There’s a new cancer girl in town. Well, she’s in Vegas, close enough. Regardless of where she is, you want this badass chick on your “Help Me Get Through This” team.
I stumble upon Elly Brown as Sunday morning political show frustration reaches a peak and yelling at the TV is scaring the cats. The little white one lifts an eyebrow in disgust. I lower the volume, mine and the tv’s, and turn to social media to calm a weary soul.
Her beautiful singing voice calls attention. And then she speaks. Tears threaten to cascade. She has my after surgery voice and speech. Never have I heard it before it was mine and never since. I physically feel her difficulty in word formation, cadence and enunciation. She, too, knows what happens when a surgeon radically dissects a neck, refashions the inside of a mouth, food is delivered through a tube and the speech one knows as their own is gone forever.
She is braver than me. Only a handful of close friends and The Goddess, a bestie and the world’s best speech pathologist, know the sounds and the struggle that came with my learning to speak again. Never again will I underestimate a toddler’s angst in learning to form language. Elly Brown not only pulled on her big girl panties, she let her voice out there for all to hear. And see. The struggle is palpable. A rebuilt tongue doesn’t move as quickly as the brain thinks. Words exit a formerly confident mouth slowly, laboriously.
I am in awe. While I hid away, practicing mouth stretches, slurring s’s and the sound a “g” makes, this chick turned to You Tube and Facebook. She put her voice out there. Even when it needed closed captioning. Her hope is to bring awareness and hope to others. Mine was to figure out how to sing Meat Loaf at fever pitch once again. Shame on me.
Of course, I must know her. Investigative skills kick in and I contact her. I tell her she’s reached a kindred soul and I must meet her. Nothing like scaring another chick right out of the gate. It’s how we roll, right? As luck (or something else?) would have it, Middle Chicken’s Lawyer Boy is in Vegas so travel to Sin City is often. She answers. She read the blog and says we need to connect. Next time I’m in Vegas baby.
Seems new friends, and inspiration, are all around us, non? This time, what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.
Meet her yourself. Be awed. Be inspired. Make a new friend today.