Saturday 19th August 2017

Archives for July 2017

Winter. #LifeThisWeek 29/52. 2017.93.

Winter. #LifeThisWeek 29/52. 2017.93.

Almost 2 months into a southern hemisphere Winter and it’s not been anything much other than mild. For those who live inland from the coast there have been under zero C temperatures and frosts and for those with a high altitude on some of the mountains and hills where snow can fall – in both New South Wales and Victoria – the season of snow has begun.

For those of us (I include many on the east coast of Australia), Winter means much less daylight, some colder days and evenings and at times some wild weather. This Winter, touch wood, we have had little of the wild weather, in fact you could call in mild weather. The southern coast of Australia has had its share of cold and the northern end of Australia is sunny with less humidity. Western Australians have a temperate climate too,

So, as I am still somewhat in the fog that is post-surgery I am adding photos to express my Winter this year!

How has your winter been to date? And to my northern hemisphere readers, what WAS Winter like for you?

Denyse.

Outside temp today: 13.3 and inside 20.5 thanks to air con.

I like the clouds in Winter!

I LOVE how the sky is so beautiful in winter

Sydney scene in Winter

A different day..a different Sydney scene!

No leaves nor frangipanis while it’s Winter

Across the Harbour Bridge on a Winter’s Day.

Clouds get me taking pics every time! Local Beach in Winter.

P.S. This post was written at the end of last week, and this weekend is the last in July. I believe in NSW we have one of the driest Winters on record and by gee I did notice that in our garden when I got home from hospital.

I link up each Monday here: with Alicia at One Mother Hen and with Kell at All Mum Said. Join them too!
Here’s my Monday linky…#lifethisweek 29/52.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Next Week: Birth Order.


 

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Can’t Live Without. #LifeThisWeek. 28/52. 2017.92.

Can’t Live Without. #LifeThisWeek. 28/52. 2017.92.

Welcome back everyone to Life This Week!

I have missed you all. Thank you to those lovely bloggers who checked on how I was going when I was in hospital and since I have been home.

I can’t live without blogging and bloggers it seems too!

I’ve listed the revised prompts and their weeks here. They are also on the Home Page.

This post will be ‘short and photo-filled’ as a side-effect of the strong anti-biotics that my gut dislikes (and I do too!) is giving me less time to write….if you know what I mean…so without further ado here is just a few of what I can’t live without.

This man! Met on 17 Oct 1970 and can’t live without his love, care, commonsense and the yin to my yang. Love at first sight it is true (for us) the opposites attract.

 

B put my wedding ring on this finger on 23 Jan 1971 and recently re-sized down after weight loss, I was sad when after surgery and my hand swelled it became stuck. Some cream on my other hand helped shift it and when B came for next visit it went home in his wallet for safe keeping.

 

Nature and its colours, shapes and beauty. I see it everywhere and can’t live without in my life.

 

Art of some kind is always part of my creative life. I am a highly visual person and enjoy creating my own mandalas now. They are meditative for me. I took art materials to hospital and by the time I was out of ICU in my room I was ready to create. Not this one! This was done at home.

 

Photography. I have a phone or camera with me wherever I go. I cannot live without being able to capture something which may never appear again. I particularly enjoy living close to nature like this because it gives me so much joy to find scenes like these to remember. In fact, I showed some of the nurses these photos and they could not believe the beauty that abounds where we live now.

 

I know I cannot live without my iPhone for sure! This is me the day we set off for Sydney for pre-admission to hospital and I guess I knew it would be my ‘last toothy smile’ for a while. The other thing in that photo I cannot live without is my glasses! Readers and multis. Cannot see any details without them.

 

The beach. Wherever it is. I cannot live without seeing spaces of water and sand. I am missing them now as I am a bit house-bound but on our way home from Sydney I loved coming across the Hawkesbury River towards our ‘now home’ the Central Coast.

 

I also cannot live without capturing a sunrise or a sunset if I get the chance. I did each morning from my hospital room. It was so uplifting to be part of nature this way. And my ‘old home town’ of Sydney is here.. I do not miss her as much as I thought I did.

 

I cannot live without my car….well I do for now because my husband drives me where we need to go. Last week I ‘had’ to stand next to her (red car I love you!) after my visit to the GP. He, by the way, is friendly and amazing so I share cannot live without him. He has helped me so much in the short time he has been our GP. I will add him to the list!

