Wednesday 23rd August 2017

What’s in a word? Cancer. 2017.82.

What’s in a word? Cancer. 2017.82.

Since I heard the word, cancer, to describe what had been found via pathology from the biopsied tissue from my gums, I have seen it and heard it everywhere. However, I think, it’s like when I  first become pregnant, I saw other pregnant women everywhere.

It’s more noticeable because it affects ME. So, whilst there is still no word (ha!) on the exact  date for my cancer surgery, I thought it timely to write a post.

I have been incredibly well-supported already by those in my friendship realm here in the blogging world and elsewhere.

Each has been from someone who has had cancer, knows someone with cancer, and is currently being treated for cancer.

I read recently  that 1 in 2 of us will have cancer. Wow!

My family of course have expressed their concern and care for me. I have been visited by almost all of the immediate family and that has been lovely. What I have found too is the outstretching of hands (figuratively) of so many is helpful and reassuring which is why I blog about it.

Here’s what I wanted to share briefly:

I had been on a roller-coaster of emotions ANYWAY before I was diagnosed with cancer, so to add cancer to the mix has raised those anxious thoughts of mine to greater levels. But, I am thankful that I was already doing much to help myself with anxiety and adjusting to our new way of life. Meditation, being more mindful, walking, being outdoors, blogging, enjoying some Netflix with my husband, going to the beach, taking photos, supportive health professionals  and generally engaging on social media are already integrated into my life. So, they have become tools for managing my thoughts about cancer too. 

Thank you to the many people who have sent me messages, cards and let me know that I am in their prayers, thoughts and hearts.

“We are all just walking each other home” Ram Dass.

It is very humbling to have such a lovely group of you with me.

Most of all, I thank my husband who is already my finest supporter and rock! He will be with me as much as he can within the first days in hospital and I know, not matter what state of grogginess I may be in, he will be within arms reach for me. That IS love. I am so lucky.

Thank you everyone. I hope that if the word ‘cancer’ is part of your world by association or for you that you too will be cared for and about like I have been. I am blessed. This image is one I am using when I need to take myself to a more enjoyable mindful place. Enjoy!

I am grateful every day.

UPDATED: About my present state of health. 

When I wrote this post I thought I was managing myself quite well. Since then, I have had some pretty horrid days (and nights) where I have become fearful, panicked, and so vulnerable I wanted to go into a corner and hide and never come out.

I am shit-scared right now.

I am worried about losing what I valued: my mouth where I speak, eat, share my emotions and smile. It has been days of crying uncontrollably, being held until I calm down (thank you dear B) and taking some valium (which I don’t really want to) and letting out the fears  in words between the sobs. 

I fear: the loss of ability to use my mouth for at least 7-10 days, have a naso-gastric feeding tube down my throat for those days, having the skin/flesh/bone from my right leg inside my mouth after 3/4 of my upper jaw/palate as been removed. Dealing with the not being in control.

I am, as I write, unable to really express what it means to be facing this loss of control of my body. I will be in ICU to start and may even have a tracheostomy to start if the mouth is too swollen. This is very scary to me, and I am admitting it now.

For me to admit how vulnerable I feel right now is to say “I cannot do this without help”. My husband reassures me he will be there as much as possible, and given how I will look and be, he will be my only visitor until I give any indication I can see others. I am facing the unknown and that as we know is the scariest place to be. I will be losing my smile….for more than a while. Possible 3-4 months until my upper jaw recovers.

Have you faced major surgery of any kind for cancer and other reasons?

How did you deal with it?

I am so wanting some answers that help me know – in the pre-surgery phase that I am not alone in my fears. 

Thank you for reading this far! I appreciate that very much.

Denyse.

Joining Kylie Purtell here for I Blog On Tuesdays link up.

Linking here on Thursday with Leanne and friends for Lovin’ Life.

 

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Thanks Mr Duffy. 2017.66.

Thanks Mr Duffy. 2017.66.

A long time ago, blogger, now writer Catherine Rodie, asked for people to respond to this for a series of blog posts when Catherine had her blog:

“if you could, who would you like to have a cup of tea with?” The original post was “A Cup of Tea With Mr Duffy”.

Today I have refreshed the post, to add it here, for the first time on my blog.

Enjoy!

The classroom on the left was my Year 5 room and also where I did my first teaching prac. The coloured building in the background was the library. Taken on a trip back to the school in 2013.

I gave some thought to who I’d like to have a cup of tea with, it was an obvious choice.

Mr Duffy.

It would need to be at 11.00 a.m. on a school day in the Balgowlah Heights Primary School staffroom. That is a room at the end of the wooden building closest to the headmaster’s office where Mr Piper rules via a loud voice and a stern manner.

