Tuesday 18th December 2018

Head & Neck Cancer: “Beyond Five” Ambassadorship.2018.130.

Head & Neck Cancer:”Beyond Five” Ambassadorship.2018.130.

Last week I wrote a post called Farewell and Hello. It was pretty long so I stopped at Farewell promising to be back for Hello. Here we go!

Regular followers here know that I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) in my upper gums and under the top lip. The whole story is here, in posts, from the day I was told until the recent post on adjusting my eating requirements when I am out of the house.

Hello, I am now a Beyond Five Ambassador!

How this came about was partly after this day in October 2018 when I was back at ‘my’ hospital Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, but I had offered earlier this year if there was any way I could help spread the news about head and cancer awareness I would like to do so. I had already been sharing the work of Beyond Five here on the blog for World Head and Neck Cancer Day 2018.

Following that day, the Board of Beyond Five met, Sr Froggatt and Professor Clark are board members and Nadia Rosin is Manager, Business & Communications,  and I then received a formal letter of invitation to become a Beyond Five Ambassador.

Role of Community Ambassador

  • • Share your personal head and neck cancer story for use in Beyond Five communication e.g. website, social media portals etc.
  • • Raise awareness of Beyond Five through family, friends, other personal connections.
  • • Where possible, attend events e.g. patient support group meetings, education days to help raise awareness of Beyond Five.
  • • Support Beyond Five grant applications where relevant e.g. as a consumer representative.
  • • Provide feedback to Beyond Five to help us improve and develop the way we work.

About Beyond Five.

Background

Beyond Five was established in December 2014 and is Australia’s only not-for-profit organisation supporting patients with head and neck cancer, caregivers, family and health professionals.

Beyond Five was established to provide evidence based, comprehensive, easy to understand and easy to access information to everyone, regardless of where they live.

Beyond Five is the first organisation in Australia supporting patients and their families through their cancer journey, from diagnosis to treatment and life after cancer.

Mission

Beyond Five’s mission is to improve the quality of life of everyone affected by head and neck cancer through education and access to support and to raise awareness of head and neck cancer nationally. We are committed to working collaboratively with all specialties across Australia to achieve our mission.

 

I have joined the inaugural Ambassador, Julie McCrossin and Marty Doyle too. Their stories and mine, can now be found here on the Beyond Five site. There will be more ‘thinking time’ for my involvement and what form it may take as everyone is going to be on a break soon. We are getting together in February 2019. I look forward to helping where I can especially now I am post almost all of my cancer treatments and now in ‘check-up and check-in’ mode.

I know that I am keen and ready to help others learn more about head and neck cancer as it is not well-known. In fact I had no idea you could get squamous cell carcinoma inside your mouth (and other areas of the skin inside the head & neck region, till my day of diagnosis in May 2017.

And here we are sending Season’s Greetings.

I wish that no-one had cancer of any kind, of course, but the fact of life is we do. I want as many do, to help pay back the time and effort and research that has gone into the amazing surgeries and mouth reconstructions I had. That I can smile and eat well again is testament to the wonderful work of my team and their integration of allied professionals too. I have written posts about how many helped get me well again. Now, it’s onward….and to say I am glad to be an Ambassador for Beyond Five is an understatement. It is an honour and a privilege to be in this new role.

I want to do the role justice, and help others as I too have been helped.

Thank you to the Board of Beyond Five for entrusting me with this role as your Ambassador.

Denyse.

Joining with Sue and Leanne here for Midlife Share the Love and with Leanne here for Lovin Life link up.

 

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Farewell and Hello. 2018.128.

Farewell and Hello. 2018.128.

Farewell.

In around 2011-2012 (memory fades!) I found a blog on line and one where there was a link-up called I.B.O.T. What the? But I was/am a senior blogger (by age!) and I had to find out more. My blog, back then was a hybrid of education posts, personal posts and photo-centred posts. I was led to Jess (or EssentiallyJess as she became known) site and read that

I.

B.

O.

T.

means “I blog on Tuesdays.”

There was more to this story, I thought so I made enquiries. Jess, in her kindness AND wisdom thought Tuesdays back then were a little light on for link-up parties and she thought of a new link-up with RULES! The rule was the post linked up needed to be a NEW one, not posted before anywhere else, and you needed to get in fast as the link up closed within 24 hours.

