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@jen75, do not worry about vocal cord (VC) paralysis. There are many, many people that underwent radiation and never had their VCs paralyze. I had covid during radiation, then again after being vaccinated. It was after the second bout with covid that the VCs paralyzed. So, whether it was radiation, covid, or a combination of both…is anyone's guess. Having a trach is not that bad, especially after having a huge amount of mucus trapped behind the VCs for over one year. It was the "year from hell." The doctors did not know why I kept losing my breath and would be up night after night trying to get the superglue consistency mucus out of my throat/lungs. The trapped mucus created unhealthy conditions requiring several hospitalizations with IV antibiotics. You can understand why having the trach is a blessing. All I do is pop it out, clean it out, pop it back in, and I'm good to go! Just have patience and you will barely remember the time you lost your voice. Maybe it is just me trying to forget, but I honestly have a hard time remembering having no voice! The mind can do miraculous things to protect us! If you want to be bored (!), just go to my profile and look at comments. I go on and on and on! Take care.

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I second the opinion where it is good to have a forum where you don't feel alone.