The surgery went well. I was in and out. And I am now at home, recuperating from the ordeal for the next few days.
I described my nemesis as a lump of ‘mass’ about the size of a marble below my vocal chords. It turned out to be a very large marble – more like a grape. Not one of those Food King grapes you get at your average grocery store. This was more like a Costco grape – you know, those really big grapes that look like they were nourished with steroids. Except this huge grape was dressed up (appropriately) in a Halloween costume to go trick or treating as a cauliflower. The monster practically filled the diameter of my entire throat passage. Looking at the snapshots the surgeon took of it, I don’t see how I could breathe, and I know why I couldn’t talk.
With regards to talking, the ‘mass’ had grown very close to my vocal folds. In fact the surgeon found it necessary to remove a sliver of my vocal chords with it. And I was anxious to give my voice a beta test as soon as I made my dizzy reentry from anesthesia. “Hello,” I said – and was pleased with the result. I have tried not to talk a lot since, in order to give my throat and voice box a chance to heal. So, I’m not sure, at this point, if I’ll ever sing grand opera again. And trial runs so far indicate that my voice may settle in a tad higher than it used to be and may never be as resonant. But time will tell. It’s a little early for conclusions.
And it is much too early for regrets of misgivings. I feel tremendously blessed, and I do not intend to give a whimper of complaint. I have struggled and survived a misfortune that 150 years ago would have killed me. In all likelihood, most of us have. I can breathe again. I can talk again. I can teach again. I am grateful to a kind Heavenly Father, to a skilled surgeon, and to the faith and prayers of so many thoughtful friends who implored the blessings of eternity on my behalf. Thank you for your mindfulness of me in my adversity.
Life goes on. May we all continue to enjoy its bounties – and to bask in the affection of caring friends and the kindness of a loving Heavenly Father.