You see, there were already link ups in Australia on Mondays, Wednesdays (wordless anyone?), Thursdays were about being thankful and Fridays was a round-up first hosted by Al Tait and then taken over by her sister Bron Maxabella and others. The weekend round up last all weekend. In the years after came more linkups and soon we were spoiled for choice. But Tuesdays remained steadfast: only a blog post published that day and new.

Around 2015-2016 Jess had more on her personal plate than many as she had already begun courses and study which would take her in a different direction, and she reluctantly but gratefully took up Kylie’s offer to take on I.B.O.T.

Now, as happens, life changes, as do needs and directions for blogging vs working and this today, is the last link up for

I.B.O.T. ever.

I will miss it personally and as a blogger. I was part of the team for both Jess and Kylie called #teamIBOT. This was to help, initially, with comments as the link up sometimes got over 100 bloggers!! In recent months, it has reduced to 1/10th and is an indication of blogging changes.

So, to those who have continued to blog on Tuesdays, there are still other link ups here with Sue & Leanne for those in midlife and with Leanne here on Thursdays.

My link-up is returning in 2019 and I look forward to continuing what I like to do best, connect with others!

Thank you Jess and thank you Kylie…and to my fellow bloggers and #teamIBOT members.

Hello!

This is going to wait till next week…..because I want it to have its own space!!

Can you wait?

I hope so.

I will add a hint: I looked like this when I announced my news!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for the final time…and with Sue & Leanne here for, what I hope will be a link up which continues into 2019.

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Telling My Story. Chapter Seven. 2018.124.

Telling My Story. Chapter Seven. 2018.124.

Dear Readers,

This is the seventh instalment in Telling My Story. I hope that you are enjoying the blasts from my pasts. I am finding your comments very supportive. This chapter takes us through the beginning of  two years, namely, 1976-1977. You might consider what you were doing then or even if you were alive. I know! It IS over 4o years ago. Are you ready?

But first, let me remind you….I started telling this story almost 2 years ago. Then there was a slight long break while I dealt with the matter of oral cancer. By the few times I wrote though I was smile-added back again!

Photo (#1) For Telling My Story.

Photo (#2) post major cancer surgeries.

Photo #3 for Telling My Story. Post Upper Teeth Prosthesis.

A Teaching Career Means a Move or Three.

By the end of 1975, my clever husband had earned what was called “First List” in the then promotion systems of N.S.W. Department of Education and along with starting a part-time degree, HE was on his way, up the career ladder and I was more than happy to support him as I needed to. This meant the following….

He was offered an Acting Principal’s position in one of the most remote schools in New South Wales. By remote, I mean very and would still be regard that way. Here’s where it gets interesting and would not be part of a job-ad these days. He found out about the vacancy in this school via the travelling N.S.W. Teachers’ Federation Organiser who said “why don’t you take up the offer to go and see it?”. We thought, ‘why not?’. I was happy(ish) teaching, our daughter was now 4 and we could make a change BUT I was still longing for a second child. More about that later.

He Went, He Saw, He Said “We will take it”.

We were ambitious but also professionally-centred and once my husband had driven the many miles to this school, stayed with the then-teaching team, and driven home again to our little one teacher-school and home, he said “let’s do it”. By WE I should add, the pre-requisite that there be a married couple take the two jobs on offer. Teaching Principal and Classroom Teacher. That was because of the extreme isolation and only one place to comfortably live. I saw photos of the place and loved the idea of the new challenge. Our daughter, though under school starting age, would be able to come to school as there was a pre-school year attached to the school which was part of the Principal’s responsibilty.

Special School Indeed.

This school, a two-storey building, had a library underneath and shelter for play, a toilet and shower block and a flat in the school grounds for visitor accommodation. Across the sandy playground was the School Residence, up on stilts too with a garage and laundry underneath. The previous husband and wife teaching team had added in the window air conditioners to the school and to the residence. It was needed. Back of Bourke this is!

The student population, aged from 4 years to around 12 years was, in the majority, from the Aboriginal community which was located on the banks of the Culgoa River, some walking distance from the school. There were ‘white kids too’ including our daughter, the children of the local land lessee and the son of the shopkeeper (one shop which stocked limited supplies but was also the telephone exchange).

Adventures BEFORE Starting School.

By adventures, I really mean ADVENTURES. So, between us, we had organised the movement of our furniture to the new school and house – some 6-8 hours drive from where we had lived. We went back from Mum and Dad’s in Sydney to oversee the packing up and then we followed them in late January 1976 for our belongings would arrive, and we unpacked in the HEAT and went back to Sydney…only a 12 hour drive…which we did in one stint this time. A small respire time in Sydney, then with a very packed station wagon – 4WD were only farm-type jeeps then and we got a new Ford Wagon because we were going to a remote place and needed to have one of the more commonly known vehicles “just in case” (and there was one of those!).

