and for how long.  Attention has to be given to the selection of food.  Only extremely tender steak is acceptable. Seating is arranged at dinner so Charlie is in the midst of the group where he can be heard but with a close enough exit in case he needs a major cough!  Meals last longer.  So long that sometimes I read part of the newspaper or begin some clean up while Charlie finishes.  The conversation is largely up to me when we are out with friends unless Charlie has had time to swallow thoroughly, avoid a gurgle and jump into the conversation before the topic changes. These are all small annoyances.  He eats almost anything he wants and never opts out of a dinner engagement.  That’s a blessing because it could have been different.
 
That loud, strong voice with the animated Charlie behind it just does not carry in noise or out of doors.  I am the one who steps up at the ballgame and orders the hotdogs and beer.  I lean across the driver to order at the drive-thru window and yet again take the lead in talking through the window at the ticket counter.  But at times we let the listener puzzle for a moment.  Some people seem to assume they will not understand Charlie and look to me to interpret!  No.  That doesn’t work.  I’m silent and they have to turn to him and quickly realize his voice is easy to understand and that he makes a lot of sense.  I’m allowed a few pet peeves and here is one.  Charlie defers telephone conversations to me because he thinks he will be hard to understand but he stands in the background and tells me what to say!  Funny thing is that his voice is so loud and clear that the listener hears him say “tell him…..”.  I end up holding the phone while Charlie talks a few feet away and then I tell him what the other speaker says.  Now that is just crazy!
 
We also have the territory issue.  The bathroom, bathroom closets and dressing area should be mine.  That is not even questionable.  But Charlie has all this stuff!  Stoma covers, extra prosthesis, magnifying mirrors, long tweezers, hands-free valves, stoma buttons, stuff to clean everything,  Alcohol pads, adhesives, hydrogen peroxide, suction machine (you never know!), spare artificial larynx, batteries, “how to” pamphlets, prosthesis changing kit, samples of every stoma cover available and extras of all the above.  Our cupboards are full of his things.  This was the most unkind cut of all!   Even the linen closet took on the laryngectomee look.  Charlie has stacks of white washcloths and hand towels so he can wipe his neck, dump it in his designated dirty towel receptacle and not worry about me picking up the towel to dry my hands or face and finding a less than inviting surprise.   The white allows for bleaching. This arrangement also makes me happy.  I do have extra duty cleaning the mirrors where an unexpected cough spreads farther than he has thought and sometimes the handles of the sink where wiping his stoma has transferred from his hands-yuck!  
 
I have forgotten many times that Charlie lives with different requirements for breathing and speaking.  That loud, shrill cough first thing in the morning is always shocking.  My first reaction is alarm. I don’t immediately recall that he has no way to muffle it- that the sound is “normal”.  I’ve been known to be offended when he goes silent during a phone conversation only to discover that he had a momentary lapse of voice for one of several legitimate reasons.  I still have not learned to ask anything other than “yes or no” questions when his hands are occupied with tools, dirty while working in the garden, covered with chemicals while spraying the lawn or warding off our playful puppy.  I’m surprised when the clerks at our local stores recognize him.  He doesn’t spend that much time shopping!  It only occurs to me later that his manner of talking makes him memorable.
 
Charlie has not forgotten that he is a laryngectomee.  He has adapted to the changes.  He absolutely never complains about any part of it except the neck dissection and radiation that left him with a tight and sometimes painful neck.  He only regrets that he cannot participate in “small talk”.  He can’t seem to get into a conversation quickly enough.  The slight delay in voicing allows others to jump in ahead of him. He does think he would have bought a boat and still might have if I could have survived the fear of him being on the water!  He does swim with his thumb plugging his stoma but water sports have never been very important to him so that is not much of a loss.   He blows bubbles for the grandkids by holding the bubble wand in front of his stoma—a real treat for all of us!  The little ones have each in turn tried to talk like grandpa by putting their fingers on their necks and growling out a few words.  We use sign language in our family and Charlie’s name sign is an index finger to the throat.
 
