October 2012




Name Of Column Author Title Article Type
News Views Pat Sanders Letter From Eva Eulogy
VoicePoints Caryn F Melvin PhD CCC-SLP Empowerment & Success Education-Med
Between Friends Donna McGary This Lary Life Commentary
Speaking Out Members Whose Life To Honor? Opinion
Travel with Larys Enochs/Olsavicky Photo Archives Photos
The Speechless Poet Len A Hynds Battle Of Waterloo Prose & Poetry
Webmaster Memories Of Len Travel With Librizzis Photos
Bits, Bytes & No Butts! Frank Klett Best Things In Life Are Free Computers


INDEX AND LINKS TO EACH ISSUE MAY BE FOUND AT: http://webwhispers.org/news/WotWIndex.asp








Letter from Eva


Dear Pat,

Thank you so much for your kind words and empathy. We are all so broken hearted, but I try to find comfort in realizing what an amazing father he was and how lucky I had him as my dad. I truly appreciate you reaching out. Below I copied the eulogy I gave at his funeral. You are welcome to share it with his friends if you like. Thanks again. It has been remarkable hearing from so many of my dad's friends about what a special person he was. Sincerely - Eva


Leonard Librizzi
12/3/1941 - 8/22/2012

My Dad was a man of few words, but many text messages. He loved his family with his whole being and I will get to that but wow, technology was sure a passion, and he was always excited for the latest and greatest. Growing up, we heard the story about him and my mom being the first ones on the block with a microwave oven and friends would come over and huddle around to watch chicken cook through the microwave window. When I was a kid listening to my albums and cassette tapes I remember he went out and bought something called a DVD player, I never thought that would catch on. We had one of the first Apple home computers when everyone was still using typewriters. He was always on the cutting edge of tv’s, iphones, apple computers, networking, high speed internet connections, tablets and more. He shared this passion with us, as he would give my kids his “cast off” devices as soon as a new one was available. I still question why a 4 year old needed his own iphone, when I myself was still using an “old school” flip phone, but “father knows best.”

While my Dad’s body was continually in “breakdown” mode in some way or another, his brilliant mind, faithful spirit and generous and gracious heart more than made up for it.

My dad was honestly the smartest person I ever knew. As an electrical engineer, he had this very logical and systematic way of thinking and processing. He could solve ANY puzzle. For example when were kids we would time him solving rubix cubes and we would get excited when he would shave seconds off his already amazing time. More recently, we told my father we got lost in a corn maze for over an hour. He looked at us incredulously and blurted out the secret to get out of any corn maze. I don’t want to ruin it for you all, but if you want to know the secret ask me later. He taught my children chess, and now I cannot win. I know when they beat me, that he will be smiling down.

He was a faithful man, who turned to prayer for peace and guidance. He was an active member in his church back on Long Island and during his battle with cancer and other ailments, prayer and his faith I know brought him strength.

His heart was so big. And while he was generous and kind to a great many people, his devotion to his family was remarkable. It was this love for us: Me, Dan, Ali, Mike, Gavin, Andrew, Harry, Aunt Rose and especially my mom that I believe kept him going far longer than his body really should have lasted. That unconditional love I am so grateful for, and will miss.

His grandsons brought him so much joy and vice versa. They loved their special “grampy camp” when they got to sleep over at his apartment and play games, watch movies, and eat breakfast for dinner if they wanted to. He also shared his love of travel with them and we will cherish the memories of going on vacation with him and looking at all the pictures of him and my mom’s travels across 6 continents, only missing Africa in their goal to travel to each one.

And his love, patience and devotion for my mom was a model for which I will strive. My dad was my friend and role model in many ways. He made me feel special and loved. I think he made many people feel that way with his gentle manner, his playful smile and his generous spirit.

Also, if you knew my dad, you know he had the worry gene. If he wasn’t worried about something or someone he wasn’t happy. This worry I know was his intense love and care for us all. It may seem cliché to say that he lived for his family, but in his case I think it was true. And I know as he watches over us, he is proud and happy and doesn’t have to worry anymore.

Eva Tomasco



In 1998, Len's daughter, Eva Tomasco designed the WebWhispers logo that we use till this day.

Everything you are looking at was set up into our empty new website in 2006 by Len Librizzi (with me learning to use the new Contribute with Len as tutor).  I cannot honor him and the work he did for us enough.  You do that each and everytime you use the website that we set up and Len kept updated and working.

