September 2010

 


 

 

 

Name Of Column Author Title Article Type
News Views Pat Sanders The Morning News News & Events
VoicePoints Rick Rivenbark It Isn’t All In Your Head Education-Med
WebWhispers Columnist Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc Overcoming Depression . Education
Between Friends Donna McGary FearThat Breeds Fear Commentary
Practically Speaking Elizabeth Finchem I’m Not A Joiner! Education 
My Neck Of The Woods Carolyn Capps Hayes Father’s Laryngectomy Experience
The Speechless Poet Len A Hynds A Glance, Reflections, and A Thief Prose & Poetry
Tidbits Of Interest Donna, Pat, and Jack Voices Experiences
New Members Listing Welcome News & Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Morning News

 

In realizing I am past due for getting my column in, I feel like Alice, "I'm late, I'm late...for a very important date." Oh, well, I am late even on reading the newspaper these days and that used to be the way my day started with the very important time of finding out what was going on in the world.

Front Page has Candidates for Governor getting a little less cordial, disagreeing on gambling and health care. --- I agree with one on gambling and the other on healthcare but that depends on where they stand next week.

Ahhh. Democrats have "picked a candidate for county judge". She is honored and deeply humbled. --- Honey, you were the one left over after the primary winner got her law license pulled and the next two in line, picked by the voters, got passed over. You were really the "chosen" one.

$100,000 in counterfeit checks cashed from information taken from donors to American Heart Association. They can't imagine how the counterfeiters got copies of these checks but they have put a stop to it. --- OK, so they were just a day late and a hundred thousand short!

Cahaba River Nat'l Wildlife Refuge to be expanded as money is available --- Where did they ever get a weird idea like waiting until you have the money to spend it?

And the birthday list for today --- We can skip that because on the list of actors, rock singers & musicians, I only see one name I know and she is 67.

Study links poverty, mom's depression --- New, probably expensive, study wants you to know that mom's in poverty who are depressed raise children who are more likely to have child development problems. Whoopee. This is news? They talk about the mom who lies in bed so depressed she can't take care of her child's physical needs. While they are at it, why not check on the mom who is trying to get 3 children fed, dressed and ready for school so she can get to work and earn the money to buy food and pay the school expenses. OOPS. Wrong study.

Maybe they are all depressed because they read the paper....like me!

Let's go do something that is fun, like help cancer patients! At least we know what is important today.

 

Enjoy,
Pat W Sanders
WebWhispers Presiden
 

 

 

VoicePoints written by professionals 

Coordinated by Meaghan Kane Benjamin, M.A., CCC-SLP

 

                                         meaghan.benjamin@mac.com  

                 

 

 


It Isn’t All In Your Head, But Some Of It Is!

Wilburn H Rivenbark, III, Phd, Retired
Professor Psychology at University of AL
Chief of Psychology at Taylor-Hardin

 

In writing this article on how to deal with the effects of cancer from a psychological standpoint, I decided, after some thought, to use my own case as an example. While each person's experience of cancer is unique in some ways, I believe there are some general principles everyone can use. I hope these tips will be helpful for you, not only during your recovery, but long after, as well.

I had felt the emotional effects of dealing with cancer long before I ever got it myself. An aunt, a childhood friend, and a favorite boss had died from it and a couple of my friends had had surgery and treatment for it. I had even had an occurrence of cancer in polyps on my vocal cords, which I did not find out about until the surgery was done. As painful as these events were, they were nothing compared to the emotions I experienced when, nine years later, I was told I had cancer in one of my vocal cords and that I would probably have to have a total laryngectomy. Later, after an evaluation by a second doctor, I was told I might get by with a partial laryngectomy.

What first went through my mind was that it was the worst possible place for me to have cancer. I made my living teaching, lecturing, and doing psychotherapy. I could function pretty well with an arm, a leg, or even a lung missing, but without a good voice I was done for. Even some of my favorite leisure time activities, acting in community theater and singing, were lost. Furthermore, neither my medical nor my disability insurance would cover me because I had had the previous cancer. I experienced spells of fear, anger, depression, and a hopeless/helpless paralysis of mind and emotions as severe as any I had treated in my practice.

