Since 1999, this brain tumor, although benign, has taken a lot from me–hearing and feeling on one side, reduction in fluids like saliva, tears, on the left side. And so on. In 2016 and a year after Charles died, I had gamma knife radiation treatment to fry it which left me with trouble swallowing (dysphasia), upper esophageal reflux and vocal cord issues. By far the most devastating was the loss of my voice. It was barely above a whisper. For a while, the botox injections (called vocal fold injections) were working and then they weren’t.
To qualify for the more permanent solution, a implant surgery called medialization thyroplasty, my neurosurgeon had to declare the tumor dead, fried, unable to cause any more problems. And it was this past December. Dead at last.
As soon as he gave it a memorial service, I scheduled for this gortex implant to be placed under the vocal cord. Emotionally, I struggled with not being able to socialize or not being heard if there was any background noise in the room. I was left wondering if I should focus on a speaking business, given my limited vocal cord function. The breathy part had me using so much air in order to communicate I was exhausted at day’s end and while microphones helped, without one I struggled.
It was too much after losing my child to suicide and I hoped that this would work and when it did, I cried in the operating room after the procedure I was so overjoyed. You’ll see that at the very end. I had to be awake but I was not afraid and couldn’t wait to get in there.
You will be hearing more from me now!