Pat W Sanders
WebWhispers President




Empowerment and Success in Laryngectomy Rehabilitation:

Suggestions for Assisting Clients and Their Families.
Caryn F. Melvin, PhD CCC-SLP
Medical Speech-Language Pathologist


Defining quality of life (QoL)is a challenge as it is multidimensional and unique to each of us. As speech-language pathologists we logically approach QoL from a speech and swallowing standpoint. Excellent tools have been developed such as the Performance Status Scales (List 1996) and the MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (Chen et al 2001) to assist clinicians and clients in understanding functional status and QoL as it pertains to communication and swallowing.

Certainly speech and swallowing are important for our clients and the main focus of rehabilitation as a speech-language pathologist. These are easily measured changes, quantitative in nature, and speak to efficacy of treatment. However, clinicians who work with laryngectomy clients and their families know that successful rehabilitation consists of more than success with communication and swallowing. We are witness to states of affect, poor self-esteem, issues with bodily image, marital and family discord, as well as difficulties with job and finances. There is a growing focus on understanding and measuring these more qualitative, psychological aspects associated with head and neck cancer (Vilaseca et al 2006, Gritz et al 1999, Bjordal and Kaasa, 1995). Understanding and measuring these more elusive aspects of QoL is an important step. The question then becomes, once identified, how do we assist our clients and their families with these non-speech issues?

Although most speech-language pathologists are not trained psychologists or counselors, much of the counseling with regard to these more qualitative aspects of rehabilitation falls squarely in our lap. As clinicians we are dedicated to helping our clients return to their live. Yet we are not necessarily armed with the tools to assist our clients and their families. This is not to say that rehabilitation programs are not successful, that clients receive substandard care and do not go on to lead happy, productive lives. However, some of our clients and their families need more to assist them in achieving the best QoL. Adding techniques borrowed from the field of counseling to the speech therapy session can be beneficial not only for the client and their family but for the clinician as well. Having the tools needed to address issues beyond speech and swallowing can relieve frustration in the clinician who may have otherwise felt helpless to address issues beyond their scope of practice. This is not to say that the speech-language pathologist can replace mental health professionals. But rather we can respond to affect more appropriately, ease concerns and validate feelings in a more therapeutic and helpful way, always referring to mental health when warranted.

Counseling or counseling techniques are not a separate facet of the speech therapy session. It is not something to be done before or after working on speech and swallowing goals. Rather it is a framework for the therapy session, a way of sitting with and responding to your clients and their family. A change in the way you perceive your clients and guide them along the road to recovery and back to their lives. Beginning to incorporate counseling technique into clinical practice is easily done. The following five suggestions may prove helpful as you begin to create a different type of therapeutic atmosphere in therapy sessions.

1. Create an atmosphere of listening, valuing and acceptance
2. Enlist family members as co-workers
3. Provide information only as requested whenever possible
4. Develop a set of possible therapeutic responses
5. Validate affect appropriately.

Traditionally speech-language pathology has followed a medical model for practice. The medical model does not necessarily view the client as a partner in the rehab process. Leuterman 1996, refers to counseling within the medical model as “counseling by persuading.” “I as the professional have all of this information and experience. You as the client are ignorant of so many things that you need to know; therefore, I can make a better decision for you than you can make for yourself.” This method of counseling is disempowering, confirming our clients feelings of confusion and inadequacy resulting in low self-esteem and poor QoL. Leuterman suggests a different approach, counseling by listening and valuing. By listening and valuing the client and their family are looked upon as a partner in the rehabilitation process, able to make good decisions. This method of counseling fosters empowerment, resulting in clients who are able to work through the many challenges associated with laryngectomy. Creating an atmosphere in which clients and their families feel valued is essential to successful rehab. Partnering with clients, understanding their needs and specific issues and concerns is key. Certainly there are topics and goals that need to be addressed in therapy. As speech-language pathologists we understand that certain topics need addressing, patients need a way to communicate, stoma care and precautions need to be addressed for safety sake and we have a protocol for moving our clients through these goals in a timely, efficient way. Our client’s goals are just as important and when addressed let them know that they have a say in their rehabilitation.

