[Editor’s note. This Patient Story is the second of a two part series written by a member of the NFOSD team from a written interview with patient Angelica Hunsucker. Click here for part 1. All content stems directly from responses to documented interview questions and has been approved in written form by Angelica.]
One of the hardest challenges I had to face with my diagnosis was losing my voice at age sixteen. The laryngectomy was one of those “world coming to an end” moments for me, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the things that I wouldn’t be able to do anymore. The procedure not only removed my voice box but also changed the way I breathe from my mouth to a hole in my neck. Talking on the phone was gone. Swimming was gone – hell if I even fell in a pool I would die! Even things that I could still do, like breathing on my own, somehow became more complicated because of the hole in my neck. I have to be careful with aerosol sprays, dusty areas, and any cologne or strong smells. These set me off and I start coughing badly. I also have tobe careful playing with my girls. I can’t wrestle and play around the way I would like to be able to!