FOUR MONTHS LATER ...
I don't even know where to begin. Four months has flown. The past year has flown. A week after my last post, I made a return trip to the doctor, who told me that the hemorrhage was completely healed, as well as the swollen vocal fold and accompanying nodule. He said that I still had (have) a node on the other fold and wanted me to have it surgically removed, which I did not want to do. This has resulted in a more prolonged rehab period, and I'm still not out of the woods yet. But in the midst of all of this, some unexpected light.
The Theatre came calling.
In November I was asked to be in a play at a theater I hadn't worked at before. The director was an old friend, and very understanding of my vocal concerns, but as I didn't have to sing, I had less to worry about. And when opening night came around, I had a strong enough speaking voice that I could project in the space. It felt so good to be onstage again. Jordan Hue ... from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Shortly after I began rehearsals for that, I got another call from another theater. Again, an old friend was directing a show, and asked me to be a part of the cast. This time the show was a musical, so I had my concerns. I asked him if he'd be ok with me not giving him 100% of my voice during rehearsals, and working through some of my vocal difficulties and flaws (I now have issues singing in the G4 - C5 area). Having vocal limitations is very hard for me. Having to admit that I have them is even harder. But my friend, who has been witness to this journey from the beginning, was completely understanding. So I had little else to do, but say 'yes'.
Right before rehearsals began, I found myself reaching one of the goals I had set when the vocal hemorrhage was first seen. I sang in church on Christmas Eve. It was the first time I'd sung at all in many months and while I was doing no solo work, to be able to join my choir once again was humbling and exhilarating and a little scary. But I did it. And man, did it feel good. And I'm proud to say that since then, I've barely missed a single Sunday of singing in the choir. It takes me longer to warm up now (especially at 9:00 on a Sunday morning) but I'm doing it.
After this, I will take a break. The theater where I did the play has asked me back to be in another comedy for them, in the spring. So I'll be able to rest my voice and continue to build it back, but not push it.
So here I sit, one rehearsal away from Opening Night. This has been some journey. The morning of the day the doctor found the hemorrhage, I was attending the funeral of the man who was the founder of the theater where I will make my debut tomorrow night. So I feel like tomorrow can't be anything but blessed. But you know what ... it will be blessed, simply because it will BE. There was I time I wasn't sure I'd ever sing onstage again. And now, here I am. Because, after all, I'm a singer ... and a singer sings.
And I am still a singer.