Enlisting family members as co-workers is essential in fostering empowerment. Family members struggle with understanding the aspects of communication and care as much as the client. Vocabulary, tubes, devices, stoma care, sounds and physical changes are a challenge for family members and often can leave them feeling helpless, not knowing how to care for their loved one (Salmon 1999). Spouses in particular can struggle as they learn a new way to be with and care for their loved one. Couples who have been together for years have always known how to care for and comfort each other and now the landscape has changed, abruptly, unwelcomed and permanently. Bringing family into therapy sessions allows for teaching, sharing of ideas and concerns, observation of relationships and reactions that are invaluable for both the clinician and the client and family members.

Providing information and education only as requested whenever possible is a challenge. As professionals we have a wealth of information we are eager to share. Shared inappropriately or at the wrong time can have a negative impact on the rehab process. Clients will typically ask the questions they need to at the moment they need the information. If we offer information they did not ask for we are not listening to their needs at that moment. Not listening sends the message that they are not valued. The well-intended information may be overwhelming and confusing at that moment and fuel the feeling of loss of control.

If clients are not asking questions throughout the therapy process it may be they do not know where to begin. Giving your clients information they can take home and look through or watch on DVD can be a springboard to those conversations you need to have with your client, topics you need to cover. Asking your client and any family members in attendance, “What do you need to know?” at the start of each session will provide the opportunity for them to ask questions that make sense at the time for them. If family members are in attendance they too should have an opportunity to be asked this same question. Explain that each of them may need something different and that is very normal. We are all different, all progress at different paces and our needs at any given time are unique. Asking the very simple question, “What do you need to know?” and addressing only that need, assures clients and families they are listened to and have some control over their rehab. Control is empowerment and points our clients and their families toward a better QoL.

Encouraging participation of family members in their loved ones therapy allows for them to part of decision making. When they are part of the decision making they feel valued, empowered and will typically support the decision. For example, as artificial larynx devices (ALD) are being considered, family members present can indicate which device is easier to understand, giving feedback to the client in order to arrive at a decision that is best for all. As a method of speech is being learned and mastered, talk about communication breakdowns and how they would like to approach communication repair. How many times should the client try to communicate with their ALD before they resort to writing their message? When everyone is part of the decision making process frustration is minimized and feelings of empowerment and control continue to grow. Clients and their families begin to see that although not always easy, they can work together to make good decisions and they are in control of their healing and recovery.

Addressing affect in session is often uncomfortable for clinicians, clients and family members. Much of this discomfort stems from our belief that there are ‘good emotions” and ‘bad emotions’. When all emotions are viewed as necessary tools in the healing process we no longer see them as good or bad. Clients and family members often communicate that they equate displays of emotion with weakness. Assuring them that an emotional response to catastrophic events such as laryngectomy is normal can give them to permission to express what they are feeling. Reminding all family present that everyone’s healing journey is different is essential. One family member may be angry, while another is confused and the client may be experiencing guilt. This is normal. We don’t all experience the same emotions at the same time. Encourage understanding of the differences and remind clients and their family members that healing is not a hierarchical process. We don’t experience one emotion, graduate to the next and leave the previous ones behind. Feelings of guilt may seem to be worked through when months later they resurface. That is the nature of healing and the emotions we experience while we heal.

Developing a set of therapeutic responses is helpful when addressing affect of clients and their families in the therapy session. How we respond to emotional expression can either hinder healing or move it along. For example consider this statement from a client, “I’ll never be any good at esophageal speech. And I hate that buzz box!” How would you respond to that statement? There are several options depending on the client and where they are in the rehab process. Certainly a typical way of responding is the content response where we would schedule additional therapy to continue working on esophageal speech and perhaps give them written information on learning esophageal speech. However, people will often say one thing and mean another. Maybe a content response is not the most therapeutic, helpful response. There are alternative ways to respond to our clients. Choosing the most appropriate response can facilitate healing and result in better rehab outcomes. Consider the following alternative responses to that same statement.

Counter question – “What happened that makes you think you’ll never learn?”

This is a facilitative response that places the ball in the client’s court, inviting them to share what the problem really is. It is a safe response that facilitates resolution and therapeutic movement.

Commenting – “You sound so frustrated. And you’ve put so much work into learning esophageal speech. I hate to see you give up.”

This response supports their beliefs without challenge. It is validating and caring and provides a nonjudgmental atmosphere where they can feel safe in expressing the real issue.

