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Cancer: The Experience of Voice

On feeling low and flying high after cancer surgery
PUBLISHED March 08, 2016
As a psychologist specializing in clinician-patient communication, Greg has worn a few hats: university professor, associate dean, foundation executive and independent consultant. Diagnosed in January 2014 with high-grade carcinoma of the head and neck, he underwent extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment over the next five months. He and his wife Suzanne reside in Connecticut and are profoundly grateful to all the oncology professionals, staff and survivors who treat and support them.
Facing major road blocks 
Cancer near my voice box 
Get me to the best docs 
 
Panic on a big scale
Surgeons need the detail 
Send it overnight mail
 
Multi-city detour 
Options there to try for 
Found the best team on tour
 
Gurney to the O.R. 
Road ahead looks so far 
Surgeons are my North Star
 
Waking up the next day 
Tubes are in my airway 
Getting through it some way
 
Regimens to follow 
Fighting hard to swallow  
Feeling scared and hollow
 
Tripping on the pain med 
Colors fill my whole head 
Nights are long in this bed
 
Wakeful as a night owl 
Nerves are on the late prowl 
Can't say even one vowel
 
Scribble notes on loose leaf 
Pile up a big sheaf 
Writing brings me relief
 
Midway through the next week 
Surgeons add a new tweak 
Suddenly I do speak
 
With a tiny voice back 
Physically I'm on track 
Mentally a new tack
 
Listen on the inside 
Cancer is a rough ride 
Emphasize the upside
 
Healing starts to creep in 
Confidence will deepen 
Crooked roads can straighten 

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