Fortunately, after going through a few days of this, I got my thinking back to a more rational level. I began to use some of the techniques I had been teaching to my clients and patients. A basic part of my therapy technique is to help people see that their thoughts affect their feelings and actions, and that by changing the way they think about something they can significantly change the outcomes. As Shakespeare wrote, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." I had fallen into the trap of irrational thinking - catastrophizing the bad and ignoring the possibilities for making things better. I had to remind myself that the mind has great power to promote healing and well being if we will only use it in the proper way.

¨ Don't catastrophize. An example of this is to imagine the worst case scenario without evaluating the actual probabilities of it happening. In my case, I was ignoring the probability that I would not die from my cancer, which would be the real worst case. Also, I had not yet been evaluated by a cancer surgery specialist, so I did not know what my options were.

¨ Realistically evaluate the most likely consequences of your situation. A total laryngectomy would indeed mean a great change in the way I practiced my career. However, I would likely come out of the illness with my mind as well as most of my body intact and healthy. I would likely have a lot of medical expenses and delinquent bills to cover.

¨ Examine and evaluate your goals. What do you really value? What do you really “need” as opposed to “want”, to make your quality of life acceptable? I “wanted” things to stay as they were, but what I “needed” was a way to make a living using as many of my current skills as possible.

¨ Utilize resources for information, help, and support. There are usually resources available we have not thought about or used before, because we didn't need them. Wonderful friends and family members searched out some of these for me. Vocational Rehab agreed to help with my medical expenses. I was referred to a woman who had gone through total laryngectomy and she was able to help my realistically evaluate my post-surgery possibilities. The library had a wonderful book on laryngectomy "Why Me, Lord?" by William Gargon. (Those old enough may recall he was a radio and movie actor.) The American Cancer Society told me of support groups such as TOUCH and Lost Chord. Nowadays, you can get on-line with a computer and find cancer support forums with people all over the world to communicate with.

¨ Develop alternative ways of getting your goals. What do you need to do to get back on track towards your goals? I needed some ways to "do Psychology" without a lot of oral communication. Through the Independent Living Center I found out I could learn sign language, and that there was a great need for psychologists who could work with the deaf. As it turned out I was able to get by with a partial laryngectomy and did not need to utilize sign language, but I did learn some and have found it useful. I also discussed doing some articles and even a book with my colleague.

¨ Keep your thoughts focused on healing and success. Research is showing that positive thoughts and attitudes, especially when combined with frequent positive visualization of goals, can significantly speed healing and improve chances of success. I used my skills in self-hypnosis and positive visualization to both recover from the surgery and to restore a passable level of oral speech. (It took nearly a year.) You can learn these skills from a variety of sources, ranging from books to classes to therapists trained in the technique.

¨ Learn to enjoy the things you still have and can still do. This may sound trite, like the homily of making lemonade if life hands you a lemon, but it is still true. I greatly miss doing community theater acting and singing, but I could still help with lighting, sound, set construction, etc. Sometimes you need to develop new hobbies or interests, and you may, as a result, find things you never would have enjoyed otherwise.

¨ Be innovative, be flexible. "The way I've always done it" is not the only way, or even the most satisfying.

Rick Rivenbark
January, 1997

 

This tells of two cancer episodes.  There has been a third in the nasopharynx, from which he recovered well.  He is healthy, happy, and living in Birmingham, AL.  This was originally printed in HeadLines, is timeless and useful by patients, caregivers and professionals.

 


 

 

 

A Physician as a Cancer of the Neck Patient:

Overcoming Depression after Laryngectomy

Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc
Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Washington DC, USA

 

Depression is one of the most difficult issues a patient that had been diagnosed with cancer has to face. I am a physician who had been diagnosed with throat cancer several years ago and am writing this manuscript to share my personal experiences as a cancer survivor and a clinician. I am doing so hoping that my perspectives will assist other individuals, who had undergone similar experiences, cope better with their situation and hopefully gain insight into their lives. It is also presented to health care professionals who care for patients with this condition in the hope that by gain insight into the patients’ world they would be able to better assist them in their plight.