Reframing – “You know it really does take time to perfect esophageal speech. I wonder if you would be willing to share your story/frustrations at the next meeting. I know others have had a similar struggle and you may all benefit from hearing each other’s stories.”

Timing of this response is essential. It is best used with those clients who have been in therapy for some time and a more seasoned. It encourages responsibility and also sends a message that they can solve this for themselves.

Sharing self – “Learning something new is always hard. I remember when I was learning (fill in the blank) it was very difficult. I felt like giving up sometimes. “

Sharing responses remind clients that they you are human, that as humans we all face struggles. Sharing can strengthen the client – clinician relationship but should only be used if you are comfortable revealing personal information. If you do share a personal story it should be brief and take care not to let the session become about you.

As clinicians working with laryngectomy clients and their families we want the best possible outcomes for all concerned. We strive to provide the best possible environment for healing while helping our clients and their families learn the ins and outs of laryngectomy. By adding a few different tools to our therapeutic tool box, partnering with and empowering our clients we can begin to address not only the quantitative aspects of care but also address, within our scope of practice, the qualitative aspects that result in a truly improved QoL.

Bjordal,K and Laasa, S. (1995), Psychological distress in head and neck cancer patients 7-11 years after curative treatment. British Journal of Cancer, 71, 592-97.
Chen, A.Y., Frankowski, R., Bishop-Leone, J., Herbert, T., Leyk, S., Lewin, J., Goepfert, H. (2001) The development and validation of a dysphagia specific quality of life questionnaire for patients with head and neck cancer. Archives of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 127(7) 870-876.
Graham, M.S. (1997). The Clinician’s Guide to Alaryngeal Speech Therapy . Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Gritz, E.R., Carmack, C.L., deMoor, C., Coscarelli, A., Schacherer, C.W., Meyers, E.G., Abemayor, E. (1999) First year after head and neck Cancer: Quality of life. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Vol 17 no 1 352.
List, M.A., Ritter-Sterr, C., Lansky, S.B. (1990) A performance status scale for head and neck cancer patients. Cancer, 66:564-569
Luterman, D.M. (1996). Counseling Persons with Communication Disorders and Their Families. Austin, TX: Pro Ed.
Maslow, A.H. (1943) A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review. Vol 50 (4), pp370-396.
Mosheim, J. (2004 )Personal Adjustment Counseling. Advance Magazine. Sept. 13th, Vol 14 No 37.Salmon, S.J. (1999) Alaryngeal Speech Rehabilitation. Austin, TX: Pro Ed.








This Lary Life

We are starting a new photo column, This Lary Life, in hopes of getting more readers involved in Whispers on the Web and giving you a special spot to let us know more about you and your life. Last month, we asked that you send pictures from your travels, near and far. Loyd Enochs and Tom Olsavicky sent us some great photos that truly capture that spirit of adventure and discovery. We have posted them under Travel with Larys this month and I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

When I suggested the possibility of “This Lary Life” to Pat, it was with the idea of putting a face to a name. We are, after all, an online group. Even if we do go to IAL meetings or on a WW cruise, we may never meet many of the folks we “talk” to on a regular basis through the email list. One of the best aspects of the meetings/cruises/support groups is actually seeing, talking and listening to “one of us”.

So the subject for next month's photos in This Lary Life, is one near and dear to many of our hearts, one you all have pictures of, children and grandchildren.  Tom Olsavicky’s picture of walking down a country road with his little grandson got me thinking. There is no way you know Tom is a lary in that picture and his grandson knows him only as a lary. I have met Tom and, for the life of me, I can’t remember what type of voice he has but that little boy thinks that whatever voice Grampa has, it is just perfect.

I speak with an EL and my 3 ½ year old grand-daughter has known only that voice. Most days I have both her and her 3 ½ month old sister. The baby, Kiera, has just started that babbling sound which almost sounds like she is talking. Her big sister, Kayleigh is fascinated and keeps wanting to know what Kiera is saying. Recently she hit on a solution. We were all sitting on the couch and she grabbed my Servox and stuck in under her sister’s chin and asked, “Okay, Kiera, what are you trying to say? Use Nanny’s voice.” I tried to explain, after I wrestled it back from her that my “voice” didn’t work that way, but she persisted. She then decided to “interview” me with my Servox, applying it to my neck, hers and Kiera’s to get to the bottom of this talking thing. Her first question was, “Now explain to me, Nana, how your voice works.” At this point she is using my Servox like a microphone and I felt like I was on 60 Minutes.