I know a lot about rehabilitation for persons who have had their larynx removed.  I know about stoma care, prostheses, amplification, stoma buttons, artificial larynges, and breathing, modified telephones, swallowing problems and I know the myriad variations of each.  Now I am learning what they mean to the person who lives with them.
 
The fact that Charlie doesn’t have a larynx doesn’t count for much.  It is just one of those things that is particular to my husband.  The laryngectomy does not define the person.  The person defines the laryngectomee.   I won in all respects when  “I married one”. 
 
Nancy C Blair MS, CCC-SLP works as a Speech-Language Pathologist for the Barrett Outpatient Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Clinic of Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, FL.  Her BS is from Purdue University and MS is from University of South Florida.  She has worked with “FLA” for 20 years.
 

 

 

   WebWhispers Columnist
                                                                                  
Contribution from a Member
 

 

Milestones

by Richard Crum, Jeffersonville, IN


I had my laryngectomy in July of 1988. Boy, it seems like a long time ago. I have met so many wonderful people over the years and have had the opportunity to travel to great places. In thinking back over the last 18 years, there were several important milestones that stand out for me.

The first happened three days after my surgery. I managed to crawl out of bed and make it to the bathroom with my IV pole. As I stepped into the bathroom, I saw myself for the first time in the mirror. I remember staring at the mirror thinking that this was what I would see for the rest of my life. Needless to say it made quite an impression on me. I remember thinking, "How am I going to deal with what is happening to me?"

At the time I was an auctioneer working several auctions each week. I would call bids for 6 to 8 hours straight and I knew that with a hole in my neck and no voice I had a problem. The days in the hospital went quickly and I returned home from the hospital on a Friday. On Monday my son and I signed three auctions. Three weeks after my surgery we sold 9 houses in one day. This was another day I remember vividly. My son was 18 at the time and I was still using an electro larynx. I felt so helpless but I was determined that I would find a way to get back into the swing of things.

About 4 weeks after coming home from the hospital I had learned enough esophageal speech that I put away the electro larynx. I had been learning all I could but this was before Web Whispers and there was very little support available. I determined that if I was going to get back into the swing of things, I needed better speech.

I had my surgery at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and my speech therapist was Dennis Fuller. I called him, from where I live in Southern Indiana and asked about the TEP in early September. He told me that I should wait 6 months after the laryngectomy before having the TEP. I told him that I did not have that much time and I wanted to do it the first of October. After much persuasion he agreed and scheduled the TEP for the second week in October.

I was chairman of the Indiana Auctioneers Assn. Annual Meeting the first week of November. I introduced each speaker and would rush up to my room and change my base plate come back and introduce the next speaker. By the beginning of 1989, the auction business was gearing up for the spring season. I had started doing appraisals as my contribution to the business.

I had an illness in 1990 that was totally unrelated to the larynx cancer. I was bedridden for several months. This gave me time to plan on what I should do with the rest of my life. I was 47 at the time and felt that I had dodged the bullet several times and that there surely was a reason for this.

I went to the IAL meeting in Winnipeg Canada in 1991. At that time, I approached Inhealth about working for them as a consultant. They seemed like good people and I felt that I could be of help to their company, as well as helping other laryngectomy patients. I tried contacting them several times after that meeting but I could not seem to get their attention. I had been a salesman all my life and I knew that I had something to offer.

In May of 1992 there was a price war with the airlines and fares were cheap. I called Inhealth on Monday and asked if they were going to be in their office the following Friday. We set up the time, I purchased an airline ticket, and arrived at LAX airport, rented a car, and drove to Santa Barbara. I had prepared a 21 page résumé listing of what I could do for them and by 2:00 pm we had an agreement. Since that time I have attended over 150 meetings and conventions representing Inhealth.