Coping with and overcoming depression is very important not only for the well being of the patient but may actually facilitate their recovery and may even increase their chance for longer survival and perhaps even ultimate cure. There is growing evidence in many scientific studies that there is connection between mind and body. Even though much of these connections are not yet understood it is well known by experienced practitioners that individuals who are motivated to get better and exhibit a positive attitude recover faster from serious illnesses, live longer and sometimes survive immense odds.

There are so many reasons to become depressed after learning about cancer and living with it. It is a devastating illness to the patients and their families and medicine has not yet found a cure for most types of cancer. By the time cancer had been discovered it is too late for prevention and if the cancer had been discovered at an advanced stage the risk of dissemination and ultimate cure is significantly decreased.

Many emotions go through the patient’s mind after learning about the bad news. “Why me?” and “Can it be true?” After first becoming stunned by the news, feelings of denials, which are followed by anger, with ultimate acceptance of the new reality. It is believed that depression is a form of anger. Perhaps anger at the new devastating reality.

The patient has to face their ultimate mortality, sometimes for the first time of their life and have to deal with all the immediate and long term consequence consequences on them and their loved ones. Paradoxically feeling depressed after learning about the diagnosis allows the patient to accept the new reality. By not caring any more it is easier to live with the uncertain future. “I do not care any more what happens “feeling makes it easier for a while. However, this coping mechanism carries a heavy prize because it can actually interfere with getting appropriate medical and surgical care and can actually lead to rapid decline in the quality of life.

Becoming a laryngectomee after losing the vocal cords adds additional stress and difficulties. The inability or difficulty to speak creates a sense of isolation. Difficulties in verbalizing built in emotions can create anger and frustration that may lead to depression. Recognizing these challenges by the spouse and care givers can alleviate much of the stress. This is why individual and group counseling and therapy for both patient and spouse are very important. The patient’s spouse and caregivers often experience emotional strain that also need to be addressed.

Hopefully a patient can find strength within themselves to fight the depression. In my case after I returned home from the extensive surgery I had to remove my cancer which included also the excision away of my vocal cords, I was overwhelmed by the daily tasks I had to perform and the new realities I had to accept. I was mourning the many losses I had experienced, which included my voice, my wellbeing, and the need to accept many permanent deficits such as not having a normal voice any more and having to speak using a weak and rusty voice generated by a prosthesis that connects my trachea and esophagus. I felt that I had to make an early choice between succumbing to the creeping depression and let it consume me or become proactive and fight back and return to life. I chose the latter because deep inside I had a very strong desire to get better and overcome my handicaps. I also realized that my struggle is not over and will be with me for a long time and that I will need to conquer the down hill slope again and again.

The driving force on many occasions to become proactive and resist depression is my wish to set an example for my children that one should not give in the face of adversity. I new that they may and unfortunately would also have to face difficult in the future and did not want to leave them the legacy that their father gave up and did not do his best to get back to his feet. This was and still is a driving force that I resort to whenever I feel down.

Support by family members and friends is very important. Feeling that ones’ continuous presence in the world and actual involvement in their lives is very helpful in reigniting the will to go on. The involvement and contribution to others lives can be invigorating. As a parent’ or grandparents’ one can draw strength and will to go on by seeing and enjoying the interaction and the impact one has on them.

What I found out to be helpful was to become re involved in activities I liked before and find a continuous purpose for my life. I started to return to the hospital to participate and teach in medical rounds and listen to medical lectures. What was most encouraging and rewarding was that my contributions impacted and improved individual patient care. I felt that I was making a difference again. This made me want to return to the hospital and teach even more. In the process of helping others, I was also helping myself.

I was also able to gradually return to many of my other routines. I started with simple challenges such as reading medical literature again, accepting invitation to review articles submitted to medical journals, learn how to take a shower without aspirating water, and even simply walking more. I gradually became able to ride a bicycle and even climb to the top of a mountain with my family. Even though I realized that the quality of my voice is not the same as before, one of my greatest comebacks was to be able to teach and lecture again with the help of a microphone. Each of these small steps made me feel better and stronger. I was discovering the world again, quite like an infant learning to walk.

