Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One year on

On this day last year (at about this time), I was diagnosed with cancer. I thank God for many things: that I'm still alive (it really wasn't looking good for the first few weeks); for the love and support (and generosity) of so many people over the last year, particularly my wife Jessica; for a wonderful (basically) free public medical system in Australia; for the chance to reflect with a little more depth and urgency upon death, fear and hope (amongst other things); and for "new birth into a living hope" (1 Peter 1.3), which gives us so much to live for now.

Voice update
Yesterday, I saw my speech pathologist for the first time in a few months. She was very pleased with my progress and said at the end of my appointment that I am the miracle case that she tells stories about. After our first few meetings, she had expected I would need surgery to give me back anything like an acceptable level of function, but my vocal strength, endurance and range have all slowly grown each month as I've (usually) practised the exercises she has suggested. I can now hold a conversation without needing to explain that I don't have a cold. I can now sing again, at least a little and within a certain narrow range. Best of all, I can once more pray and praise God amidst his congregation, raising my voice to join in worship, which is, after all, what voices were made for.

The next step will be another nasal endoscopy in late January to determine whether any function has returned to my paralysed left vocal chord. This is unlikely, but my speech pathologist is curious, given my continued and unexpected improvement. If there is any movement, I will continue to see her to strengthen it. If not, I will simply sing as best as I am able in praise of the God who raises the dead.
[With] this poor lisping stammering tongue... I'll sing thy power to save.

- William Cowper (amended)

1 comment:

Gordon Cheng said...

Wonderful news Byron. Praise God!