 

Blue Sky. As we all know we cannot live without what is above us as it sustains us. I cannot live without the air, the clouds which bring rain and the blue sky which gives joy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this literal ‘snapshot’ of what I cannot live without.

Denyse.

Thank you for linking up here.  I link up on Mondays too with Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Next Week: Winter


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I Am Grateful Today. Part One. 2017.91.

I Am Grateful Today. Part One. 2017.91.

Hello again!
Today I am listing many reasons I am grateful and am delighted to be back blogging and linking up with dear friends here with Leanne for Lovin’ Life Linky!

Day Before Surgery

Oh, and in case you did not know… I have returned home after my major cancer surgery which removed the inside top of my mouth, gums and teeth (ha! there were only 3 left…and bummer…no tooth fairy coin left either!). When I was in hospital I had PLENTY of thinking and reflecting time so a post about gratitude seems to fit my return to Lovin’ Life today!

This post is live two weeks after my 11 hour surgery on Thursday 6 July. The selected  photos and words are just a part of my grateful list.

I am doing my best to have them sequentially …enjoy!

Wednesday 5 July. Pre-Admission Day.

It was a well-planned departure (I am so that anyway) but I did have a tiny sense of ‘what if I don’t come back’ and sensibly did quite the paperwork tidy-up, prepared official documents so husband and daughter knew where they were, and left my bedroom and art room clean and tidy. The trip to Sydney (by now I had done 3 since diagnosis) so I am grateful that I built up my confidence through challenging my beliefs based on fear of driving on the M1 and ‘getting caught short’.

We arrived in plenty of time at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (pictured)  for a myriad of health checks (all fine and dandy!) at pre-admission and handed over my life in forms…about 10 pages. There was no money to pay as our Teachers Health covered every.single.item*. Always very grateful we were both in it as young teachers then continued as a family always with top cover. The amount paid by them was in excess of  $21K.*not all doctors’ fees but that is ok.

We had booked overnight accommodation (cheap and cheerful as recommended by the hospital) as it was within 10 mins walking distance of Lifehouse. We were not impressed by the spartan set up however kindly the people were who supplied the accommodation so after our LAST night together for a while, B decided to bunk in with the grandkids and our daughter who live an hour away from Lifehouse. In retrospect I was incredibly grateful he did because as he said ‘it was great to see loving family faces!’.

Thursday 6 July. Day of Surgery.

I have no pictures! Fancy that! But I was grateful for a laugh when I got my phone back from B the next day and there was over 3 hours video of the inside of the phone cover which must have started when I handed it to him in Surgical area at 6.30 a.m.

Friday 7 July – Sunday 9 July. Intensive Care Unit.

After 11 hours of surgery I remember one fact about waking in what possibly was recovery but might have been ICU and it was nighttime. I asked ‘no tracheostomy?’ Of course, my brain tells me now I would not have been able to ask the question if I had, but I was intensely grateful that my surgery did not require this as I had been told it was possible.

In intensive care I was grateful each room was private and I could shut out sounds and light as I mostly needed to rest my eyes, not sleep. I liked that I could talk (a bit) to whoever came to check my obs. Loads of obs checks, especially my ‘mouth flap’. This was checked via a doppler ( a mini ultra-sound scanner) and each time I heard the reassuring beats I did thumbs up as I was incredibly grateful it was alive in me. The catheter came out on the second day and it was good to go to the loo (with help of course, as my leg was in a back slab). I am grateful I stopped caring about modesty. Let’s just get better is my motto!

By Sunday I was stir-crazy and when I heard they were waiting for a room to be ready on the ward I sure was pleased. It took a bit of time to do the transfer but I was grateful to say ‘bye bye’ and ‘thank you’ to ICU.

The Rest of My Stay Until Discharge on Saturday 15 July.

To be continued next Tuesday week where I will link up on I Blog on Tuesdays and the next Thursday when I will link up here again too.

I decided to do it this way as I am tiring and I have a lot to say! Who knew? Ok. I did.

Denyse.

Next Monday I re-start my #lifethisweek Link Up: Here are the prompts: They are also on the Home Page.

Mon 24 July: 28/52. Can’t Live Without.

Mon 31 July: 29/52. Winter.

Mon 7 Aug: 30/52. Birth Order.

Mon 14 Aug: 31/52. Ideal Meal.

Mon 21 Aug: 32/52. Selfie Time.

Mon 28 Aug 33/52. Mindfulness.

Mon 4 Sept 34/52. First Car/Bike.

Mon 11 Sept 35/52. Beach or Bush.

