01/21/2011 AT 3:30 PM ET
Following a battle with jaw cancer, Roger Ebert not only lost his voice, but the lower half of his face.
“I studiously avoided looking at myself in a mirror,” Ebert writes on his blog Wednesday.
Now, his jaw has been reconstructed. It was a “two-year process that has now resulted with my coming into possession of a silicone prosthesis,” Ebert, 68, explains. “This device [fits] over my lower face and neck and colored to match my skin.”
But Ebert, who has been open about the facial procedures he had to undergo during his painful battle, doesn’t expect people to think he’s back to normal.
“I will wear the prosthesis on the new television show – that’s not to fool anyone, because my appearance is widely known,” he says. “It will be a pleasant reminder of the person I was for 64 years.”
“Symbolically, it’s as if my illness never happened and, hey, here I still am, on the show with these new kids,” he adds. “When people see the ‘Roger’s Office’ segment, they’ll notice my voice more than my appearance.”