I am a much better person because of my laryngectomy. The people that I have met, the places I have been, and the experiences I have had have enriched my life. I do not consider myself as a “lary”, I am a person who has had a laryngectomy. I do not consider myself as a “survivor”. I am an ordinary guy that hit a bump in the road and went on with my life.

After my laryngectomy I learned that there is no future in giving up. It is living through the tough times that we find our true strength.
 

 

 

Just Your Basic Plumbing Job

 
 
When I was told I had cancer in my neck, I didn't realize how easy it would be for me to understand what was needed to save my life.

 

When the doctors said "laryngectomy", I said, "What? What is that?" We were told the primary tumor was on my voice box. So they would remove my voice box and I would have a hole in my neck to breath through. They said if everything went well, I could have a TEP installed in my throat that would allow me to talk.

 

We were given a book called Self Help For The Laryngectomee and sent home to think about it. After crying, getting mad, asking "why me?" and trying to deal with all the other thoughts that shot through our minds, I remembered the book.

 

After the initial shock wore off and I looked through it, I realized this was my only chance of living past 52 years old. My father died of cancer at 59 years old and I thought he was young. Now I was 7 years younger facing the same thing.

 

A year before I had gone through three rounds of chemo and 37 IMRT radiation treatments. I understood the theory of how these treatments might work and I also was told all the damage they might do to my body. But, there was a lot of maybe it will damage this and maybe it will kill this and maybe, maybe, maybe. As disappointing as it was to be told about needing a laryngectomy, this surgery made perfect sense to me.

 

You see, after being in the plumbing and pipefitting industry for 35 years, I could see they were going to remodel the plumbing in my throat, to cut the cancer out!

 

I had installed oxygen and vacuum lines in hospitals. So I understood how the suction and oxygen lines worked. When I got back home, I bought a portable suction machine. ($250.00) I felt if this is how I'm going to live out my life then I wanted the luxury of having one to help keep my stoma clean.

 

When the TEP was explained to me, I said, "It's a check valve. I have installed 100's of them on water lines". A check valve is like a piece of pipe with a disc in it that will open when pressure runs through it in one direction and will close when pressure tries to go the other direction. So when the disc in our TEP gets dirty with anything, it will not seal and leaks.

 

Now the joke at home and at work is I have a check valve in my neck. When it leaks, I can say my check valve is leaking and everyone understands. If it gets stuck and I can't talk, I just say my check valve is clogged up.

 

Have you heard of the old saying when someone is choking, "it went down the wrong pipe?" That doesn't happen to Larys anymore unless they have a TEP. I also learned that after I eat, if I bend over or lay down the food tries to flow out of my stomach. Back to basic plumbing.

 

Before they cut out our voice box, the vocal cords, in addition to giving us our voicing mechanism, also worked like a flapper type valve to direct the air into our lungs and our food into our stomach. As we all know, now we have one pipe that goes straight to our lungs and one pipe that goes straight to our stomach.

 

Just like we have to be careful not to let anything fall into our stoma, because it goes straight to our lungs, we also need to understand that when we put something into our stomach, there is no valve in that pipe to hold the food down in our stomach.

 

When they do a laryngectomy on some one, they cut out the complex piping system in our throat and leave us with a simple two-pipe system. So when I became a Lary, it was easier for me to understand what this surgery did to my body by just thinking of it as remodeling the plumbing in my neck.

 

Dennis in Idaho
 

 

 


 
 BETWEEN FRIENDS          Donna McGary
                                     "That which does not kill us makes us stronger"
 

 

The Comfort Zone

 
 
I have noticed an intriguing dichotomy in the cultural blather of late. Or perhaps it is only just recently that I have become aware of the effect this particular schism has had on me. As we start a new year and the dreaded resolutions issue raises its hoary head, I find I am paralyzed by my comfort zone.