Mon 18 Sept 36/52. Taking Stock.

 

 

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The View From Here. 2017.90.

The View From Here. 2017.90.

Most regular readers know I have been away from the blog to face one of life’s BIG challenges, a cancer diagnosis and then surgery. If you want to know more, please look up May 2017 posts.

So, without much more to say, the single room I had at Chris O’Brien’s Lifehouse in Camperdown Sydney looked north and east so I had the BEST views for this visual person and photographer to savour!

Warning: I look pretty gross in some pics. That’s what happened when they cut the inside top of my mouth out!

Day Before: Pre-Op Admin. Last time I had (fake) top teeth. Outside Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

 

Out of ICU on Day 3 I was moved to a room with this view at sunrise. Captured from me bed, through glass.

 

Not a bad place to be in hospital! It has only been open for surgical admissions for 2 years. The older building opposite are all part of R.P.A. Hospital.

 

My night nurse for 4 in a row was Roan and he and shared a passion for pics, so he’d come in before sunrise and capture some pics with me and me in them. He was the epitome of professionalism and patient-centred care. Looking south towards Newtown and Sydney Airport.

 

One day had three seasons in it!

 

Shot by Roan – I could not get that far on my balcony so he just shot away. Capturing Gloucester House, mid – left, a private hospital in the day where my beloved Mum had some of her hearing restored. I was 7! We lived in Wollongong and I remember how it was to visit her there. 60 years later, here I am looking at it each day.

 

Getting better every day and finally in a nightie. I must admit I stayed in the hospital garb because my face was…ummm…leaky!

 

Monday. At home. 11 days post surgery. Very pleased with my progress which is why was more than ready to come home on Saturday.

I am linking with lovely Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays but won’t return as a part of #teamIBOT till next week.

OH and if you like joining in My Monday link-up called #LifeThisWeek the new prompts will be up on Thursday 20 here, ready for re-start Monday 24 July.

Denyse.

 

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I Am Back! 2017.89.

I Am Back! 2017.89.

Ok, I am home from hospital and that is good news!
My very brief post today is to let my lovely blogging friends know that #LifeThisWeek Linky will re-commence next:

Monday 24 July.

I intend to publish the future prompts on Thursday when I link up a post for Leanne’s Loving’ Life here.

I also hope to use some time tomorrow to prepare a photo-centred post for Kylie Purtell’s linky here called I Blog On Tuesdays.

In this pic I am 10 days post-op, outside, dressed in going-home clothes  and mobile for the first time. Pretty cool, even if not a pretty face!!

See you all again soon!

Denyse.

Linking up with Alicia here just to say hi to a lovely blogging friend who was so worried about me on my day of surgery. I love you!

 

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Inspiration to Dare. 2017.88.

Inspiration to Dare. 2017.88.

Recently I posted about Courage here.

This week, in keeping with my need to become more brave and confident, I reached out and found the words of Jeff Foster in The Way of Rest.

The Way of Rest is a collection of Jeff’s most inspiring essays and poems and reflections on restoring and reviving ourselves when we feel exhausted or defeated. Drawing from his personal journey – including his own struggles with illness and depression, Jeff invites us to contemplate The Way of Rest and its potential to transform our experiences.

From page 155 he writes:

Dare.

Today…

Dare to allow yourself to be seen.

Dare to tell the truth.

Dare to stop pretending.

Dare to stay present to the secret fire that burns inside.

Dare to be wildly inconsistent.

Dare to let another in.

Dare to let go of the image.

Dare to not be prepared.

Dare to give everything for the awakening of love.

Dare to fail.

Dare to mess everything up.

Dare to fall to the ground, humbled again, laughing.

Dare to not know how to dare.

Dare to dream and let dreams die.

Dare to honour the past but not cling to it.

Dare to give an honest yes and an honest no

Dare to be wrong.

Dare to be right.

Dare to be real.

Dare to be here.

Today.

This photo (a selfie) was taken after my first trip back to Sydney in 4 months.

It was on a day I dared. And here’s the story about why I needed to dare:

I had become incredibly worried about making the journey on the M1 because I had thoughts of getting caught in a traffic hold up and needing to use the loo. Whilst that sounds (to me now, as I write) an excuse not based on much evidence, it really took over my thoughts and meant I could not travel to see my Dad. That also exacerbated my wild and anxious thoughts because of guiltI was not dealing with part of my life well at allWith both my husband and psychologist telling me avoidance would only make matters worse, I persisted in looking for justification of my behaviour and short-term ideas.  So, how did I overcome this? With what is known as exposure therapy. Little by little challenges (as I prefer to call them) met over some months. It meant short driving stints and  visits to the dentist because I had to use the M1 to get there. In other words, over time I dared. 