Soon after my return home, I started to attend the monthly meetings of the local Laryngectomee Club, as well as their monthly speech therapy sessions. I cherished the support and advice I received from the other club members and especially from the club president, who was extremely dedicated and deeply caring and helpful toward the members. I kept coming to the club even when my needs were no longer intense and became its secretary the following year.

Seeking the help of a mental health professional can be very helpful. I was fortunate to be assisted throughout my illness and recovery process by an excellent, compassionate and skillful social worker. We discussed various issues relating to my recovery process, as well as my anxieties and frustrations. Having a caring and competent physician and speech and language pathologist that can provide continuous followup. Their involvement can help deal with any emerging medical and speech problems are very important for the sense of well being.

I found ways by which I can use the set back in my life in a positive way. I realized that I have much to contribute to others. By lecturing and writing about my experiences and sharing them with other laryngectomee and health care providers, others can learn and benefit from my experience.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Fear that Breeds Fear

 

“…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt~ First Inaugural Address, 1933

 

I used to wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I was choking. Not being able to catch your breath is scary and it is a fear that breeds fear. I was relatively young, healthy and very busy with both graduate school and work. I thought it was stress and post nasal drip from allergies but it turned out to be more problematic. I was diagnosed with sub-glottic Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, one of those odd head and neck cancers with no known cause and few research dollars.


Now ten years later, I have been having similar breathing difficulties. After a midnight trip to the ER, multiple visits to a pulmonologist, my ENT and PCP, a CT scan (which came up just fine but revealed an allergy to the contrast dye) and new blood work, plus a whole new regimen of Pulmacort and Atrovent, we seemed to have figured it out. Allergic asthma and the worst culprit - dust mites. IgE test levels were over 500 and it wasn’t my cat (thank God for tender mercies) and not even the dust so much as those ubiquitous little buggers, dust mites.


The day after I learned that was a flurry of housekeeping and washing all the bedding in hot water and drying at high heat. My favorite feather pillow has been banished and the special pillow and mattress covers have been ordered. You can’t eliminate the nasty little things and it’s probably best not to dwell on those enlarged pictures you can find on the internet or their sheer numbers and disgusting habits. However you can minimize their impact. This diagnosis explains why certain environments have become so troublesome to me, as well.


Earlier this summer, I spent a few days at a friend’s fifty year old cabin down in the woods by the lake. A charming little place, but this is the williwacks (the boonies). It’s on a dirt road, off another dirt road; no TV, no internet and spotty cell phone service. It is also a beautiful and peaceful place…for the most part. I must admit that negotiating those roads after dark - there are no street lights, of course - can be a bit nerve-wracking the first few times. And trying to read at night, as you are being dive-bombed by the kamikaze moths who have fought their way inside through fifty-year old screens, isn’t particularly serene, either. Plus, if any of you have ever spent time ten feet away from a small pond in Maine, you know the call of the loons in the middle of the night can be both startling and remarkably raucous. Between the moths, the loons and the ever-increasing tightness in my chest, I was NOT feeling the peace. Every time I lay back down on that lovely old bed, snuggled up inside all those lovely old quilts, I would feel like I just couldn’t catch my breath. Back up for another puff of the Atrovent, another glass of water, another chapter with the moths. As I paced the cabin floor, I calmed myself; my nephew is only a couple of miles away. If I am really in trouble, I can go to his place and he can get me to the nearest ER.

It’s a good thing I didn’t find out until the next day that there was a bear wandering in and out of folks’ yards those last few nights and, while I was having my asthma/anxiety attack, he was snuffling around my nephew’s shed and back door! So here I was fending off moths and loons and bears and my real enemy was that invisible critter lurking in Aunt Barbie’s quilt. Of course, I didn’t know that then and while I joke about it here, I was scared. I was alone, in a strange place, late at night and I was having trouble breathing.


