My dad had lymphoma of the brain. It left him with no hearing in his right ear, little in his left (he loses more each year) and short term memory loss so severe that he took a medical disability. We don't even know what all effects it had on his brain...he acts different in some ways and we have no way of knowing if it is a brain thing or just the effect of the short term memory loss. Anyway, even with all those challenges, he feels very lucky to have his life.
I hope your uncle's surgery goes well and that everything turns out better than he expected with his throat.
By the way, my dad really liked the book "Why bad things happen to good people" when he had cancer. I think (not sure) it may have helped him with some of the feelings he was having at the time.
Loving her cat Stormy and missing her angel cat Justin 1-13-09