I will have the standard surgery, which involves an inch and a half incision on the front of the throat. It will leave a scar, but the surgeon always cuts in the crease of the neck, so as it fades, it will blend in more with the crease, and be less noticeable. But I’m not afraid of the scar.
I’m afraid for my voice.
One of the potential complications for this surgery is damage to the nerve that controls the voice box, because it is right behind the thyroid. Sometimes people come out of surgery with a hoarse voice, and in rare circumstances, it can be permanent. That terrifies me. I like to sing, not professionally, and not even in a group right now (no time!), but I love to sing. I’d miss my voice so much if it was damaged. When we left the surgeon’s office, and I mentioned the voice to my mom, i started crying. She said, “Well, it’s better than dying of cancer,” and in desperation I said, “No, it’s not. It’s worse! It’s worse than death.” I spent the rest of my day off trying to keep my mind off of that fact, and occasionally crying. I watched a lot of TV, and read a little. I saw a PBS DVD about the history of the Jews, and Elie Wiesel talked about how Jews remember the destruction of the Jewish temples by observing the laws of Shiva, or mourning. One law is they sit on the floor. As soon as he said that, I left my comfortable spot on the couch and took a seat on the floor.
Anyway, the stress of this whole situation was starting to get to me. I got sick on Thursday, and had to take the day off from work. In a weird way, it helped. I watched more TV, and read a little (I need to reverse that!) and I actually felt far more relaxed and in a much better humor. I also realized I need to rethink how I face the prospect of surgery and losing my voice.