In the past few months, I’ve been in a battle of sorts; a battle for my life, though it’s not quite as dramatic as that sounds. I was diagnosed with Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) a dozen years ago, and last year it came back after a 10-year remission. Earlier this year, my doctor felt a nodule in my thyroid. She sent me for an ultrasound, and then a biopsy. At the end of May, I learned that the nodule was “highly suspicious” for thyroid carcinoma, and that I would need to have my thyroid removed. There were really no alternatives, but fortunately, this is one of the most curable forms of cancer, and very slow-growing, so I had sufficient time to investigate different surgeons. My biggest concern has been my voice. After all, I coach on the phone, I host a show on Blogtalkradio, and I’m a singer. The thyroid is right next to the vocal chords, and it is possible to have significant vocal damage during thyroid removal. I finally selected Dr. Komisar at Lenox Hill Hospital. Dr. Komisar is experienced with dealing with people like me who use my voice professionally.
On Monday, I had a total thyroidectomy. I learned that I have unusual vocal chords, and it was a big challenge to deal with them. My voice is weak, but seems to be intact. I’m told it will regain strength. If it doesn’t, I would be unable to coach effectively over the phone, my Internet radio show would have to cease, and I’d never get to sing again. I’ll find out soon enough.
What would I coach myself to do if this were to prove true? Well, of course, I would look to my strengths. My voice has always been one of them. Writing is another (you could call it “my other voice”); thus, I would suggest to myself that I start writing a lot more. I am going to take my suggestion. Great coaching, me!
I’m thinking of creating an entirely new blog, and using the more robust hosted version of WordPress, which allows for more customization and the potential for creating partnerships. I’m not clear if I can port this blog over, though I would like to be able to keep it as an archive. I started this one back when I was in coaching school. At the time, blogging was just starting to become hot, and the good people at ICA decided that it should be required of students that they start a blog. The blog has evolved over the past few years, though I have not written here nearly enough.