 

On the one hand we have the school of thought that tells us, it's OK to set boundaries, know your limits, accept your body type, take time for yourself, re-think priorities, pursue your dream, find your bliss, I'm OK, You're OK, keep a journal, take a nap, stop and smell the roses....breathe. I like this voice.

 

However, there is another voice and it is just as insistent. It says, be all that you can be, arm yourself with information, fight back, stand up and be counted, vote your conscience, think globally, act locally, no limits, no boundaries, just do it and get a real BowFlex body...breathe harder. I admire this voice.

 

These two voices do not get along. Actually they are sparring for control, as we speak. Miss Bliss says, in low dulcet tones, "Water the plants, play with the cats, visit your neighbor and bring him some homemade soup and then write your column for WotW". Mr. BowFlex barks, "Get off your butt, you wuss...write the column, NOW. The cats are fine. The neighbor is, too. Get to work". That is just the first of his directives.

 

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am fair to a fault. So it should be easy to see why I am paralyzed. They are both right....and, of course, wrong. Life is like that, isn't it. Whether you are a lary or not.. it is a mystery we spend all of our days trying to decipher.

 

I first wrote a "puff piece" for this month's column. It was going to be in early and it was, predictably, about New Year's Resolutions, but it was "wicked lame", as we say here in Maine. That means really bad, like a groaner, bad. But it was inside my comfort zone. It was warm and fuzzy and predictable with just a bit of sass. It was horrible. And it got me thinking.

 

When I was a new mother, 30 years ago, I wanted, most of all, for my son to be strong and self-confident. I thought of little lion cubs who venture from their mother to explore but know they can always come back to a safe haven. I still think that is a good model for parenting, and it occurs to me now, personal growth.

 

My kittens are endlessly entertaining and my neighbor loves an audience for his stories, but I think I have become too comfortable in the den. I was such a fighter...is it possible I have lost my steam?

 

Of course you have, you silly goose. That's the whole point of this, isn't it?! Everybody does at some point. The true test is whether you pick up the pieces and try to re-build. We are not all Lance Armstrong. We are not all that resilient. Some of us struggle and out victories are measured in pretty small steps, but they are no less significant.
So right this minute, as I struggle to juggle a cat and a computer, I must smile. My comfort zone expands and contracts like the tides. If we push on one side it gives way on another.

 

Just like breathing
 

 

 

 

 

That Time Again!!!!

Vicki Eorio

The New Year is almost here and of course we are obligated to make resolutions; otherwise, the New Year Resolution Patrol will find us.
We all do it every year and we all have the best of intentions because, of course, it is New Years!!!!!
I have my usual:
 
Lose weight
This resolution is about 25 years old and I have yet to meet it. But for at least three to four weeks, I am as good as gold. I read e-diets on the WEB, I cut down on carbs, I snack on carrots (just how many can you eat of those before you turn yellow?), I scour my recipes for low fat meals (although I seldom cook in the evenings during the week because I am too tired), I smile graciously at co-workers who offer goodies, saying, “No, no, I just couldn’t”, and feel so righteous about my self discipline. The scale does not move. In fact, my weight continues to go in the opposite direction. So since it doesn’t move, why eat any more of those horrible little carrots? Pizza has nutrients, doesn’t it?

Exercise
This resolution is only about 10 years old. Before I had cancer and while I had a complete thyroid, weight was no problem. I could also walk up stairs without huffing and puffing. Energy galore. I even finished projects and stayed up past 9 PM! So when the switch flipped somewhere in my body, everyone told me if I would just exercise, all would be well. So I invested in a stationary bike which now the cats love. The seat is just right for them to curl up on and watch for anyone coming through the basement door. The ab cruncher might be in the garage or it might be in the basement. Somehow lost track of it when we moved four years ago. The stretch bands are neatly on a hook and another one is on the coat hook in my office. Periodically we clean the cob webs from them. The Weight Lifting for Dummies book is next to the “5 pound” weights on the tool shelf in the basement. The leashes purchased to take the dog for long walks are on the coat rack in the living room. The only times they are used are when Annie won’t go out in the rain and needs to be walked to the end of the driveway and back but my brain is exercised keeping track of these items.
 
