My surgery

As many of you have heard, I will be having throat surgery this December. I wanted to clear the air on all of the rumors and let you know the truth. I have had a husky voice my entire life and I always thought it was from too much talking. I finally found a brilliant throat specialist who discovered the real cause of my vocal problems. Apparently I have a tiny little bump on my vocal chord that is completely benign, but when my throat becomes swollen, from too much talking etc., it rubs against the other side of my throat and aggravates the area. She suggested I get the thing lobbed off and rest my voice for about two weeks while I am on holiday break this December (I admit, this will be the hardest part). The procedure is so easy, that I won’t even spend the night in the hospital. After the two week rest period, who knows, I might even have a new sounding voice!

However, I do not have cancer of any kind. In fact, my mom made me get a full exam when I hit 40 (no joke-I actually gave blood on my birthday) and the report I got back was that I am the picture of health. My good cholesterol is the highest this doctor has ever seen and my bad cholesterol is the lowest. My blood pressure is perfect. The rumors about throat cancer really bother me, not only because they are completely false, but also because it disregards the feelings of those people who actually have throat cancer. To make light of a serious condition like this is inexcusable.

So wish me luck  and I’ll be back in action and signing books on my annual book tour during the first two weeks of December.  Hope I see ya on the road!

539 Responses to “My surgery”

  1. Ellen Pfau says:

    Rachael, I hear nothing wrong with your voice, mine sounds like yours, has for years, only sometimes it is nothing more than a whisper also. Seems during a hip replacement surgery the tube being inserted or extracted from my throat paralized my vocal coard, (luckily just one)and I was left with a voice that sounds worse than yours, and that cuts out on me if I try to force it. For me there is nothing to be done to correct the situation. The doctors sent me to a speech theoripist to teach me to speak “differently”. I learned but the sound was so high pitched and nasal sounding I decided to keep my sexy low grovel. I tell everyone I am going to try out for some of Loren Bacall’s rolls.
    I know you will do well, like most of us nothing will keep you down. The best to you and enjoy your “quiet” holiday with John and Issi.

  2. Hey Rach! Just wanted to shout out a big hello and good luck from Vancouver, BC. I too, had recent throat surgery – I had my tonsils out. My surgeon said it would be 2-3 weeks for recovery time (from a 10 minute surgery) for someone in their mid 30′s. I am now at the end of my 3 weeks, and although I like working, I like NOT working more. Well, for my day job…

    My passion in life is photography. I have been doing it professionally for 3 1/2 years. Although it is very difficult starting a business (especially financially), I know it will happen for me. My passion in life is to love and bless others, and to capture moments for a lasting memory.

    Take care and be blessed,


  3. Kim Staal says:

    Dear Rachael,

    I hope your surgery goes well. I recently had cervical/spinal surgery and it took about nine months before I had my voice back. They thought one of my vocal cords was not going to work again, but with physical therapy it came back. Drink lots of water & be sure to rest your voice when you can tell it’s had it; i.e. sounding scratchy/strained. Anyway, may God Bless you and allow you a quick recovery.

    Kim Staal

  4. kayla latch says:

    Hey Rachael!!!
    when i heard all the rumors and stuff that said “the only reason her voice is like that is because she smoked”…i was like what the crap,whatever thats a BIG lie..i was so mad!!! then when i started hearing rumors about u having throat cancer & stuff i was about to cry cause i didn’t know if it was true or not. thats why i’m glad u wrote this & had that thing on the show!!
    I’m so glad u don’t have some type of cancer or whatever!!!


  5. Roseann says:

    No worries with your surgery, my husband has actually had this same surgery six times now. The doctor has told him that his body just produces a particular virus, and the polyps on his vocal cords might very well continue to come back. As a matter of fact, the minute he starts sounding like the “Godfather” we know it’s time for another surgery. Now the doctor has told him “You know the routine, when your ready call the office to have the surgery scheduled.” So take heart, you have a great doctor, and according to your blog, you are in great health… You’ll do just fine
    Best Wishes,

  6. Nikii says:

    This is the first I have heard about your surgery. I am very glad that you are getting things fixed. I always wondered if you were in any pain from your throat, sometimes it just seemed like it really bothered you. Please remember, when talking, less is best.

  7. Tori says:

    La Sorella Rach,
    SOOO glad you will be ok….my prayers are with you! I love all of your shows, and Nutrish is our only dog food now….my doggies LOVE IT!!! I buy several bags at a time, because my rescued dogs deserve the best! Take care of yourself!
    Amore, Tori

  8. Diane says:

    Good luck on your surgery. I am so glad you are taking the time to take care of yourself! I will pray for you. Please keep us informed as to your progress. Is there a baby in your future????
    My prayers are with you!

