Dating after a major surgery

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  1. profile image52
    ladyp03posted 9 years ago

    Hi -
    I haven't been on here in years but I have a question that I hope you can help me with.

    I was born with Cancer so I have scars on my neck, which I don't care about and b/c of a paralyzed vocal cord, had a raspy voice.  I recently had a Total Laryngectomy, which is removal of my Voice Box.  Presently, I am using an ElectroLarynx, which is a device that you press against your throat to 'talk'. This is temporary until I get a Voice Prosthesis; I would be pressing on a button like device to speak and will get a new voice. 

    Anyway, I am 45 y/o, a single mom to a 10 y/o girl and have been divorced since 2005.  I have dated a little in the past but fear that my Laryngectomy will now deter guys from talking/asking me out.  Though I can be shy, I can also be outgoing in certain situations.  I (think I) have a great sense of humor, cute, good personality and try to keep up a positive attitude despite this life changing surgery. 

    How do I meet someone who will accept me as I am?  Doing online dating is no good and all my friends are married.  Suggestions on how to meet nice understaning guys?


    1. profile image0
      Beth37posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I have never heard of someone being born with cancer. Im so sorry.
      Good for you... you do seem so positive with so many good qualities. Keep in mind there are men and women out there with lesser obstacles to overcome also wishing to find the right someone to spend their lives with... so don't feel less than if you haven't met him yet. I wish the best for you!

    2. Shyron E Shenko profile image69
      Shyron E Shenkoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I have not heard of anyone being born with cancer.  I hope that the surgery removed it and you are now cancer free.  I also did not there is such a thing as a Voice Prosthesis. Just be youself and someone will come along that will appreciate the 'positative, outgoing, funloving person that you are.' It is like when you lose something, when you stop looking you will find it/him. I can't speak for online dating I am married.
      I hope you find a soul mate, and stay cancer free.

  2. Writer Fox profile image27
    Writer Foxposted 9 years ago

    Go visit:

    He's looking for someone, too.

  3. healthbooklet profile image89
    healthbookletposted 9 years ago

    I dont have nice answer for this... because I am not that much expert in relationship but I wanna say "Wish You Best of Luck" .... whole heartly

    Happy days my dear smile

  4. Carb Diva profile image94
    Carb Divaposted 9 years ago

    Is there a support group for people who have had your type of surgery? They might be able to offer some advice.

    1. profile image52
      ladyp03posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you! I did not have the surgery because I had Cancer athough the Radiation I had as a child caused one of my vocal cords to be paralyzed and a very narrow airway. I had the surgery b/c my breathing was getting worse (that narrow airway) and I was choking
      So I guess you can say that Cancer indirectly caused me to have this surgery. Oh and BTW, when I was born, there was his golf ball size tumor on my neck that obviously developed in my mother's stomach.
      Anyway yes there is a support group - WEB WHISPERS - that I found before the surgery so I was very informed of what lie ahead. The downside to this surgery is that the majority of people who have this surgery are: older men - 70's/80's - who have had Throat Cancer. My case was not the norm as I'm not a smoker, I didn't have Cancer/Radiation (now) and I'm young. No one on the support group forum can relate to me and my "problem' as they've been married for years. Heck no one even works anymore!!!

      1. profile image0
        Beth37posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Surely they have sons. smile

      2. mgt28 profile image59
        mgt28posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Lady03, If you write hubs here, for which this forum is mostly about, you may connect with a lot of people here. You may not get, ehem, a husband, but you will surely get people who will appreciate your thoughts and stories.

  5. WilliamWWhitten profile image62
    WilliamWWhittenposted 9 years ago

    I honestly believe you just made the first step with this post. I delighted at reading your question, in that, before I was done reading it, I was smiling. Hope you understand my meaning.

    1. profile image52
      ladyp03posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Unfortunately I don't understand your meaning. Blame it on the surgery; it's only been a month so I'm still not really with it wink Even my hair is falling out b/c of the Anesthesia.... sad

      1. Shanna11 profile image80
        Shanna11posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I would hazard a guess that he is perhaps interested?

  6. profile image0
    cjaroszposted 9 years ago

    I am sorry for your situation. I couldn't imagine it. If I were in this situation, I would tell the guys ahead of time. There may be some that walk away. But there may be that one who sees the beauty in you. If not before, then after. Many people, aren't too quick to jump into a relationship when they know what is coming ahead. Afterwards when its all done, may be your best chance. It will be hard. Don't give up. There is someone out there, waiting to find you. Who will love you for who you are, and not your physical problems.

  7. Carola Finch profile image95
    Carola Finchposted 9 years ago

    I have gone through breast cancer and recently had reconstruction surgery, so I have  a little understanding of how you must be feeling.  I feel like the bride of Frankenstein with all my scars.  However, I do believe that love can happen where you lest expect it.  Look at someone like Joni Tada - a quadriplegic who found an able-bodied husband. Remember a movie - I believe it is called "The Other Side of the Mountain" - and the sequel? The heroine found love not once but twice.  Keep hoping!  If the guys around you are too shallow not to see your good qualities, they aren't keepers anyways.

