Meet Paul! He’s sharing his story of his experience of having a laryngectomy and how he’s living his life now.
Going through surgery
Meet Paul Clark.
In 2016 I’d undergone treatment for T2 throat cancer, 30 sessions of RT, 6 of Chemo. I was classed as in remission in May 2016. By May 2017 it was back. The only option open to me was a total Laryngectomy. On June 25th 2017 I went into Blenheim Ward at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. At that point, I had a normal voice, albeit very weak. I went to sleep that night not knowing what the future would hold. I woke up 36 hours later with no voice box, no way of communicating other than writing on a pad I’d taken into hospital, or with my hands, or with my eyes.
After his laryngectomy
The next two weeks were tough as I got used to my new way of living. Highlights were the Lions drawing with NZ, lowlights were breaking down crying on an almost daily basis. After two weeks I was allowed to drink and eat again without a tube. I was taught how to make a voice.
5 years on and life isn’t too shabby. My voice is pretty good most of the time. I tend to use the Life Stability plate and the Freehands HME the vast majority of the time. I can eat and drink whatever I want to, within reason. I’ve had to quit the job I loved as meeting people face to face just wasn’t possible, and my confidence in meeting strangers has been shot to pieces.
But, and it’s a HUGE BUT, I’m still here.