What To Expect After Laryngectomy – My Father’s Voice With Larynx Cancer

expect after laryngectomy

What To Expect After Laryngectomy- My Father’s Journey and Spirit of Hope

My father was diagnosed with larynx cancer almost seventeen years ago. He had surgery and treatment at MD Anderson.  When you wake up after laryngeal cancer and have no voice box, what can you expect after laryngectomy? My daddy was my hero in so many ways. He was left without a voice box and dedicated so much of his time to others with  laryngectomees.  He took his adversity and never looked back, never complained and only wanted to help others get through this tremendous challenge.  I included his beautiful poem below dedicated to larynegectommees and if you know anyone who has had head and neck cancer, please read it to them.  It makes you feel better. Recently, I taped an interview with Nancy Pena on Colores Latino TV and of course, my father in his courageous battle was part of the interview.

How Can You Know What To Expect After Laryngectomy?  Diagnosed with Larynx Cancer My Daddy Helped Others

My Father wrote this poem almost seventeen years ago.  If you know someone with throat cancer, it is a great poem to share. How can you know what to expect after laryngectomy? My father didn’t! All cancers are not easy but head and neck cancer can affect your senses and it did my father.  After extensive radiation, he lost his sense of taste and also lost his voice.  However, he was heard loud and clear with his artificial larynx. He started the Jessie Hart Lost Chords Club in Tarrant County making sure they had supplies for those that weren’t as fortunate.  My Father made it his mission for people with laryngectomees to be heard!

expect after larynctomy and give Laryngectomees a voice.

My Father Helped Give Laryngectomees A Voice To Be Heard

Now, I want  to share this beautiful poem and if you know someone who has a challenging time, please share this poem with them. This poem was written 16 years ago in 2001.


How could I ever forget the feeling of that day when I found out,
That Throat Cancer and being speechless was going to be my toughest bout
I was not prepared to face life without being able to speak
My anguish and despair led me to think that I would become a freak

I was speechless and depressed and I didn’t care what would happen to me
Until a Laryngectomize visitor walked in and asked me what I want to be
I wrote, “a whole person again with a strong and powerful voice.”
And she said “very good, I am going to give you an interesting choice

You will write no more because I have an artificial Layrnx for you”
If you really want to speak, it is yours and I will show you what can do.
That was five years ago when I had the luckiest day of my life
And now I am trying to give hope and information to Laryngectomees in strife

When I visit throat cancer patients in the hospital and to me it’s a beautiful sight
I bring them help, confidence and information that should reduce their fright
When I leave their hospital room they have a vision for a future with courage and hope
And they have the incentive to get well and speak because now they can cope

I hope I will blessed to have the opportunity to fulfill my goals for many more years,
And provide the needs and help for Laryngectomized persons and take away their tears.

My Father Traveled To Schools To Speak to Children On The Effects Of Smoking –Larynx Cancer

I hope you liked my father’s poem.  He dedicated time to help other laryngectomees have a voice.  In fact, he used to go through so many batteries with his artificial larynx he talked so much.  One of the things I admired most (there’s so many) was Daddy traveled to different schools to speak to the kids about not smoking.  He was a One Man No Smoking Campaign and I can only imagine how many lives he saved.  It was frightening for kids to see the stoma, his whole in his neck, and what larynx cancer did to him.  When he was diagnosed with larynx cancer, it’s hard to know what to expect after laryngectomy.  However, he thought he was the luckiest person and shared his voice with so many about life lessons.

I Appeared with Nancy Pena on Colores Latinos TV with Eating Well Through Cancer

When Nancy Pena asked me to appear on her bilingual television show, Colores Latinos TV, in October, it was very special.  Of course, we all know that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  However, at the time I was living in Ft. Worth with my parents helping my Dad in Hospice as he was diagnosed with larynx cancer almost seventeen years ago.  He was my hero and I was glad I could do this interview to help others enjoy food during this challenging time. He had a sore mouth and my Potato Soup served at room temperature was easy for him to eat.

Watch Interview on Colores Latinos TV and Get Two Great Cancer Recipes From Cancer Cookbook

Recipes I Prepared On Interview on Colores Latinos TV

I made a Taco Chicken Salad which is one of my favorite entree salad recipes.  You can toss this salad together in no time at all and the recipe is in both the Spanish edition and English Eating Well Through Cancer Cookbook. My go to snack recipe I use so many times for snacks and festive occasions is the Snack Mix which is also included in both cookbooks. Most importantly, in both books the recipes feed the cancer patients and the entire family.  What you eat makes a difference when you are going through treatment.

My Cancer Cookbooks Dedicated To My Father Who Had Larynx Cancer

I make both these books available at very special prices for cancer centers and cancer organizations.  You may contact me directly at holly@hollyclegg.com to help people during this challenging time.

Alimentándose bien durante el cáncer / Eating Well Through Cancer (Spanish Edition)MAlimentándose bien durante el cáncer / Eating Well Through Cancer (Spanish Edition)

I wrote my cookbook, Eating Well Through Cancer for my father to find foods he could tolerate while going through treatment.  He loved to eat but we also knew how important eating and nutrition was while going through treatment.  .

In my interview, I discussed this challenging time I know my father experienced and others with food and cancer with Nancy Pena on Colores Latino TV.  I was very excited to publish the cancer cookbook in Spanish also to give the Hispanic population this wonderful resource.


Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Tips to Guide you Through Treatment and Cancer PreventionEating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Tips to Guide you Through Treatment and Cancer Prevention

My cookbook, Eating Well Through Cancer, was dedicated to my father because he was my inspiration behind this cookbook. I understood the challenges of going through head and neck cancer and food. He loved to eat more than anyone and I wanted to help make it possible for him for his comfort and nutrition.

Both versions of this cookbook contain great information, recipes, and tips to help guide you through cancer treatment.


Both my cancer cookbooks include slow cooker recipes and I highlight these recipes with a crock pot symbol. I know slow cooker recipes are great for cancer patients as the food fixes itself.

 Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel   Hamilton Beach Programmable Slow Cooker, 7-Quart  Crock-Pot 6-qt  Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Timer 

Holly Clegg
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Holly Clegg

With over 1 MILLION COOKBOOKS sold, Holly Clegg has become a culinary expert on easy healthy everyday recipes through her nationally recognized best-selling trim&TERRIFIC® and Eating Well cookbook series, including Eating Well Through Cancer, (English, Spanish and Chinese editions), Eating Well to Fight Arthritis and Diabetic Cooking with the ADA. Clegg attended the Cordon Bleu Cooking School, London and has appeared on Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today, QVC, The 700 Club, USA Today, Cooking Light Magazine, Web MD, and Huff Post. She consulted and did spokesperson work for Walmart, Teflon, DuPont, The Coca-Cola Company, and hospitals throughout the country. For more information, visit About Holly or The Healthy Cooking Blog for more recipes and tips.
Holly Clegg
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