With our daughter safely sat between us with a proper seatbelt harness, and a very, very full wagon, we took off for Dubbo. First stop and where we were most welcomed by the District Inspector (who would be a visitor from time to time) and his family to have a meal and stayed in a motel. All good! Not really. You see, we are talking many decades ago, no mobile phones and so communication was by radio announcements and talking to locals about road conditions. We were due to go to the school via a series of dirt roads after coming off the main road to Bourke…until we knew there had been heavy rains and flooding was expected. My husband got the news to “take the detour via Warren and you should get in to your place”. OK…I admit I had no idea it was a wee bit troubling that this was necessary. Packed (even more!) with some fresh food and more groceries…we got to the school and residence…after a MUCH longer drive and pretty wet conditions.

But WAIT…there is MORE.

So this school of ours was located away from the Culgoa River on a flat tract of land..in fact is all flat. The house and school were on a dirt road (heck everything was dirt) and the Aboriginal camp was next to the river. Just up the road from us was the store and over the road was a tennis court, an airstrip and further over, by the river, on the other side of the bridge over the Culgoa, was the land leased by the family who would give us both support and grief!

The rains came…and came and never left. The River was already flooding from the rains in nearby Queensland (only 14 miles away) and we were in for a LONG stay. School starting day came and two students turned up. Our daughter and the boy whose parents ran the shop. We began the day at school but due to the conditions came back to our place, and the mum of the boy said “if anyone calls from the Dept I will put them through to your place.” The system was helpful as it was a party line but certainly there was no privacy AND the phones only operated 9.00 am – 9.00 pm.

STUCK in the MUD.

Isolation is a new environment but with lots of advice and help from the locals was made better. In fact, we got school started once the pouring rain stopped and the lessee of the property collected the kids from the camp to bring them to school. His own kids and wife had left when they knew the floods would be arriving and went down south. We did not have them come to our school until Term 2. In the end, we got to know the support services very well. The Doctor in the nearest town who had never met us, could consult on the phone when we had a couple of health issues, the Chemist in the town would fill the scripts AND I could also ring the small town grocery store to order food and all of what we could get would be flown to us via the RAAF helicopter or a RAAF carrier plane. Other times, the supplies might land via a large drop off by the helicopter. The store got its supplies which helped us and the Aboriginal community. Sometimes too, someone may be taken to hospital that way.

In the initial days of the flood, we had no power for a few days BUT fortunately keeping the freezer closed and packed meant no food spoilage. We had a portable gas stove for a meal or two. And, the man who had the tractor had us to his house once a week for a cooked meal. He had more options on his property. He would come and get us in the tractor (see my husband in the second shot, with the friendly farmer, walking ahead to check levels and ditches and then on this occasion it was for us to see what things looked like along the way.

In the first photo this is the road to the school and our house is obscured by the school is in the distance. To the left of the photo, out of sight, is the airstrip and tennis courts.

THIS LASTED FOR TEN WEEKS.

In some ways it was one heck of a learning journey and in others it was very very tiresome. It was the very poor condition of the dirt roads because tractors and 4WD had left tracks and bad scarring on the road so no regular vehicle like ours could go anywhere. Somewhere in this time, my parents who had been very concerned about the situation drove up to Moree and chartered a small plane to come and visit us. The air strip had dried out. It was the roads that were impassable. Armed with all the makings of a fresh baked dinner and more my brave Mum and Dad hopped in the little Cessna and came for the weekend. They flew back the same way but with lots of love and hugs from their much-adored granddaughter. 

GETTING OUT.

I admit I became very stir-crazy and whilst it has been a term and a half of learning much about a new community I was determined, somehow to get to town for wait for it…Easter Eggs! How could our daughter miss the Easter Bunny? So one Saturday, our friend with his tractor, went before us, and gave us newbies to this situation, guidance on where to go to avoid being stuck and eventually we were on a better dirt road to town. We got back OK too.

HIGHLIGHTS and LOWLIGHTS and NO LIGHTS!

Just writing about the transition to the place, then what we went through personally and professionally means I am going to write more about the stay (and it WAS only for two years!) in point form:

  • The second term meant a more settled life. Well, in terms of the weather it was. My husband, who was both teaching principal and my supervisor meant “we” had some interesting and challenging conversation about teaching. You see he had not ever taught with another staff member, I had, and my temperament is totally opposite to his. We sorted this with roles and responsibilities (as every school should!) and subject area responsibilities and his work toward his next promotion, called List Two, was what he needed to achieve within his  stay at the school.