  9. Cecilia says:

    Hi Rachael:
    I know this was posted a long time ago but I just saw it. I had that surgery years ago and let me tell you, don’t panic. It’s done by the mouth and the only pain I felt after it was in my jaws. Now… the hardest part… I could not talk AT ALL for 4 weeks. I had to write everything and I was almost crazy!. Back then, my kids where small and didn’t know how to read to they were frustrated, now I bet they wish I would have to do it again so they don’t hear me!. When you start talking again you’ll notice a funny tone of voice but it’s just temporary and soon you’ll have your permanent voice for good and you’ll be shocked since it’s not coarse anymore!. Good luck, rest, take care and just relax!

  10. susan says:

    Hi Rach!
    Glad to hear the good news, and with your positive attitude, we all know you’ll be back in no time!!
    Thanks for the great recipes, the wonderful attitude and the smiles you bring to my family.
    God bless and keep smiling!:)

  11. Steve, says:

    Glad to hear things are all ok, and the best of luck with your surgery and a wish for a quick recovery and come back:-)Happy Holiday’s

    Steve, Michigan

  12. mayan says:

    hi ms. rachael :)

    i am a big an of yours here in the Philippines and i am very happy to know that you are safe and healthy!!! i know that you can get through it because you’re a good person :) thank you very much for all the laughter that you willingly shared and continuously sharing with us everyday — it’s really amazing that in spite of the distance and different culture that each and everyone of us have, you are truly making a connection to all of your viewers :) i can personally say too that, you are one of the finest and timeless treasure that this world as ever have!!! GOD BLESS you and your family always! may you always stay happy and healthy (,”)_/

  13. Robin says:

    Rach, Glad to hear the rumors are False! Hubby and I LOVE your show, when I told him about this he actually said…”She don’t need to talk-The girl can COOK!!!” He is a huge fan and we both wish you the best of luck.

  14. Kathy says:

    Thank heavens you will be fine! My husband is a survivor of epiglottis cancer, and your cheerfulness helped him through the darkness of that trial. He is a faithful fan and I’m grateful to you for your part in his recovery. Although he is disabled now, he watches your shows everyday, it brightens the time I must be away from him. I’m so happy and relieved that you are healthy!

  15. Sarah says:

    My prayers are with you.
    I just got out of the hospital mtself.
    I am a diabetic and just lost half of my left foot.
    Let me say this PLEASE listen to your doctor and follow his instructions.
    Also please visit my grand daughters website and sign the guestbook.

  16. Ramona Warren says:

    My prayers go out to you while you are in recovery
    zone. I know John and your family will take good take of you. The one good reason you are in good
    health is you eat all the right foods in their right
    proportions. Take care.

  17. Stacey Williams says:

    Rach, when I heard this terible rumor I cryed. I was so worried that I would never see u on tv again. Boy am I glad it’s not true! I wish u the best of luck. Get better soon. Can’t wait to hear ur new voice.

    Lots of love Stacey

  18. Sue says:

    Rachel, You will be in our thoughts and prayers. My husband and I love to watch your shows you are a beautiful inside and out. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.
    You mentioned Hicks on 11/19 show and we had the pleasure to go away for our anniversary with another couple in Oct. the fort henry hotel (where we stayed) had a scavenger hunt and that was one of the places we had to go taste the apple cider doughnuts as you would say YUM O!!!!! I also like the cider wine. I wish they could mail us the doughnuts. SUE

  19. Rhonda Moody says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I love your voice the way it is. I will hold you up in prayer for an uncomplicated recovery. I am watching your show on the brides in Tx. I am from Corpus Christi, Tx and very aware of the damage from Hurricane Ike. I just want you to know that the weddings have not started but I have tear filled eyes.
    I just want to say thank you for being such a wonderful person. You are so real and seem so honest. I hope I have the chance to meet you in person some day. Till then I will continue to watch your show.
    You are a true Blessing,
    Rhonda Moody

  20. Karen McNicol says:

    Hi Rachael,
    Glad to hear your throat condition is not serious, I admit to being a bit worried for you! I watch your show as much as I can and really love your 30 minuter meal shows as well(those I watch everyday). Take care and hope you have a nice holiday even if you can’t talk that much! (make some recordings to play for you family to remind them of what you “would” say if you could, this could be really funny)

  21. Dorean says:

    I love your voice the way it is you should not change it.

