Other's Stories

we would like to dedicate this page to some of the amazing people who have been through or who are currently fighting this battle. 





Aaron's book is a great read. I really enjoyed it. available on Amazon.

Jon organ


Howdy! I’m Aaron Wayne, laryngectomee.
I was born in July of 1947 and raised in the Rocky Mountains, growing up mostly
in Wyoming. I left there at seventeen to join the Navy and see the world. I saw
more of Viet Nam than anywhere else. I married a California girl and settled
down near L.A. after my discharge. Sadly, Shelley passed away last May after
nearly 56 years of putting up with me.
In early 2019, I began having a slight sore throat, an earache, and started
becoming hoarse. After a few misdiagnoses, a nurse during my third visit to the
emergency room finally called in an ENT and after he scoped my throat and found
a small growth on my larynx, arranged for an emergency tracheotomy that same
evening. As I was being strapped to the operating table, he told me that I would
need to be awake for the first part of it. He took a biopsy sample during the
operation. Several agonizing days later, the diagnosis was squamous cell
carcinoma and a total laryngectomy was recommended. Being the curious type, I
had already begun to research the topic and had already decided to go ahead
with the surgery as quickly as possible, and the surgery was scheduled. I was
accepted into the Head and Neck Cancer group at UCLA and suddenly had a dozen
doctors that I had to meet with, some individually and some in a group. I was
interviewed by a psychologist and approved for the procedure.
Waking up after the tracheotomy in the ICU, I had been given a clipboard full of
blank sheets of paper and a pen. I had my total laryngectomy on October 21,
2019. Over the next seven months this clipboard became my primary means of
communication. While I was recovering from the total laryngectomy, I was
attended by one respiratory technician/therapist who became interested in all of
the notes that I had been keeping and asked if he could show them to some of his
other patients. When he returned them, he encouraged me to keep writing and
perhaps write them up as an article that he and other respiratory care providers
might use as a reference. I ended up writing a small book. My first book was
titled “The Silent Partner”, the title of which is actually the punch line to a
humorous story at the end of the book. The story involved in my starting a
business making decorative stickers for my HME and selling them to other larys.
As it turned out, I actually did start making the stickers. However, I don’t sell
them, I give them away. I retired from the business world four years before my
diagnosis and had been looking for something to do with my time when I became

a lary. Since I had a lot of time on my hands, I decided to use it constructively and
become an advocate for laryngectomee awareness. Since then I have created
more than sixty designs for HME stickers, including a few that glow in the dark
and two that light up when pressed, and written a second book: “The Silent
Knight”, a collection of essays that I and a few other larys had written about being
a lary and what our lives were like. I am currently working on a cozy mystery that
will feature a lary who assists a friend at US Customs in catching some smugglers.
I am also trying to get on national television and have already sent audition tapes
to a few game shows. I manage the Facebook page “Food for Warriors”, which
deals with disphagia among HNC patients, and I started a Facebook page for larys
who want to or must travel, called: “Lary Travel Group”. I do sell my books, but I
also give many away to new larys, caregivers, and to SLP’s and other medical care
providers who care for my fellow warriors. I have also been asked to mentor
students who are studying to become SLP’s.
In short, this is my Life After Lary.
Lary on, my fellow warriors!
Aaron Wayne


Amazing story from a lady I now call my friend. Wonder woman.


My Name is Lucy Lodge and I was diagnosed with Cancer of the Vocal Chords in August 2011 at 25
years old. I had 36 sessions of radiotherapy but unfortunately it angered the cancer rather than
cured it. The radiotherapy was brutal and I had sever burns around my neck and was in constant
pain. If I sneezed, yawned or coughed I cried in agony. I lived on mainly yogurts, ice lollies and foods
with lots of sauce or gravy for a while. I wish it was all worth it but it wasn’t meant to be for me.
On 1 st February 2012 at 26 I had a total laryngectomy making me cancer free.
When I went for my surgery I was unaware of if I was having laser surgery or a total laryngectomy. I
said to my consultant ‘do what you need to do and I will deal with it when I wake up.’ I remember
waking to my mum at the bottom of my hospital bed and I was looking at her and pointing at my
neck as I had no idea what had happened. She looked at me crying and said ‘Oh Lucy, they had to do
it.’ And that is how I found out I had had a Total laryngectomy.
I spent 17 days in hospital to recover which all seems like a blur now. I think my way of dealing with
things is by blocking them out and I think that is exactly what I did. I remember refusing to look at
myself in the mirror and it wasn’t until 2 friends come to see me in hospital and we had a photo
taken that I saw myself for the first time. I hated everything about what they had done to me but
knew they had to or I would never have survived. I absolutely hated my new voice when I was
learning to take again and said I sounded like a ‘gremlin’.
Not long after my surgery I went through a messy breakup and moved back in with my parents and
brothers to recover properly. I thought I would never find anyone that would be interested in me
again and started to build my life back together. I went back to work, I dressed up and went out with
my friends and family and enjoyed myself.
Since my laryngectomy I have had multiple surgeries, 1 of having my gall bladder removed, 2 fat
transfers where fat was taken from my stomach and injected into my neck (due to radiotherapy
damage) and 1 Caesarean.
2 ½ years after my Laryngectomy I had my son Keagan who was born via Caesarean section weighing
9lb 5 ( little chunk). I took to life as a mum well, I did sometimes feel like I didn’t have enough hands
and sometimes I still feel like that as one hand is always being used to press my button to talk. My
relationship with Keagan’s dad broke down when he was 4 ½ years old and me and Keagan moved
into our own little house.
I then met my partner Simon and we have now bought a house together and we are expecting our
first child together due Feb 2024. He is extremely supportive of both me and Keagan and we are very
excited for what is yet to come (sleepless night and dirty nappies).
All of this is proof that life can be very testing at times and its not all plain sailing but I am still here, I
am happy with my life and I will continue to jump over any hurdles that are put in front of me.