Walking up the wooden steps and holding onto the rail, I can feel the timber underneath the flaking paint. I notice that the school hasn’t had the public works painters in for a while. As I reach the verandah, a smell emanates from the left, as does the plume of grey. Of course, teachers can smoke in the staffroom! And in the playground. But not in the classroom. It IS 1960!

Slowly moving towards the screen door, I hear the words “oh Ian, you were great last week with the cricket team those boys really go well against Manly West.” Then as I raise my hand to knock and ask if Mr Duffy is there, Mrs Ridley rushes up and wants to know “what do you want Denyse Simpson, we are having our cups of tea?” I reply, “I am here to see Mr Duffy if he’s here.”

“Greg, that girl from your class who likes helping in the library is here, Denyse Simpson, can you see her?” I stepped back and waited near the verandah’s rail and the door swung open. It was Mr Duffy. “Who are you?” he said looking puzzled, “I was told Denyse Simpson here, and I can see she is not.”

“Mr Duffy” I say quietly, and watch as he lifts his cup of tea from the saucer as I can tell he’s thinking how much time till the bell rings and recess is over. “I was Denyse Simpson, and you were my teacher..but now I’m Denyse Whelan and I’m a teacher too.”

And that’s  when I to reassure him right away of my reason for visiting at the time of his “cup of tea” at Recess. I pull out my photo of me in Grade 6 and point out that he, Mr Duffy, had been the one teacher in my primary school years who had seen the qualities of a teacher in me. The way he encouraged that was to appoint me as the chief library prefect in Grade 6 where I continued to learn about how it is to teach and learn.

The bell rings. Cup of tea drained. Mr Duffy shakes my hand and says “well, that’s been nice to know” and leaves. I look at this man, within this school setting and remember with great affection why I became a teacher. I know too, that he is a modest self-effacing man & he’s a bit embarrassed by my words.

I returned to my old school and classroom in 1968 to do my first teaching practice and loved it! Mr Duffy had retired by then I think. I was made to be a teacher and Mr Duffy helped me realise that!

The list of schools in N.S.W. where I was a teacher, school executive and principal.

Update: I am now retired from all work in teaching but will always be interested in why people choose teaching as a career. This post reminds me of what I did! 

My husband, also now a retired teacher, and I met in the country teaching days and last week he went back to one of his schools, where I also taught after him. Here’s a photo of Fairfax Public School….and the classroom where I taught kids from K-2 in one room in 1971-72.

Do you have fond memories of a teacher from your school days?

Have you ever said thanks to someone who may have inspired you to choose a career?

Adding a P.S. I’ve just read over at Sammie’s blog this: about marrying a teacher! We are married teachers, me and hub, so that makes us..happy!!

Young Married Teachers and their first born!

Denyse.

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

On Thursdays I link with Leanne and friends here for Loving’ Life.

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It IS a Wonderful World! 2017.39.

It IS a Wonderful World! 2017.39.

This Thursday before Easter…it is timely re-visit this post and  to link up here with Leanne and friends because we NEED to remember we live in a WONDERFUL WORLD. Peace, everyone, peace is what we need now.

If we spend our time on earth thinking about all that can and does go wrong then we are not living. I know that might sound glib to some. I am doing my best to remember this for myself with a chronic health condition I’ve noted before… but I cannot let that stop me from seeing beauty and noticing more. I love this song, the original singer and the version I show via YouTube.

Enjoy!

The wonderful Louis Armstrong sang this & the lyrics and credits: BBC Four via YouTube Christophe Letecheur.

What A Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

Songwriters: GEORGE DAVID WEISS, ROBERT THIELE
© Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CARLIN AMERICA INC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, IMAGEM MUSIC INC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

Cowra Japanese Gardens. My photos.

Cowra Japanese Gardens. My photos.

I visited these gardens in early 2013 or 2014 and here is the link to the site. It is well worth the visit. It IS a wonderful world when you see here what came from the tragedy called World War 11.

Thank you David Attenborough, BBC One and David Daniel Wouters for this YouTube movie

How is your world today?

Denyse.

Each weekend I like to go down the Ultimate Rabbit Hole with Sammie here and friends.

 

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Appreciation. #LTW16. 366/341.

Appreciation. #LTW16. 366/341.

This is the last post in the “Life This Week” LINK UP series for 2016.

It’s been great having so many blogging friends, old and new, join in each week.

I appreciate you all very much!

Today’s post is about my appreciation for the man I met in 1970 and married in 1971.