  22. Stephanie says:


    I hope all goes well with the sergery my daughter Catalina needs to have the same thing done she also has bumps on her cords but she is now at boot camp for the Army national Guard in MO she will be home for Christmas hope all goes well paryers for a fast and speedy recovery

    Stephanie in Toledo

  23. Sandra says:

    Hi Rach!! I love you and your shows!!! Glad to hear that you will be ok, my prayers are with you and your family this holiday season!! Good luck and take care of yourself!

  24. Joyce Johnson says:

    Sorry to hear you are having an outpatient procedure on your vocal cord. I just had neck surgery 3 1/2 wks ago. I had become very short of breath and a CAT scan showed I had 3 areas that were blocking my airway. My ENT did an AWAKE tracheostomy, to maintain this airway while she worked. They took out a thyroid gland the size of a small orange along with a biopsy of my tongue. I had to leave the trach in for 3 wks. My great husband had to suction me 3 times a day and it wasn’t fun. Now the trach is out and I am starting to heal. The best part of this whole process, there had to be one, right? Was that now my breathing in so much improved. I had gotten really housebound and literally counted steps so I’d know how far I had to go. This past weekend I actually went to our area mall and walked from one end to the other, something I hadn’t done in 2 yrs!
    My suggestion to you if you are not going to be able to speak for awhile is to make up a list of common things you might want to say. Then all you have to do is point to them instead of writing everything down. Works much better. I wish you the best. I am an avid fan and have been since your beginning with the Food Network. God Speed. Joyce, Johnson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

  25. Josephine R says:

    Hi Rachael, I love you, your show and your products. I’m glad to know that it is not something serious, good luck with your surgery and cant wait to hear your new voice, I’m sure it will be great!!! You are in my prayers.
    Josephine R from Middle Village, NY

  26. Michele says:

    Rach, My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you deal with your surgery and recovery. Remember to take care of yourself and don’t rush your recovery. Enjoy some downtime. Happy Holidays!

  27. Deborah says:

    Hi Rachel!I love your shows. Im glad its not a serious procedure and wish you the best of luck. I just recently had neck surgery. The Dr. found 2 deteriated discs on the back of my spine. Im doing much better now. I do have a wish. Its a long story about my 2 grandsons ages 7yrs and 5yrs. If you are interssted please let me know. May God bless you. Sincerely Deborah Colyer.

  28. Cheryal Adams says:

    I believe you have no bigger fan than me Rachael, and I wanted to extend my prayers to you on your upcoming surgery. I have faith in knowing you will be back, brighter and stronger than ever… but what will WE do while you’re on holiday??

    Take care of yourself, and if you’re ever in Texas, I hope you will stop by our very small town of Grand Prairie!

    Much love and lots of prayers,

  29. Nancy from Napa says:

    Hi Rachael, I am an elementary school Principal who talks – ALOT! I have the same vocal chord condition as you – a beneign cyst that flares up w/too much use. I’m due for surgery but keep putting it off because I’m concerned I won’t be able to keep quiet for 2 weeks! I look forward to hearing your strategies for rest. You’ll inspire me! My best wishes are with you. Come visit Napa sometime – lots of delicious food and beverage here for sure! Take care and return healed, Nancy Jordan, Napa, CA

  30. Kathleen says:

    Rachael – I hope that you are not going to the same NYC doctor that Julie Andrews trusted. She ended up here in Boston with Dr. Steven Zeitels at Mass General who is beyond phenomenal.

    He performed surgery very similar to yours on my daughter when she was in college – she had nodules on her vocal chords and intended to be a cabaret singer. The surgery went amazingly well, the career did not fare so well.

    Best of luck and really do try to rest your voice.

  31. Dear Rachael,
    I hope for you to have a speedy recovery I am glad it’s not Cancer best wishes to
    I love your show and your cooking.
    D. Ruffino

  32. Sandy in Dallas says:

    Rachel – Good to know that you are ok. We here in Dallas will be praying for you and your speedy recovery. Try to keep those vocal cords moving to the least minimum. But as a person with the gift of gab myself, it’s hard to stay quiet. Merry Christmas and enjoy your recovery! LOVE YOUR SHOW!

  33. Randy says:

    Rach, please take this opportunity to quit smoking. We’re all praying for you.