 

  • This was achieved by him and his classroom and school management was policy-central and all very much in keeping with educational standards then, and with the District Inspector (friendly man from Dubbo) staying with us too, it was good to know he had succeeded.

 

  • The unfortunate side of such isolation related to both social matters and health matters. My husband became ill for a number of reasons and was even hospitalised for some time and in the meanwhile I was relieving as Principal (and a worried wife!) and the N.S.W. Department of Education sent a replacement teacher from Bourke (almost 2 hours away) to stay and help out.

 

  • We also did our best to mix with the local and wider community, playing social tennis (the afternoon teas were amazing!) and getting together for meals. However, we would always be, as in many country settings “blow ins”.

 

  • Our daughter was socially isolated but as an only child she was quite content with play and reading at home by herself. We did have one young student board with us for a while to be company and to help our daughter too. That same family had our daughter stay when we went to Dubbo for a weekend.

 

  • Getting OUT was important. School terms were up to 3 x 13 or even some 14/15 week terms. We needed the break and so on the last Friday of term, our car would be packed and ready. I must add, that IF any rain fell, we would be delayed. Because of the road conditions.

 

  • The District Inspector allowed us an early Friday finish mid-term so we could drive to Dubbo (6 hours away) and shop and have respite for the weekend.

 

  • On one of those occasions, in Winter, it was meant to be that  we chose a Ford in the year we left Sydney. As we drove along stone filled road, we would get chips on the windscreen but even worse, as we found one almost dark afternoon getting back onto the BITUMEN at Coolabah, our lights were shot. The garage was still open. Yay. He had replacement bulbs. Yay. MY husband installed them. Yay. BUT, our daughter aged 5 was growing worse from a virus and her temperature was high. NO!

 

  • The next town east was Nyngan and we called into the hospital. She was given something to help and we drove through the Dubbo with great relief. Next day, with her health on our minds, we had a doctor call and she got meds. I also “needed” to go shopping and she had a particular wish to have some new sneakers. I got them. What a weekend. Grocery shopping was done too but I chose parcel pick up. THEN at 11.50 a.m. I remembered shops closed on Saturdays and not open till Monday. One ‘fast’ drive to Coles and I loaded them up.
  • The school was a hub for health professionals from Sydney and other places with specialist teams and most would arrive by air. Some came in 4 WD convoys. The professionals would examine anyone including us and in that time we had the late Dr Fred Hollows arrive with his then girlfriend, Gaby, in the team to check everyone’s eyes. We needed to have food at the ready and I often entertained thanks to cooking multiple dishes and freezing them along with my now-regular little cakes.

 

  • I also travelled to Brewarrina to see an Obstetrician who, upon hearing my story of tests done previously declared I would never have another child. See more about that here. It was such a definite and firm view, I mourned what was not going to happen and gave away all of my baby things to the Aboriginal community.

 

  • ABC TV did a story about folks living where we did and we, along with the children in the school were part of that program as were the locals from far and wide.

 

  • We had a grant from Disadvantaged Schools Program which funded the students from the school aged 7 and over, along with family carers and us to fly to Sydney, stay in lodgings in Kings Cross and experience places like Manly beach and the Zoo. Our daughter came with us but stayed with my parents and met up with us back in Manly.

 

  • But….this place got to us in some ways,  particularly access to health services for us both. We announced that at the end of the two years minimum we would be transferring back to Sydney as we hoped to find our first house and have our daughter attend school with more kids than 25.

This news was not taken well by SOME of the community but many also understood our motives. We left the school, and the area on the last Friday of term and with relief, when we got to the bitumen, this (then) 28 year old wife, mother and teacher sighed with relief.

What next?

Stay tuned: Chapter Eight soon.

Denyse.

Joining Kylie for I Blog On Tuesdays here and Sue & Leanne here for Midlife Share The Love linky on Wednesdays.

 

 

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Have You Ever? 38/52. #LifeThisWeek is 2! 2018.93.

Have You Ever? 38/52. #LifeThisWeek is 2! 2018.93.

I have said in previous posts that sometimes my reason for an optional prompt is not always remembered when I get to it, which is why THIS one is very simple…or complex depending on how I decide to respond.

But before that!