I knew my fear was only making things worse and that’s when I remembered the famous FDR quote. I calmed myself down as I realized how insidious an enemy "fear" can be. I didn’t even remember the whole quote and had to look it up when I got back to civilization. It is a good one to have committed to memory, I think.


Fear is cancer’s shadow. To know cancer is to have caught at least a glimpse of its dark specter. The cancer may be long gone but, I think, for most of us, that shadow seems to lurk in the shadows, surprisingly attuned to our vulnerabilities…and ready to reappear at a moment’s notice. For most of us, cancer is no longer the enemy. It is "fear" we must fear. Fear that keeps us out of the water or off our boat, away from crowds, silent in the company of strangers; fear that turns away from love, fear that we have lost something essential to our being, fear of this new life.


My latest enemy is an ugly invisible bug. Now that I know that, I can arm myself appropriately. I can’t annihilate it but I can keep it bay so, next time I go out to camp, I will bring my own blankie and pillow covers. Now if we could just lose those kamikaze moths!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not a Joiner!


How many times have you heard that statement from a new laryngectomee? Better yet, how many times have you made that statement as a laryngectomee? Recently I heard it again at our local club meeting from a four-month post op laryngectomee on the occasion of his first visit to our club. I asked him if he had been told about the IAL and WW yet. We heard his “not a joiner” response and provided copies of the IAL and WW brochures along with all the other materials we give to new laryngectomees.


Apparently he had been sent north to another city for his laryngectomy. He didn’t receive a visitor, visitor’s bag, or pre/post op information. He was told about TEP. Luckily, he was referred to a local SLP who got him started with an AL, and told him about our local support group. After the meeting his words kept replaying in my mind. “I’m not a joiner!”


People react differently to social groups, and their understanding of the purpose of a group may vary. I’ll give you an example. I invited an officer from my local club to go with me to a Head & Neck Cancer support group because I had noticed that several laryngectomees were regular members there, yet they weren’t coming to our club.


Halfway through the meeting of about 45 people this officer handed me a note that said, “See ya’ later. This is nothing more than another AA meeting”. My first reaction was, “No, it isn’t”. Then I tried to see the situation from his perspective. So, … he knew about AA meetings. Okay. Well, he is right about the introductions and sharing portion of the meeting. Clearly we were all there to either seek help with our rehabilitation, or to support those who came after us with the knowledge we had gained going through our own experience.


In our particular situation, we have more than just loss of voice to adjust to as neck breathers. Laryngectomy is not a surgery that is easily hidden with disguise and clothing. Talk, or cough, and the jig’s up. The reaction of others to our new voice or a cough/sneeze can make us painfully aware of how few of us there are. That’s a good reason to seek support from others who have been down this road and learned how to compensate in ways that make life seem nearly normal. That is, close to appearing what was normal for us pre-op. We do adjust and develop a new definition of what is normal for us.
We join support groups to see how others have managed post op, or at least, I did. While searching for the club nearest me I discovered it was 100 miles away! Michigan roads during the winter can be too risky for such a monthly trip. I wanted a club in my city so I went about starting one. I’m so glad I did, thanks to the help of my SLP and the speech & hearing clinic where we met monthly. That club continues to help new laryngectomees and to educate the public 32 years later and is still a member of the IAL.


Face to face support from other laryngectomees can be the lift that can make all the difference in the world to a new patient. I’ve also seen the relief family members and the prospective patient show when they smile at the end of a pre op visit to a laryngectomee club meeting. Seeing a group of us at varying stages of rehabilitation can remove some of the fear of the unknown. People assume the worst based on all sorts of misinformation received second hand. We still hear reference to the “big C”. That was used in the 70’s to describe cancer. We know it is possible to survive and live long productive lives.


If you are a fairly new laryngectomee, think about becoming a “joiner”. Take the risk. You’ll learn so much to help with your own rehabilitation. Then you soon discover there is a newer member that you can help in some way by sharing what you’ve learned.