    1. profile image52
      ladyp03posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the support!  A woman at work went out 2 weeks before I did and had a double Mastectomy.  To be cautious, she is getting Chemo and is having a hard time with it.  So my thinking/feelings are is that whenever you start feeling sorry for yourself for your situation, other people are suffering more.  It's funny, a mutual friend told me that this woman said the same thing about me - that my situation is worse b/c they took away my voice.  I try to be upbeat but kinda get down as I can't (ok, don't feel comfortable) going out with my friends yet to bars, wherever we used to go and I am feeling 'left out' if you will.  They are going ahead with their lives and I feel I am taking a step back. And though I try not to feel sorry for myself, no one has called to say, can I come over to visit, etc.  My co-workers have been coming over, texting, emailing me to see how I am doing, offering any help they can.  If I say something to my friends, it's like I'm asking for attention and I don't want to do that.

      Ok, sorry about this pity party.  I hope I'm not overstepping by 'Kvetching' on here.  I guess we all need to sometimes though.

      1. profile image0
        Beth37posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I think you're incredible... just pouring your heart out to a room full of strangers... it's very brave. But you don't seem like you're asking for pity at all... you are simply just one more person struggling to make it thru life with the hand you've been dealt. You're quite inspirational.

  8. LongTimeMother profile image92
    LongTimeMotherposted 9 years ago

    Hey, ladypo3. I lived next door to a woman with an ElectroLarynx. Her circumstances were different because it was the result of a car accident in which her throat was crushed, but the result was the same.

    She had a wonderful partner and they were a great couple. I know for a fact they met after her surgery - not before!  I never knew her before her accident so I don't know what her life was like before the new 'voice box' but they had some great parties with lots of friends. (Don't forget to invite your neighbours, lol.)

    Years have passed since then so I don't know what the latest technology is like, but I will share my recollections in case they help. When talking with her, there was a short delay and a noise before she could speak but we were used to it and it didn't interrupt the flow of our conversations. I do recall that she always looked us directly in the eyes which was very helpful. Our eyes remained locked throughout conversations and nobody looked around in embarrassment.

    We had good chats and I remember her very fondly. I never thought to ask her if it was uncomfortable or difficult for her to speak. Is it uncomfortable or difficult for you? Maybe she was silently cursing every time she saw me coming! lol.

    1. profile image52
      ladyp03posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you LongTimeMother - that was very helpful! Yea, it doesn't matter what the circumstances were for getting a Laryngectomy, we all face the same thing.  I'm grateful that there has been many advances in medicine that I am able to have a Voice Prosthesis as I don't like using the ElectroLarynx (EL) and would hate to have to use it forever/only means of communication.  I am going to lunch today with a group of men (and their wives) who all use the EL for communication. It will be interestng to talk with them and get their prospective on things. As I mentioned, the things they went through/go through will be a little different then mine b/c they all had Cancer and Radiation plays a big part in how things are for them ie: scarring, range of motion in their neck, re-occurance(s) of Cancer, etc.

      Thanks for the information on how your recollections on your conversations with her.  It helps to get feedback from others how how 'we' are heard/understood.  My Speech Therapist did tell me about always maintaining eye contact with the person you are speaking to, to talk slow and to annuniciate my words (I talk fast but b/c I'm Italian, I talk with my hands wink, my face is very expressive and people can read my lips).  Right now, it's not uncomfortable to speak, it just kinda wears me out if I talk for too long.  Sometimes I 'speak' by belching up air which really makes me tired and light headed. Thanks for the info! 

      Beth37, thanks for your kind words about being strong/inspirational (many people have told me the same thing); however, I have a hard time accepting those words b/c basicaly, I had no other choice and to me there's nothing strong about it.  It was either do this and see my dtr grow up or .......... sad  If I had done this, say, next year, my ability to 'bounce back' would be diminished. And now I can do more things (well, I hope to once all is said and done) with her and feel better, not huffing and puffing walking up the stairs!!!!!!  But THANKS!! It does mean alot to hear how people see me. And maybe there is someone out there who feels the same way and will accept me - warts and all wink

      1. profile image0
        Beth37posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        What makes someone brave is not *that the suffered, but how the reacted to the suffering. You could wallow in self pity, as most probably would, but you just seem to accept that life deals us all different hands and the way you carry your hand is quite bravely. Yes, you are an inspiration. Accept it, it's a gift you've been given and a gift you offer others.

      2. LongTimeMother profile image92
        LongTimeMotherposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Yep, I can vouch for your speech pathologist's advice, ladyp03. Eye contact is really good.

        Enjoy your lunch!


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