Get organized
In my makeshift office, I have green hanging folders, white folders, a label maker, a replacement for the tape in the label maker (which has not been used so no need for a replacement), plastic boxes from Target in which to put the files (but all receipts are in shoe boxes in the bottom of the closet waiting to be sorted into those lovely folders that have yet to be labeled), boxes stacked for old books to be given away but there might be one book in that group that I might want to read (because I have so much time to read, Ha!). I have old clothes but, remember, I am going to exercise and lose weight so I can’t afford to get rid of those clothes because, for sure, in 2007 I will be wearing them again. There is a calendar of birthdays so I remember birthdays but you have to enter the birthdays first, a long list called “To Do” on my PC but I have to find it and access it first, and this calendar is along side of a huge notebook of recipes cut out of magazines but never even organized as to type. Don’t forget the table full of craft materials that I am going to use to do decoupage and frame pictures, along with a huge stack of garden ideas because I am going to buy a plant a week next year to brighten up the front yard.

• Clean, I mean REALLY clean
Clean like I use to. One room at a time, top to bottom, every nook and cranny. One room each weekend until complete. But then there are other things to do like read the newspaper, take a nap (I deserve it, has been a long week), answer emails, write this article, make lists, clean out my purse, watch a movie (so I can keep current in discussions at work, you know, team building and all that). Besides, we have little if any company and I have discovered how easy it is to ignore all of the obsessive cleaning tendencies I used to exhibit. However, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the other direction.
So here we are, on the eve of 2007 and what to do. I am skipping “be kind, patient, etc”. because those should not be “resolutions”; they should be our lifestyle. I also believe my resolution should not be specific to being a lary or having had cancer. It should deal with me, as a person.
 
Here are my resolutions for this year:
1. I resolve to be realistic in my expectations of myself and others.
2. I resolve not to hold myself to an impossible standard that may be based on over compensating for my disability  since everyone has one whether it is obvious or not..
3. I resolve to start to recognize and acknowledge my skills and to be proud of what I have accomplished.
4. I resolve to never apologize for my limitations or my method of communicating.
5. I resolve to never take anything for granted, from my health status to my ability to arrive home safely everyday from the Atlanta traffic.
6. I resolve to be more demonstrative in word, action, or writing of my gratefulness to my family and my friends for their caring, acceptance, and support.
7. I resolve to perform at least one random act of kindness a week (my favorite is to pay the toll for the person behind me, they are so confused!).
8. I resolve to forgive myself when I stumble.
9. I resolve to continue to pray for all of us and for peace and for God’s blessings on all who need it.
 

 

 

 

 

Kindness Is A Universal Language

 

 

When my children were very young, through various circumstances, which will make a great book when lots of people are not around to litigate, they spoke English, French, Spanish and German equally well. Oh and Scots dialect, too. They automatically changed languages to fit the situation.

 

When they were being very polite and asking Daddy for the butter, please, it was English; when they were admiring sunsets and nice clothes and trying to look appealing to get things, it was French; when they were being a pain in the neck to their Spanish nanny it was a strong Madrid twang; and when they were having a real ding-dong fight it was conducted in German. Oh and when it was being cuddly with myself it was in genuine Brigadoon speak which they did better than my namesake Gordon. Och aye.

 

I mention this only because I find I have developed, without being aware, a way of talking to other larys, which seems the most natural, unforced and honest way of expressing myself. I can be me. I don't need to pretend, to shelter them from the grey thoughts I hide from even my nearest and dearest.

 

This newly evolved, uncontrived laryspeak revealed itself to me this week when I was going through my Christmas cards before posting them. The messages to family and friends were loving and chatty and cheerful, and just said I was much better now and putting on a bit of weight. They would say to each other that Rosalie was getting back to normal and shouldn't they invite her again and not take any excuses this time...