Learning to be inter-dependent is healthy for you and those around you. We become inter-dependent when we attend support groups, and teach classes about laryngectomee rehabilitation to others. We teach each other how “self help” works. Figuring out when you stopped being a patient, is the last stage of this experience. For some it is the benchmark “5 year check up” that gives you the cancer free report. For others it may come sooner or later, but eventually it is a very good feeling to know you’re healthy enough to be discharged as a patient. Still think you’re not a “joiner’? If you don’t join for yourself, having made it to that last stage of rehabilitation, why not join for someone who isn’t there just yet, and, for whom, you will be the inspiration.


Elizabeth Finchem
 

 

 

 

 


 

Father’s Laryngectomy

by Carolyn Capps Hayes, daughter of Elliot Capps

 


The doctor said, “There’s a cancer growing in your throat and we’ve got to remove your larynx. The process is called a laryngectomy.” My mind began flooding with all sorts of questions and fears, so many, I couldn’t even voice them. I sat stunned. Yes, I was thankful they felt they could remove the cancer, but thoughts came to me, he’ll never talk again; he’ll never sing again; how would we communicate?

I ‘had’ to be there when they wheeled him to the operating room because, even with his coarse voice, I wanted to cling to every word. I wanted to hold on to the past because I feared the future. I would never hear his voice again, the voice I have heard all my life.

Surgery was a success and he was going to be all right. I tried very hard lip reading those first few days because he was alive and we could ‘talk’. When he was given his Servox and the very first sound came out, I can’t describe my jubilation. My own name has never sounded so sweet. It reminded me of the first word my child said. I had prompted and waited for that first “Mama” and when it came, it was awesome!

Months later, we were introduced to a new idea - TEP. A short surgery later, a lot of hard trying, some set backs and Dad was able to speak again. A miracle? I think so! The future didn’t have to be dreaded. There was light at the end of the tunnel and voice at the end of surgery. Those of you who have had this surgery don’t realize how the people around you love to hear you ‘speak’. Through all of this, God has shown me the He is here and He has taught me that speaking doesn’t just come from the voice and listening doesn’t just come from our ears. It comes from our heart. Use your hearts to speak to us and encourage us to be better listeners. To me, your stoma is a medal of courage, perseverance, commitment, suffering and bravery. Wear it proudly! It’s a miraculous sign of life. Don’t be afraid to share your miracle with everyone you meet.

From April 1996, HeadLines

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The first poem, 'A Glance,' I wrote during a lecture at University last winter, when a young man sitting beside me kept glancing sideways at a young lady and it was obvious to me that he was head-over-heels. Feeling sorry for him, I scribed this poem which I slipped to him, much to his delight. It is a Shakespearian-Type Love Sonnet, which I based on his dream-like and longing glance. I'm pleased to say that they are good friends now.


A GLANCE

Will a glance suffice, across lonely space,
when those wondrous eyes, send me thoughts of love.
Will a glance suffice, from that lovely face,
so angelic, from high above.

That soft-spoken voice, is it meant for me.
Is it possible, that you love me too.
But my heart says no, this cannot be.
The glance must suffice, until love is true.

Perfection I see at every glance,
but all too soon, our paths must vary.
A week before, my cause I can advance,
and gaze once more upon the face of Mary.

I must hold my breath, for that length of time,
until I glance, towards that love of mine.


And a couple of rather whimsical poems about the inevitability of aging.


REFLECTIONS

You know I'm not one, to bemoan my fate,
but getting older, more frequent of late,

I stop and I think, of just how I was,
healthy and vital, and it's all because,

of the life I've led, and this ageing curse.
Many survivals, it could have been worse.

My once former self, has now surely drowned,
submerged under water, and yet to be found.

Yet I still dream, of those days as a child,
fervently wishing, those waters so wild,

would uncover my body, and wash it ashore,
so I could reclaim it, and wear it once more.

 

 

A THIEF CALLED ...... ' TIME.'

A thief called 'Time,' despoils our life,
stealing our years away.
Entreating pleas won't change his course,
not for a single day.

And this thieving, callous 'Time,'
so oblivious to our pain,
will have his way, without remorse,
and tears are all in vain.