It’s time to mark a special occasion. It was on Monday 12 September 2016 that the first link up for #LifeThisWeek debuted. As many of you will recall, Kirsty had retired I Must Confess as a link up and I was able to introduce this one for bloggers who post (and link) on Mondays.

In the two years much has happened to me and to you, my blogging buddies and readers, but what has not changed at all is the community, the conversations and the connections we make as we read and then comment on others’ posts.

So, biggest thank you goes to you all. Without you there is no link up!

#LifeThisWeek is going into 2019 and I am delighted about that as I hope you are too.

Happy 2nd Birthday:

Have You Ever…been published in the media?

That is the question I decided to respond to. Well, yes I have.

In local newspapers when I was a school principal and stories were published about the school and its activities. I had my photo taken with my eldest granddaughter aged 4 at the Christmas Carols in the local park and that was very pleasant.

I have had articles written about my work when I was an Education Specialist helping families from Early Childhood centres navigate the starting school issues.

I have written to newspapers and have had letters to the editor published in both the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph.

Articles by me were published in the N.S.W. Parents and Citizens Journal for some time.

But…there is this one, and it is the one I want to highlight this time:

In April 2017 I did what I thought was a brave thing, and encouraged by an on-line friend who had done the same, I put my story (as asked in the questions on the site) for a year-long project called Celebrating Women. The aim of the founder, Dr Kirstin Ferguson was to have 2 women share their story a day for 2017 and that it was the spread the word around the world, of the very essence of these women. Not limited to Australia or by age or by career. I admit now, I wondered “me?” “really?” but sent in the responses and the photos.

And forgot about it as being diagnosed with cancer some weeks later, I was totally in another headspace when I got the email from Kirstin saying “your profile #298 and story is ready to go live on…(date named)”. I was feeling vulnerable and unsure about whether I wanted to share my profile as now the “word cancer’ was part of my story. I wrote to Kirstin about my feeling vulnerable and her kind words in response were that of course it was up to me but that maybe, my cancer diagnosis and news of my surgeries and treatments in the future would give others more insight into me.

I said yes. My story was published on 31 May, just 2 weeks after my cancer diagnosis.

My post about Celebrating Women is here.

Over the next year I was updating myself about the #CelebratingWomen stories and saw that Kirstin had been approached to write a book in conjunction with Catherine Fox about the project (which ended up with over 700 profiles by the way!). The book, called WomenKind has just been released and with my permission, Kirsten wrote this paragraph about me. I was very proud to see it when I leafed through a new-on-the-shelf version. My own copy is still winging its way to our place.

Have you ever…..?

Any optional prompt suggestions for next year’s Life This Week gratefully accepted in the comments!

Denyse.

Today I link with Alicia here: for Open Slather and Kel here for Mummy Mondays. Do visit them too and link up!

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’s Optional Prompt: 39/52. Last Thing I Bought. 24/9/18.

 


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LifeThisWeek Goes On Into 2019. 2018.83.

LifeThisWeek Goes On Into 2019. 2018.83.

I began blogging a post that fell into the category of “Life This Week” each Monday of 2016.

In mid-2016, a favourite blogger and friend, Kirsty, decided to retire her Monday link up called “I Must Confess” to take up her work within the field of Positive Special Needs parenting.

After chatting with Kirsty, I had a plan to take on a link up of my own once hers was finished and to call it (drum roll)

LIFE THIS WEEK.

I kept the title and turned it into a link up because for the majority of us bloggers, we write about aspects of our lives.

From the beginning date, here for those who would like to see….

Until the week of this post there have been…another drum roll please:

97 link up weeks!

What has changed?

Each 9th week is still devoted to “Taking Stock” as from the beginning and in 2018 each 5th week is a photo-centred one called Share Your Snaps.

Some more people have found the link up – yay – and sometimes bloggers join in with the optional prompt – yay. In essence the best part for me, and I hope you, is the sense of

COMMUNITY.

I am always excited on a Monday morning (truly) because I see who has linked up and commented. I blog to connect and the chats I get to have with my fellow bloggers and commenters are special. I always visit everyone’s blog and comment there too.

I have always come up with the optional prompts and that is good for my brain power.

I have a list here that is taking us into 2019.

I know: 2019!

If you would like to add a few optional prompt suggestions in the comments, I would be delighted as by the end of the year I will have created close to 120 of them!!

Here is the list to take us into 2019.

36/52. TAKING STOCK 3/9/18.

37/52. Travel Tips. 10/9/18.

