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finding my way back to normal.

lindyjean's picture
on August 28, 2011 - 7:00pm

just about two months ago, i wrote that i had had some surgery, and was eating a lot of popsicles and pudding cups. i didn't say too much about the surgery cuz as i was in the initial phase of recuperation, i thought it best not to dwell on the aches and pains. i had thyroid cancer. i say that, and want to quickly point out that it was discovered, it was removed and there is no more to do. it's gone, poof, adios, vamoose! no muss, no fuss. no chemo, no radiation, nothing. over and done with. lucky me. i know there are people who struggle to overcome their cancers, and many who haven't been lucky enough to do so. i feel almost guilty about how effortless my dance with the Big C was. i'm not looking for sympathy---i'm just explaining.

because of the operation to remove my thyroid, one of the nerves to my vocal cords was damaged, and i have been essentially without a voice for the past two months. i could whisper, but that was about it. and some days, after straining to whisper and be heard all day, i didn't even have that. it has been essentially painless, because it's not like laryngitis, where the throat is scratchy and irritated. i just couldn't make sounds. it got to be very frustrating, at the least, to very disheartening. i was not answering the phone and avoiding social situations because i didn't want to rehash that: a) they found cancer, and b), that i couldn't talk anymore. i would come home from work and cry over nothing. i was starting to feel really depressed. it sounds like a small thing, and perhaps it is, but, i just keep thinking of the decades i have left to live and would i be able to read to my grandkids, whenever they come along, would i be able to laugh with friends ever again, indeed, would i ever be able to talk to friends again? and also nagging at me was the feeling that i should just shut up and be grateful that the cancer was gone, and so easy to dispose of. i wasn't allowing myself to feel bad, but i was feeling bad all the same. it's pretty messed up when you scold yourself on one hand, and feel sorry for yourself on the other.....both sides have valid points, and both of them reside in my mind, and they were duking it out daily.

while my doctor told me that they didn't consider the damage permanent til 3 to 6 months, i was resigned to it by his suggesting he wanted to get me started on voice therapy with a specialist, to try to improve what sound i could make. the doc had left a message on my phone, and he sounded pretty apologetic and also resigned. we played phone tag for the next five days before we got to speak. and in that interim, my voice began to come back. just like that. it's still weak, and it still strains easily, but, i can be heard now, and i'm not raspy and croaky anymore. i don't feel depressed, and i'm not scolding myself anymore! i can hear the difference, and i know that things are going to be okay now.

the thing is, my last journal entry, about seeing josh at staples, was pretty negative. i still feel cheated by paying so much money, but i also realize that how i was feeling about my voice perhaps funneled into how i felt about the concert. i was disappointed in general, and maybe i was going to feel disappointed about everything at that point, even seeing josh. i just know that my heart and mood are so much lighter now, and i'm sure i would have tempered my words had i been at this place in my recovery when i saw josh. i was looking for something to make me feel better at that point, and i guess i expected seeing josh to "make it all better" but when it didn't, i was just more angry and disappointed than i would have been otherwise, and wanted to now point that out. i owe my friend kathi a big apology for being Debbie Downer on our fun road trip to LA, and for just being no fun to be with.

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