On The Line


On December 15, 2004, Dr. Smith called to let me know that the lump he discovered was in fact thyroid cancer. It was the biggest shock of my life. A singer getting thyroid cancer~What a cruel joke! A singer who doesn't smoke, drink alcohol, drink caffeine, doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t eat white flour or sugar, who takes vitamins every day along with drinking nearly 3 gallons of water getting cancer; down right hysterical!

"Would I be able to sing again? Would I lose my range? Would I be able to project my speaking voice? Would my scar be gruesome? Would I lose my career? Would simple pleasures like singing a lullaby or humming in the car become a thing of the past? WOULD THE CANCER COME BACK?"

 

At that moment, I knew my life was going to change. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter how you live your life. All that matters is how you deal with it when it happens to you.

It became painfully clear that I was going to have to put my neck out On the Line and try to seek the message in this lesson from above. At first, there was the obvious; my neck was going to be sliced open so they could serve my thyroid his eviction notice. I thought about that incision or "Line" quite a bit. Would my line look like a smile? Would the line tell my story? Would the line be the path to my future ~ A long life without cancer? Would the line span across my neck like an equator celebrating all of the cancer survivors around the globe?
Then I started to think about the risks associated with the surgery. The risks were specific to my career. Lines of questions continued to race through my head. Would I be able to sing again? Would I lose my range? Would I be able to project my speaking voice? Would my scar be gruesome? Would I lose my career? Would simple pleasures like singing a lullaby or humming in the car become a thing of the past? WOULD THE CANCER COME BACK?

In swift pursuit of answers, I began my research and set up appointments to interview doctors. On January 20th, 2005, after sitting in a long line of traffic, I found my surgeon, Dr. Greg Randolph. After moments of being in his presence, ALL of my fears surrounding the surgery subsided. I was ready to move forward.

The next step was trying to accept what was happening to me. How could I leave work to deal with my disease? I didn’t have time to wait in line at the deli, let alone have time for cancer. I was Super Woman. I had a million things to do. Wasn’t there a quick fix or pill to get me back on track by Monday?
Mahatma Gandhi said “There is more to life than increasing its speed!” I decided to change gears and look at my cancer, my lump, as a speed bump on the road of my life forcing me to slow down. With only a few days left before the surgery I asked myself how I really wanted to spend my time. Setting everything else aside, I booked an afternoon in a studio. Even though my voice was tired from stress and worry, it was the only way of preserving or documenting my gift just incase things went wrong. After each song was complete, I felt a little more prepared for the operating room. I selected each track for a reason. These songs are not only pages from the scrapbook of my career- they are my thank you cards to all of you!
With Love, Lorna



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