 

But in a card to someone I didn't even know a year ago, now a soulmate in another lary group, I had written, "I fluctuate from wild despair at losing my voice to utter amazement at the niceness of nearly everybody I meet."

 

I could not remember deliberately writing that. All my greetings to fellow larys were in the same vein. I wondered if I should throw them away and write normal ones. No. That would not be right. They would understand. They would know just what I meant about this niceness. This huge unexpected spring of generosity from strangers, which had, perhaps, surprised them, too. Always spontaneous and warm and welcome in the sometimes confusing world of the laryngectomee.

 

Take this morning, a chill December day. I found most of the books I wanted to buy for presents in a funny little shop where they still closed between 1 and 2 for lunch. Amazon can get by without me at this time of year. Keep the small shops open. Down with the oligarchs of the shopping malls. But I am wandering off subject as dear editor Donna would remind me, sharpish.

 

So there am I, laden down with teenage advice tomes and travels in search of Truth and lusty tales by Chaucer (he would have been BANNED today, but the distance of 670 years makes it alright). I stagger into a small supermarket where they don't know me. I crave a shot of Lindt chocolate for the drive home, pick up a bar from the confectionery shelf and take it to the checkout with some birdseed and cream cheese.

 

"How much is that?" I ask the girl, passing over a £20 note--about $40, and apologize for having nothing smaller. She hears this new EL sound, looks a bit stunned, and leaps off, telling me to stay there. The queue mutters to itself.

 

She returns, laughing. "Sorry everybody. Just remembered Lindt's on special offer. Just arrived in the back and not unpacked yet". And Delia, name on button, thrust a 2-for-1, in my shopping bag and told me I was amazing and she understood every word.

 

That's just one small example. But you, as larys, will know how touched I was. To everybody else, if they ask, I will say I found the books I wanted and was glad to get home for a hot cup of tea to wash down the Lindt I had found on special offer.

 

Footnote:
If YOU have any special examples of niceness out there in that funny old world, send them to next month's Whispers on the Web. Go on—see yourself in print!

 

Editor's note:
This a great idea! "My Neck of the Woods" is the perfect place to post your stories of Random Acts of Kindness. Even if you just have a short paragraph or two we could include a compilation from several different members. Just send them to editor@webwhispers.org. Everybody appreciates a bit of good news.
Donna
 

 

Welcome To Our New Members:

 
I would like to welcome all new laryngectomees, caregivers and professionals to WebWhispers! There is much information to be gained from the site and from suggestions submitted by our members on the Email lists.
 
Pat Sanders, WW President
 
 
We welcome the 24 new members who joined us during December 2006:
 

Abed Attieh (SLP)
Amman, Jordan
Jeffrey Battaglia
Montague, NJ
Marusya Bociurkiw - (Caregiver)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
     
Sandy Book
Dillsburg, PA
Betty Brannan
Beulaville, NC
Patricia Burgoyne
Wolfeboro, NH
     
James Culbertson (SLP)
Brownsville, TX
Ted Edwardsen
Cologne, MN
Alden Estabrook
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
     
Susan J. Fisk
Asheville, NC
Norbert Fruehuaf
New York, NY
Donnie W. Gray
Denton, TX
     
Robert J. Edwards
Harris, MN
Robert L. Hickman Jr.
Virginia Beach, VA
Steven Israel
Hampton, FL
     
Roger L Kuhlman
Grand Ledge, MI
Valerie Linane - (SLP)
Arcadia, CA
Mailani Martin
Lubbock, TX
     
John Philip Morris
Coeur d'Alene, ID
Terri Schulte
Crestview Hills, KY
V. P. Sinha
Bhilai, Chattisgarh, India
     
Heather Stebeck - (SLP)
Victoria, BC, Canada
Michael D. Stewart
Nashville, TN
Barry Wharton - (Caregiver)
Tampa, FL
     

 

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