So I know I am not the only one with pictures and stories about how our children and grand-children have given us hope and joy and sometimes the strength to go on. Send your contributions for next month's “This Lary Life” to editor@webwhispers.org   We would love to hear from you. If you don’t have a photo or you don’t know how to send one, a story will do. Tell or show us your stories in “This Lary Life”.

It did occur to us that some of our readers might have a little “technology gap”. I know I do. That’s why we came up with the idea of entreating member Frank Klett to give us some help and this month we introduce a new column called “Bits, Bytes and No Butts”. He is going to give us tips on how better to use our computers in all their forms. Thank you, Frank, and welcome. The first thing I want to ask for is a simple tutorial for sending photos, since you all have them and we want to see them for This Lary Life!


One of our most intrepid lary travelers passed away unexpectedly in August, Len Librizzi. We have compiled some of our favorite photos from his travels and published them posthumously under his column, Words from the Webmaster.









"Whose life would you most like to honor?"


Your choice may be someone passed or living; in some cases, there may be numerous honorees worth mentioning. I'm just hoping that each of you has had the privilege of knowing someone special and deserving. Jack Henslee, Coordinator




Dave Ross, Florida

For me this question brings to mind several people to whom I will be eternally grateful. First my wife of 54 years, the mother of our children, my sweetheart and best friend. Then there are teachers and business associates that certainly deserve recognition. However, in the context of the most traumatic experience of my life (becoming and living as a laryngectomee), there is one individual to whom I will will always be in debt:

Dutch Helms, founder of WebWhispers.

I doubt that any one individual has had a greater impact on the lives of folks so in need of support! Yet, he went to his great beyond not looking for nor being accorded his just acclaim. But in my soul he is THE hero of my life.
Thank you, Dutch!



Kathy Christian - April 2012

I would like to honor Elizabeth Finchem for the October honoree. She read one of my blogs concerning a SLP who told me I was hopeless to be able to speak without a severe lisp due to my partial glossectomy and the sooner I accepted that, the better. The SLP went on to say that after four sessions with the EL, my only option would be an ACC devise and to not hold any hope of learning Esophogeal speech.

Elizabeth was so upset by that diagnosis that she sent me an email right away and took me under her wing. I am making progress with the EL although I hate the thing but if it gets me closer to ES speech, I'll use it. Elizabeth came to me when I was becoming despondent and has since become a good friend and mentor.



Virginia Ewald - Caregiver


I would like to honor my husband, Dennis Ewald, for his strength and endurance during these past 4 years. Having been diagnosed with early stage laryngeal cancer in Ocotber 2008, he has never once complained about his illness.

He works as an 'auto body and fender man' and has for the past 44 years. A job he loves but it is getting harder and harder for him to do.

Going thru numerous biopsies only to find that the cancer keeps returning has taken a toll on his eating and energy level. Radiation in 2009, he never missed a day of work. He persevered even with the sore throat and dryness from the radiation. After all this, he was said to be free of the cancer but a month later during a doctors visit and a scope another spot was found. Another biopsy and diagnosis of the return of the cancer. Only option was a laryngectomy which was done October 15th 2010. Surgery was suppose to be partial but once he was in, the doctor found that there were actually 2 tumors and one did respond to the radiation but the more progressive one was hidden and spreading.

Dennis always had a smile on his face no matter what. Frustration level was minimal, a computer was introduced as well as text messaging on his phone. We were totally uninformed of what was to be his and our families future regarding his recovery, necessities and needs. He uses an electrolarynx and has the ultra voice device. Since his last bout with cancer in April 2012 and a neck dissection the ultra voice isnt comfortable due to increased swelling. Using the EL is his way of communicating now.

Before his initial surgery, I recorded his rhaspy voice telling me how much he loves me. I listen to it every time I get the chance. As they say, you dont know what you have till it is taken from you. Dennis lives as normal a life as he can and has become somewhat of a clown with his new voices. Having never been sick a day in his life, this new way of life is an adjustment, for all. He, more than us, has come to terms with it.

It is his laid back personality and his love for us and our love for him that has gotten all of us through this time of our lives. He is truly one to be honored and we love him.