He is a modest person so I did have to ask him if it would be fine by him for me to write this and he agreed.

Our long marriage has seen us deal with many wins, struggles and more. Most do! However, I am concentrating on more recent times.

From the time in early 2014 he could see I was no longer wanting to work, through to selling the house at year’s end 2014, moving away from Sydney in early 2015, renting a place we hated for 10 months in 2015, and moving again in late 2015 to where we are more settled now…even though we are renting. One day we will buy!

These last three years have challenged me emotionally and have given me cause to feel more stressed about my life. Over time it has affected me and of course, my relationship. Major life shifts and changes can do that to a person. Especially one like me who needs her security and her sense of who she is and what she does.

Throughout all of the time, there has been one person here for me and ready to listen, advise and offer his love and security. I am a tough person to like when I am feeling insecure and sad. I push away because I am embarrassed by how upset I become.  I lost a sense of independence for a while and the notion of who I am.

So my list of appreciation for my dear husband B comprises:

  • his gentle patience displayed no matter how many times I ‘lose’ it over whatever emotional issue I am dwelling on
  • the ready cuddle or hug IF I need solace after my tears..sometimes I have even rejected that because I am actually mad with myself
  • his reminders that I have the skills and energy inside me to keep on keeping on
  • his kind and listening ear and he gets what I mean and then helps me see the ways in which I can get through this
  • words of encouragement  as he senses how well I am doing now compared to how I was doing
  • shared chats, laughter and repeated viewing of my old favourite Downton Abbey to enjoy the experience together
  • his understanding that there are some days/nights where I still need reassurance I am doing OK in my healthy life change
  • and when he agrees to an annual photo of the two of us then I am even more appreciative of his warm hug, gentle smile and loving demeanour.

 

The Two of Us. December 2016.

The Two of Us. January 1971.

Thank you B. I love you!

That’s my post on appreciation.

Did you write a post this week or are you linking up an older one?

As it’s Summer and Christmas Holidays in Australia I do not expect many bloggers to link up this Boxing Day!

Those who do, thank you!

Denyse.

Alicia is having a break today but Kell is running her link up here.

The ” Life This Week” prompt list from 2 January 2017- 27 February 2017 is on the Home Page and listed here too.



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Educated As a Blogger. 366/339.

Educated As a Blogger. 366/339.

It takes a community to educate a blogger so I found out.

I used to think that I would write something of interest on the blog, publish it and some people out there would read what I wrote.And comment. Of course! Blogger gold!

Oh no, it does not work that way…well for me it certainly did not.

From pressing publish in December 201o to today, I know that the only way I learned about blogging was to be educated by others who blog.

Before I go further, I did attend courses and conferences and I met up with lots of bloggers too. I read some books, got some insights from blogging experts and gave my readers what I thought would be posts of interest.

It worked. Somewhat.

What made my blogging education better was discovering LINK-UPs …where bloggers invite others who blog to add their post and then others may see the blog too. I commenced doing this in 2011-12 and found link ups some of which have now ended. But my blogging education continued thanks to this one!

One which has been a consistent, vibrant and really inclusive LINK UP called IBOT. I blog on Tuesdays. It began when Jess blogged as Diary of a SAHM and then changed title to Essentially Jess.

But things are changing there too! Jess, who continues to be a writer, and a tertiary student along with raising a family of 4,  is finishing up by the end of the year and handing her link-up to Kylie permanently. I wrote a thank you here to Jess and one over at Kylie’s blog today too.

 

Thank you Jess for being a pioneering blogger and seeing a gap in the Aussie link-ups all those years ago to create “IBOT”. You know when I first came upon “IBOT” I was taken aback in 2012 ! I had no idea what it meant until I took a thorough look at your blog…which wasn’t even called Essentially Jess then, to get to know more!

Then I read what it stood for and why. You wanted to have a place for bloggers to add posts on a Tuesday that were created for the Tuesday – a quiet day in blogging then… I Blog On Tuesdays. Ahh! I got it. I loved gathering there and catching up and getting to know new to me bloggers and commenting too.

One day though you decided IBOT was becoming so popular that you were needing some help with comments. You put a call out for a “new to blogging concept” of having a Team IBOT. I do think that was another first! See, I told you about being a pioneer!  Warm wishes and THANK you, Denyse xx

 

It’s not often we get to meet bloggers in real life and I was fortunate enough to do that. I lived in Sydney when Jess flew in from Darwin for the Digital Parents’ Conference in 2013 and I did the airport pick-up and quick trip around places in Sydney before leaving her with our mutual friends to attend the conference.