This monster lays his fiendish hand,
on beauty and on plain.
Those rich or poor, or good or bad,
will all display his stain.

Try as you may, to cir-cum-vent,
his slow and crafty crime,
and to beg the villain, to repent,
will not discourage ' Time.'

Nothing really will protect,
the high born or the low.
No one, or where, is sacrosanct.
There's no place, that 'Time ' won’t go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices

 

#1 Tidbit

Recently I had lunch with a friend at a little café. As we went to the checkout, I spoke to the young woman at the register and then said something to my friend. The young woman, college age, I would guess, smiled and said, “My grandmother used one of those,” as she pointed to my Servox. “She passed away, unfortunately, when I was five, but it is the only voice I ever knew for her. I still have it.”

I mentioned that I care for my 17 month old granddaughter several days a week and although she clearly understands me, I have always been curious as to what she will think later on about it. The young woman replied, “I always understood her fine. To me it was normal - that’s just the way she was.” I thanked her for sharing that with me and told her I found it reassuring. She blinked a couple of times and said, “Actually, I like hearing it from time to time - it’s like hearing her voice again.”

I promised I would come back another time and talk to her and she said she would like that. It never occurred to me that this voice would be treasured. Perhaps, I should bring “Good Night, Moon” or “Curious George” and read to her!  Donna McGary

 

#2 Tidbit

My first year as a laryngectomee, I took up the study of genealogy, something I could quietly work with alone.  I was at the files in the Family History Center one day and asked the volunteer there a question, with my Servox turned low so I wouldn't disturb others.

About two minutes later, a lady was peering around the corner of the file cabinets, asking about the voice.  She said her mother had her voice box removed at age 25 and never again spoke.  She said, "If she had just had one of those....", and then there were teary eyes, hers and mine. Pat Sanders

 

#3 Tidbit

Jack Ramos and his "Homemade Hands Free"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 38 new members who joined us during August 2010:

 

Porter Allison
Adrian, MO
Bruce Anderson
Martinez, GA
John A Damato, Jr.
Jacksonville, FL
     
Joss Berndt
Los Angeles, CA
Debora Blanchard - (Caregiver)
Jacksonville, FL
Jay Blocksom - (Vendor)
Columbia, SC
     
John A. Ganley, Jr.
Stow, MA
Gale Gibson
Marlinton, WV
Michael Hanselman
Ponder, TX
     
Gerald Harris
Redding, CA
Charles H. Jones - (Caregiver)
Atlantic City, NJ
Thomas Kaelin
Louisville, KY
     
Paul A. Kehren Sr.
Pittsburgh, PA
Alize B. Kirkesy
Hollywood, FL
Judy Kramer - (Caregiver)
Mobile, AL
     
Dawn Lancaster - (SLP)
Peculiar, MO
Sean Adam McGroarty
Trout Lake, WA
Donald McIvor
Sebastian, FL
     
Dr. Todd Meyer
Appleton, WI
Katie Moran - (SLP)
Levittown, PA
Beth Morrison - (SLP)
Vancouver, BC
     
John M. de Munnik
Lac La Biche, Alberta, CAN
Paul Murphy
Chino Hills, CA
Dorothy Napper
Leduc, Alberta, CAN
     
Kathy Oboikovitz - (Caregiver)
Oak Forest, IL
Mark Oboikovitz
Oak Forest, IL
Evan Bartlett Page - (MA,CCC-SLP)
Saint Paul, MN
     
Cassey Palmer
Seattle, WA
Bruce Pavlovsky
Knoxville, TN
Albert T. Radwill
Racine, WI
     
Daniel L. Randolph
Dekalb, MI
Glen Smith - (Medical)
Smithville, TX
Greg Sutherland
BC, CAN
     
Dr. Greg Swanson
Appleton, WI
Randall Thompson
Stafford, VA
David Di Toro - (Vendor)
Warminster, PA
     
George Wiersbicki
New Cumberland, WV
Maxine Wiersbicki - (Caregiver)
New Cumberland, WV
 

 

 

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