Jack Henslee

There are several people that I personally feel should have been honored in various ways for the things they accomplished and their desire and commitment to helping others. Most of them are in some way related to our laryngectomee community and the support they have given others. The people on my list have been honored in some fashion to various degrees, but I wanted to give my friend Lennie Librizzi one last thank you.

I'm not real sure when I first met Lennie. It may have been in Winnipeg at the IAL meeting in 1991, but for sure I knew him in 1995 at the IAL meeting in San Francisco. Shortly after the SF meeting Len and I took a stab at helping laryngectomees via that new-fangled thing called the "Internet" via forums on CompuServe and AOL. I took on the responsibility of monitoring the CompuServe forum and Len took on the AOL site. That's when I first met a newbie by the name of Pat Sanders, and I believe Len also met her on Compuserv,. She wasn't speaking a whole lot back then but boy did that change!

Numerous people suggested that we expand our efforts to the even newer World Wide Web but I wasn't ready technologically (Len had an engineering degree so he knew a lot more than me.) Besides, who in their right mind would spend $20 a month for a WWW connection that was pretty much mostly empty space back then. Bad idea we thought, but then some guy named Dutch came along and the rest is history.

Len and I moved on to serving the IAL and left the Internet and World Wide Web in Dutch's hands. During the next 10-12 yrs. Len served on the IAL Board in various capacities. He was without a doubt (in my opinion) the best treasurer the IAL ever had during my time. It was a job he never really wanted and had to continually be begged to continue with it when he didn't want to do it. These were hard times for the IAL and in one 3 year span they had 4 treasurers, with Len filling in betweeen them due to a lot of arm twisting! During his final stent as treasurer the IAL assets increased to more than $600,000, due in part to Len's strict adherence to total accountability, fiscal responsibility and controlled investments.

During his last years with the IAL Len took on as an extra job his passion for graphic art and publishing. All he ever wanted to do at the end was publish the best laryngectomee newsletter in the world. In that end he was a "publisher". He seldom if ever wrote anything, he didn't edit stories, he didn't suggest or recommend anything...he just made it look good and kept it affordable to publish.

In 2006, Len finished his last term, retired from the IAL, and took over as the WW webmaster, along with providing extensive support for the newsletter. After all he is/was a publisher. He also devoted himself to caring for his wif,e MaryAnn, who had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. In addition, a few years ago, he took on the responsibility of caring for an elderly aunt.

Len has contributed so much to all of us. He never asked for recognition although WebWhispers honored him as a Casey/Cooper Award recipient, and the IAL acknowledged his years of service.

Len was my friend and I really mourn our loss of someone who was so valuable and such a great example of what humanity really means. We are a small community, sometimes with no voice, always with a voice less heard. If you have a hero out there let the world know, let them know they are loved and appreciated, honor them as I honor my friend, Leonard Librizzi.



In honor of Dutch Helms from all of us:

Our Founder Dutch Helms was mentioned in the first message above and we would be remiss if we did not point out the section of this website devoted to him:  http://webwhispers.org/about/founder.asp

In addition we have saved almost 100 messages, or excerpts, that came to us when he passed away, Nov 1, 2006. We published them with no names but our hearts were fully displayed:


Here are just a few picked at random:

Like many of you, my adjustment to the laryngectomee life was made easier because of his efforts. However, this doesn't surprise me for Col. Helms was a man who spent his life serving others. His time in the service of his country bears this out. That is how I prefer to remember him - as a fellow "brother in arms". While his contributions to the laryngectomee community are no small matter, I would like to ask all veterans in our community to join me in one final and well deserved salute to Lt. Col. David "Dutch" Helms.

I hope to meet up with THE MAN when my time comes to thank him in person for the help his creation has given me. With great sadness.

Today our fearless leader has gone to spend time where he will no longer have pain. Remember the questions - Where were you when the Shuttle blew apart in front of our eyes, where were you when the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed. Now, where were you when Dutch flew with the angels to glory? I will always remember what I was doing. I was e-mailing a SLP who needed help with an elderly patient who needed a new electro larynx. And I was on the phone with a wife whose husband had just been diagnosed with lung cancer where the tumor is pressing on a nerve leading to his vocal cords. He could not talk and needed help. Why do I write all this? Because without Dutch my name would not available to people who need help.


A couple of lines from the chorus of a country music song:
“It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you,
It’s what you leave behind you when you go.”

We thank you, Dutch, because what you left behind for us was... each other.