I visited Dad after driving problem-free on the M1 and spent some time chatting with him and replenishing his freezer with some home-cooked meals and then drove home again.

It was something that held me better prepared for what was ahead in terms of travel and the reason. I’ve written about why here.

So, I needed to dare and I still do as my cancer surgery – in Sydney –  is coming up this Thursday 6 July.

Do you dare much?

What would you like to become more daring about or with?

Denyse.

This is my last blog post for a while as I will be in hospital. Thank you for your kindness and care since I announced my diagnosis of cancer.

I do hope to be back blogging once I am home and ready to do so.

Joining with Kylie Purtell and other friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays.

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Taking Stock. #LifeThisWeek 27/52. 2017.87.

Taking Stock. #LifeThisWeek 27/52. 2017.87.

When I started this link up I thought every 9th week could be a Taking Stock prompt using the words from here.

I remember mentioning when I wrote the last one here that I could see how things have moved more positively for me and that was great. In writing this one, however, I have had to make mention of the sudden and pretty shocking news given to me on 17th May that I have cancer. Nevertheless I have tried to see the words here with more than cancer in mind.

A year ago I started My Mandala Journey with this one and I have made 200+ since then.

A year ago I voted in the Australian Election. The #democracysausage was the best hashtag ever.

Here’s my list:

Making: mandalas in art

Cooking: cupcakes for me and for my husband and they have all gone into the freezer for future treats and snacks

Drinking: tea more than coffee but water more than both

Reading: both Saturday and Sunday newspapers because I love the papers

Wanting: good health after the recent diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma in my upper gums

Looking: at my right leg and telling it to be a good skin flap and fibula bone for making my new upper jaw

Playing: CDs by my favourite ‘teachers’ such as Jack Kornfield and Pema Chodron

Wasting: a few moment here and there scrolling on social media

Sewing: nothin’

Wishing: that my surgery was over, that I recover very well and that my year ahead will be a smooth path to have my mouth reconstruction over and there is no cancer found anywhere else. (quite a few wishes I know, but that’s my focus!)

Enjoying: moments to chat with my husband and to watch our nightly 30 minutes of Downton Abbey!

Waiting: the call was made by me on Monday to FINALLY confirm (or change BOOOOO!) my planned surgery date is this coming Thursday 6 July.

Liking: the warmth brought into the house thanks to ducted air-conditioning

Wondering: where the heck we will be living this time next year as the landlords want us gone by the end of February. Booooo to that too.

Loving: the enveloping of care, concern and attention from many people since my cancer diagnosis and even though many of these people have never met me I know I am loved

Hoping: that Sydney house prices eventually settle as it’s a cray-cray scenario there (and in other cities I know) and I fear for those with a mortgage who are living  week by week

Marvelling: at nature …every.single.day.

Needing: not much at all

Smelling: the ocean when I am near

Wearing: warm clothes

Following: some lovely bloggers who care and share

Noticing: that my face is very lined since I have lost so much weight over the past 3 years + I AM 67! Yikes.

Knowing: I have had a very stressful year

Thinking: that it’s time people in higher echelons of government let schools and teachers get on with the role of educating kids instead of asking them to complete surveys, tests and so on to satisfy funding arrangements

Feeling: more calm that I though I’d be (this is Saturday evening writing so it will be interesting to see how I am by the time publication occurs)

Bookmarking: interesting podcasts for my long hospital stay

Opening: a box with a new Ipad inside. I have a very kind husband who knew that I was struggling with my old one which kept freezing.

Giggling: at the cute little toddler who offered me his mum’s car keys while I was waiting after them at the self-service checkout

Feeling: blessed. Yes, it’s not a fashionable word but like journey I am owning up to being blessed. Because I am.

To those who have shown their care and support by comments and messages I am most humbled and appreciative! I hope all is well in your lives and I look forward to coming back and announcing when the link up is back and regular blogging commences again soon.

Denyse.

Thank you for joining in today for this week’s linky. If you did a Taking Stock too that is awesome. I am closing the linky earlier than usual this week – Tuesday at 5 p.m. (Aust Eastern Time) as I will be leaving for Sydney the next morning.

I link up on Mondays with Alicia here and with Kell here too.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

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