Here’s a few pics of that morning way back Jess. I note you are not in these…as being a blogger, we tend to focus not on ourselves when it comes to images!!

Manly Beach. We had a walk around here after breakfast.

The walk from Manly Beach to Shelly Beach.

Early Morning Surfers at Manly Beach. We had breakfast in Manly.

The view from North Head back to Sydney and South Head. I enjoyed showing Jess where I used to live!

Now, it’s enough from me. I am looking forward to being educated more in 2017 and remaining part of #TeamIBOT each Tuesday as Kylie assumes responsiblity and we are joined by other bloggers who also love IBOT as much as I do!

Blogging on Tuesdays (and always a NEW previously unpublished post) is one blogging habit I will not break!

Did you link up for IBOT today? Here is the link! 

Denyse.

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Thank You For Being A Teacher. 366/335.

Thank You For Being A Teacher. 366/335.

It’s that time of year.

One where we are likely to be showing  appreciation for the teachers in our lives and that of our kids and grandkids.

Last week I wrote about Last Minute Gifts for Teachers.

This week, it’s a little something I have found in a book called:

Great Teachers Give Us Lifelong Gifts  by Blue Mountain Arts.

Thank you for being a teacher.

For the student who can’t sing a note but loves music…

For the student who struggles to read but loves the library…

For seeing their artistic visions and embracing them…

For seeing their lights shone and helping them burn brighter…

For your faith when failure was not an option…

For seeing the diamond in the rough…

For caring as if they were your own…

For your unwavering patience and tolerance…

For your dedication, which at times gets taken for granted…

For sharing your life and letting us be a part of it…

Thank you for being a teacher!

 

Heidi Beemsterboer.

I will add my thanks to all teachers I have worked alongside. Thank you!

Have you thanked a teacher recently?

Denyse.

Joining the second last I Blog On Tuesdays for the year…over with Kylie Purtell and bloggers here.

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Last Minute Gift Ideas For Teachers. 366/331.

Last Minute Gift Ideas For Teachers. 366/331.

The end of the school year is nigh. Can I hear a YAY?

Some states have already commenced end of year holidays. Other still remain at school or at least the public schools are still operating.

Are you looking forward to:

  • No more early mornings.
  • No school lunches to pack.
  • No searching for a lost shoe/library book

But wait, you also thought about getting a present for the class teacher or teachers didn’t you?

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I know there have been gift guides galore but if you want something directly from teachers..I have some here.

  • card or note is a great way to show appreciation
  • it is never “expected” to give a teacher a gift
  • Parents and children may decide that there is no reason for a gift or message & that’s fine too
  • Teachers who are parents had these thoughts about chocolate..some loved this, others said no thanks!

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  • personal notes, cards from parents and child ALWAYS a hit
  • gift vouchers up to $50 – NOT expected to be, UP to! There are limits for gifts under the Code of Conduct in NSW public schools. Check your school’s/system’s limits.
  • Popular ones include Myer, Target, Officeworks,Big W,ITunes, JB-HiFi…and more
  • homemade biscuits &  yummy treats.
  • stationery – many teachers are stationery-fans
  • A cup. A keep cup. Teachers are notorious cup-users. Maybe personalise it, but a lovely idea that gives and gives
  • I do not like alcohol being given to teachers but that is my view and I also do not  drink

So, do you have some ideas or have you already sorted out what you are doing..if indeed you are!

Denyse.

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Joining Kylie Purtell here for I Blog On Tuesdays.

 

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The Ultimate Rabbit Hole. 366/329.

The Ultimate Rabbit Hole. 366/329.

You know how there is someone you have never met in real-life but know that you would immediately get on with them and chatter away like crazy because of all the things you know about them and have in common.

Well, for me one such person is Sammie who has a wonderful sharing place on the internet called

The Annoyed Thyroid.

What is that title about?

That’s not my story to tell, but if you visit there you will soon find out.

Sammie and I have a couple of things in common. We are teachers. We like to chat. We blog.

Today though I want to add something to my post, which is being added to the link up….

I want to say a BIG

thank you

for Sammie and her initiative on Saturdays with a linky called

The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

Sammie has other lovely bloggers who also share the ‘load’ of reading and commenting too but it is Sammie who got the ball rolling.

Every weekend since January 2015 I have linked up on Saturdays and without fail my blog post has been read and comments made.

This is the gold of connection in the land of blogging. Sammie you do an awesome job!

 

But this is not the end of my post….sadly…this photo of the rose in my yard is dedicated you and your family as I know you have received news of the recent passing of a much-loved person in your family. Much love to you.

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Denyse.

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Joining my friends here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole this weekend.

 

 

 

 

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