Col. Helms, I salute you.













From: Loyd Enochs - 2009
Evansville, IN

1. This first picture is from the trip to Beijing my wife and I took in March of 2011 at the Great Wall.

2. Near the Ming Tombs - this walkway is a garden corridor about 1.5 miles long that is flanked on each side by pairs of statues, like this one of a beast from Chinese mythology.

3. Taking off on an old-fashioned "hutong" (or neighborhood) tour of the types of homes that are very quickly disappearing in Beijing to make way for high rise apartment and office development. This one may survive as a tourist attraction since it is just across the river from the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square.



From: Tom Olsavicky - 2008

President, Peninsula Lost Chord Club
Yorktown, Va

1. The first picture is Tom and Sandy Olsavicky in Luray Caverns during a family vacation in August 2012.

2. Second is Tom Olsavicky with his 4 year old grandson, Seth Olsavicky. We were taking a little stroll down the dirt road near our vacation cabin and enjoying a little bonding time. An interesting side note is that Seth was born 3 days before my lary surgery in 2008 and it is great to be here to see him growing and learning.








The Battle of Waterloo - The Rest of the Story


I cannot remember the exact year we crossed the channel on that coach trip to see European battlefields, but it was before the tunnel was built in 1994. I can only think that I was recovering from open heart surgery when my aortic valve was replaced by an American metallic one, and I was forbidden to drive myself. That was in early 1994.

The ball was held at Chateau St Anne in the Rue De La Blankimsome, Brussels, on the night of the 15th of June 1815, and during that night officers slipped away, to begin their long march to meet the French at the village of Waterloo which is south of Brussels.

It is a family legend, that an ancestor, my great- great grandfather, who served in the cavalry regiment the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, fell in that battle, although there is no proof; neither do I have any details of him. The battle took place on the 18th of June, and where Napoleon had over 74,000 French troops, the Duke of Wellington had some 10,000 less, only 44,000 of them being British. At the chateau itself, the British residents in Brussels still hold an annual ball there and before the Euro took a tumble they raised 10,000 Euros for charitable work amongst the Belgium poor. Another interesting point is that the Tavistock Festival, in Devon, produced a book of short stories about the battle. The proceeds of which were sent to the local parish council at Waterloo, for the complete refurbishment of Hougemont Farm, where the British Infantry had such fierce hand to hand fighting. This following poem was chosen as a frontispiece, after they had asked for one, in 2011.


My verger holds the blazing torch,
I hear his sobs,
I search for those still living, and pray
for those contorted in deaths embrace,
as if sleeping.
Brother with brother,
French, English, German, Dutch.
All hatred gone,
just the silence of the night.
No clash of steel,
no cannons roar.
No musket din,
or scream of pain.
From the church tower,
I had watched the slaughter.
Thousands of mothers’ sons,
oh so thick upon this field.
A black hooded figure rises up,
one of my villagers,
stealing from the dead,
a look of madness upon his face.
A small axe half hidden.
the other hand holding dead soldiers’ rings.
I see other torches, rushing from body to body.
My own people.
The staring look in their eyes frightening,
as if demented.
Like rats scurrying in the darkness,
Imbecilic sounds of laughter.
Who do I say a prayer for?

PS I love the picture of the Royal Scots Greys charging the French guns, which can be seen by going to: British Battles, The Battle of Waterloo at http://www.britishbattles.com/waterloo/waterloo-june-1815.htm







Excerpt from Len Librizzi's story of going to Antarctica


"My wife, Maryann has always had the desire to set foot on all the continents. She is the adventurous one – I am more cautious. She likes to travel and see everything – I like to travel so I can relax and get away from my chores.

We found a few small ships that went in and out of narrow passages and made two or three landings a day by Zodiac. The program included a staff of naturalists to give lectures and also some real adventurers who went to the South Pole following the same routes of the original explorers. Looked like it was going to be a wonderful trip.

Then after all the reservations were made – reality set in. Was I nuts? – a laryngectomee going in rubberized rafts in water below 35° having to jump on the raft from our cruise ship and having to get out in a foot of water and wade ashore."

Len's facinating article and 21 photos of that trip is under Travel with Larys: http://webwhispers.org/news/jun2008.asp


The Librizzi's travel with WebWhispers

2004 - Maryann had to work as school was in session when we went in early December to the Panama Canal. Len decided to make the trip with WW.