  34. Nancy says:

    Rachel I was watching your episode the other day when you talked about your throat surgery. It hit home. I had my thyroid (right side) removed on Nov 21 and they found cancer. I am having the left side removed on Dec 2nd. I will have to do radiation. I just wanted to wish you luck and remind you that you have a lot of people who care about you. I haved learned a big life lession during the last 4 months with this problem. Take care of those who care for you. Stay close to your true friends and always give support when they are having any type of doctor appointment. You never know when they will hear the word cancer for themselves. Be strong!

  35. stan vaughan says:


  36. David in NJ says:

    Sorry to hear you’re going under the knife. Hope all the stuff that’s supposed to come out, comes out okay. Looks like 2 weeks of ice cream for you & maybe a month of new ice cream recipe’s for us next summer. But seriously, As hard as it is for you, get some much deserved rest during this time & come back better than ever.

  37. Josie jn san antonio,tx says:

    May god bless you.

  38. Tony Schillaci says:

    It may be helpful, after the surgery, to spend some time in recovery reading a marvelous new book by one of America’s top singing teachers. The book is called DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? by Marge Rivingston, and is available on Amazon.com. It’s an inspirational autobiography, but also contains a CD of vocal exercises to help the voice to be healthy and heal. All best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  39. Ellie says:

    Hope your surgery goes well and I’ll be praying for a speedy recovery. I love your show and will be looking forward to seeing you back in action.

  40. Carol Elam says:

    I was so sorry to hear about the way that you will have to spend your Christmas break. My wish is that you have a successful surgery and a short but amazing recovery. I enjoy your shows very much and I can’t wait to see what you have “cooked-up” for us when you return!

    God bless you.
    Carol Elam

  41. Katheryn says:

    Just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you and your speedy recovery for your surgery. I hope all goes well! Remember that you have a lot of people who love and care for you! Thank you for letting us know the truth. Take care and God bless!

  42. Denise says:

    Hi Rachael,

    I am going in for the same exact surgery this thursday Dec 4. The hardest part right now is quitting smoking. Did you quit and if so how? Good luck with your surgery and I’ll let you know how it goes.


  43. kesha carter says:

    i wish you all the best, i have to fight with my 4 yr old every morning to watch your show, but now she just gives in and lets me watch, because she loves to watch you cook, you are one of the most insprirational celebs i have ever seen on television, keep it up, you make it real…one of your greatest fans……KESHA FROM SOUTH CAROLINA

  44. Linda and Butch says:

    Dear Rachel,
    All of our hopes and prayers are with you. Best wishes and hang in there. My husband and I love your shows!! Love, Linda and Butch

  45. Wanda says:

    Hello Rachael,
    I wish you the best on your upcoming surgery. I am a speech-language pathologist and singer and I was diagnosed with vocal nodules 5 years ago. I did not have to have surgery but went almost a year not being able to sing! You will recover well. Looking forward to hearing your new voice.

  46. Walt says:

    I just heard about your December surgery and thought that I might share my same experience. I had benign polyps removed from my right vocal chord two years in a row (December of 2006 & 2007). Both surgeries were done on an out-patient basis. It’s a piece of cake. I was back to my normal voice in just a couple of days. Good luck to you.

  47. MARY KATE says:

    Darling Girl ~

    You have a silly granuloma [ugh!] on your cords – I had the damn thing twice —– first flunked because my “specialist” said talk as usual ….important thing for you to remain ALSOLUTELY SILENT for about 10 – 14 days.

    Your vioce placement is fine [from what I hear on TV] so you are not grating the cords together ……BUT YOU MUST NOT TALK FOR 10 – 14 DAYS AFTER SURGERY – PLEASE.


  48. Laurel says:

    We will be keeping you in our prayers for a speedy recovery. A faithful watcher for many years.

  49. Rose (York, PA) says:

    Hey Rach, Glad to hear things are good rather than bad. I myself have had this surgery twice in the last year. It’s an easy thing. Full recovery and I’m still talkin’ everyone’s ear off! Can’t hit the high notes when playing Rockband w/my son like I used to. But, maybe in time? I’m sure you’ll be doin’ the same too! Good luck and keep on cookin’ sister!

  50. Susan Nolan says:

    Dear Rachael, Sorry to hear about your upcoming surgery, but you will be in good hands and we will all be praying for you and your quick recovery. I have several nodules and a cyst in my thyroid, but the doctor is just watching mine right now. God Bless you and remember to rest your voice. I love watching your show, it’s such a treat in the afternoon. Hope your Christmas is wonderful. Peace, Health and many Blessings to you and your family, Susan Nolan

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