38/52. Have You Ever..? 17/9/18.

39/52. Last Thing I Bought. 24/9/18.

40/52. Share Your Snaps 8. 1/10/18

41/52. Best Friend Stories. 8/10/18.

42/52. What I Have Learned Lately. 15/10/18.

43/52. Quick Meal Ideas. 22/10/18.

44/52. I Want This. 29/10/18.

45/52. Share Your Snaps 9. 5/11/18.

46/52. I Remember. 12/11/18.

47/52. Best Cake I Have Eaten. 19/11/18.

48/52. Summer Means This. 26/11/18.

49/52. TAKING STOCK. 3/12/18.

50/52.  Share Your Snaps 10. 10/12/18.

51/52. Christmas. 17/12/18.

52/52. Free Choice! We Made It! 24/12/18.

YES…. #LifeThisWeek will return in 2019!

1/52. Hello Again. 7/1/19

2/52. “Word/Intention/Nothing” 2019.. 14.1.19.

The last word.

Appreciation.

For you all.

My friends “in the computer”. You have shared your posts here and we have read and commented. You have lifted me up when I have needed it most, especially when the news of having cancer rocked my world back in May 2017. I look for those who link up from overseas, and those from interstate..and those close by. You all mean a great deal to me and without you there would be no link up nor any connection.

Thank you.

I am grateful to be a blogger & to have a community here.

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog On Tuesdays

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LTW is ONE. #LifeThisWeek. 35/52. 2017.105.

LTW is ONE. #LifeThisWeek. 35/52. 2017.105.

A Little Bit of History.

Kirsty from My Home Truths had a wonderful and friendly link-up called “I Must Confess”. It was fun and popular with readers and bloggers. But somewhere along the road in 2016 Kirsty decided to finish her link up because she was getting fully into her research, writing and presentations  for her passion, Kids with Autism. Sad as it was to see Kirsty “retire the link-up”, I, along with many added their fond farewells to her. I wondered though, in an email to her, what she thought about me doing a Monday link-up after she finished.

Generous soul she is, she said “go for it, and I will tell people about your link-up as mine finishes”. That was exactly what happened 12 months ago. Kirsty and I have known each other for over 5 years and friends from blogging care for and about each other. I decided to name my link up Life This Week as I already wrote in that category each Monday and it was a general enough name for anyone to join in. And just in case anyone wanted some ideas for posting, like Kirsty had done, I added optional prompts. We were good to go on Monday 12 September 2016.

The First Link Up.

I was hoping there would be some bloggers link up for the first week where the prompt was Beginnings. In fact, to my delight 24 bloggers linked up. That is almost a record number. What a thrill it was to see the blogs added and have the people commenting. Great start.

I made it my practice to reply to everyone’s comments on my post first during the day Monday if possible and then, either that evening or the next day, go to the linkers’ posts to comment. Commenting is my currency in blogging and why I blog. I love my blogging connections and value each and every one.

We were off!

How It Has Proceeded.

The numbers of linkers has remained between high teens, into the low twenties with a few low teen numbers. It is the consistency and those who have made it a regular event for them to blog and link that I love. It’s like I get to wake up each Monday and think “oh I wonder who will be there today to have a chat with?”

Each 9 weeks I posted the next 9 optional prompts. The 9th week one is always “Taking Stock”. I have also endeavoured to make the prompts date or time of year specific …more for my brain actually..and bloggers have liked some of these ideas. I guess as bloggers, anything which kick starts a post on some days is a win.

The highest number of blogs which linked up was this year on the week of Valentine’s Day with the prompt “Love.” Some of the lower number to link up appeared closer to holiday times which is understandable.

Where Will The Link Up Go Now?

Right now, I am finding it stimulating to determine what the prompts will be and have already got as many done as there are weeks left in this year! I leave them in draft form for a while and review them before announcing them. They are already on the Home Page and are listed in my post for IBOT tomorrow. I know some bloggers link up without the prompts and this is fine. The only real rules (despite my list!) is one link and it be family friendly. I added this because, ahem, someone added a link one time which was not!

The Link Up will go on into 2018 and I look forward to more connections on-line. I truly love the community of bloggers and those who link up here are extra special because we are getting to know each other. During my recent cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery it was overwhelmingly apparent to me that I have people who care for and about me and I am truly humbled. Thank you all.

Without any more words…really! Here’s to the First Year of #LifeThisWeek.

 

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Denyse. 

I link up on Mondays here with Alicia for Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Monday. Join in there too!


 

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