2005 - Len, Laryngectomee of the year at the IAL in Boston and on WW cruise up to Canada.










“The Best Things In Life Are Free!”

Someone once said that and, in many ways, it is still true today. As you are reading this, you are using a remarkable bit of technology whether it’s a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet or a smart-phone. The cost of software or apps can is as expensive as the device itself. So I try to find software and apps that get the job done and make my life easier for as little cost as possible or, better yet, free.



One of my favorites is LastPass, which will generate complex and cryptic passwords for each website I visit and log me in automatically if I want. In the process it will remember each website and the correct password for each.

LastPass is safe and only you know the email and password you have used to install it. Since it allows you to keep a copy locally and “in the cloud”, you can log in from any device you are using as long as you have installed the program on the browser. LastPass will save your personal information that you may need to repeatedly use to fill out forms for sites where you shop or pay bills. Each site’s profile is saved separately so you control your information when and what you want to provide.

Depending on the browser you use, you can install LastPass as an add-on, extension or assistant. Each browser has its own term for adding third party apps. (Firefox has add-ons, Chrome has extensions, and Internet Explorer has assistants.)

LastPass is free. You can use it on your PC and Mac with no restrictions.

LastPass Premium is $12 per year as I write this. Well worth it for the additional security options available and Premium also includes versions for just about any platform that you can imagine:

  • iPhone & iPad
  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • Dolphin Browser
  • FireFox Mobile
  • Windows Phone & Windows Mobile
  • Symbian S60
  • HP WebOS

In other words, LastPass is on just about everything.

If you are using Firefox go to and select add-ons...when the tab opens, click on get new add-ons...enter Lastpass in the search box on the top right and press enter. The next screen will show Lastpass on the top...go to the right column and select install...the add-on will download and ask you to “restart” FF...click on restart and FF will close and reopen with Lastpass installed. A tab will open and ask you to create a new account...select this option and fill in the required information. Once you are finished Lastpass is ready to use. As you enter sites that ask for usernames and passwords you can either enter your own info or let Lastpass generate new logins for you. Once the initial entry is complete Lastpass will ask if you want to save the site's login information and you can select yes or no. The same installation procedure is used for Chrome and Internet Explorer.

There are other similar apps for generating and saving your passwords...Roboform and Keypass are just two others that also offer a free version.



If you have screaming yellow stickies everywhere this free software may be just what you need. It is called "Sticky-notes” and is a clutterless way to control your reminders, recipes, phone numbers and just about anything you can think of.

One of the handiest features for us Larys is that whatever you put into your note can be read by your computer’s text to voice feature. Handy for having a prepared 911 or emergency call.. You can have a note with your name, address, medical condition (total neck breather, diabetic, etc.) You can have another prepared with emergency contact information, your doctor’s info, etc.

Since any notes you write are kept in a small database on your computer you can quickly retrieve the note you are looking for. It works really well for recipes, shopping lists, phone numbers, and general reminders. It also has an alarm function so you can set it to remind you of a future event..in the meantime it’s out of sight.

For Windows users there are other programs that have a similar name, but if you want to read more about ths one, you will find a manual here.


Or follow the link below and it will take you directly to the download page for the latest Windows version.

For Apple users you can download a similar application at the link below.
Simple stickies for Mac with instructions:

Evernote - The greatest freebie ever!


Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web. I have Evernote installed on all my devices since I keep so much info in it. I can enter a contact name and number on my desktop PC and it will be available to me on my laptop, tablet, my wife's laptop or my smart phone.

I use it for passwords, recipes, medical notes, contacts, family photos, online purchase information and just about anything else I want to save for future reference.

Evernote is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and smart phones. This is one helper you will find indispensable for your everyday information source.

Just go to http://www.evernote.com and you will be greeted with a Welcome screen that includes a short video presentation of some of Evernote's basic functions. Select the downloads option at the top of the page and from there you can select your operating system download.

Once the download has completed simply open/launch the downloaded file and it will install itself on your system. The installation program will ask you some basic questions to secure your files from prying eyes. Once installed you will have to use your Username and Password to access your information.









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
           Managing Editor - Pat Wertz Sanders
           Editor - Donna McGary




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.
As a charitable organization, as described in IRS § 501(c)(3), the WebWhispers Nu-Voice Club
is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with IRS § 170.
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