Monday 24th September 2018

What I Wore This Week.1. 2018.73.

What I Wore This Week.1. 2018.73.

This introduction is to a blog post I will do most weeks.

I will not always do this long introduction but as a teacher…that is what I do….!

Some time ago I wrote here about the importance for me to:

  • have a purpose in each day
  • get dressed with a view to going out somewhere that day
  • having a photo taken – by my husband – adding it to my Instagram feed, personal facebook and twitter accounts
  • take pride in my personal appearance following a diagnosis of cancer back in May 2017
  • enjoy wearing clothes I may never have fitted in previous years because over the past few years, I have lost weight
  • finally believe in myself as someone who can look good and feel good rather than the person of the past who hid behind her weight
  • take better care of my inner self as the outer self is showing by doing some Calm meditation, taking myself into nature somewhere each day, and by creating something in the form that I enjoy.
  • believe that I not only can wear lovely clothes but that I need to as I have not ever previously given myself permission to do so on most occasions
  • some of the #hashtags I use on my photos are: #ootd (outfit of the day) #dresswithpurpose #everydaystyle
  • I buy all of my clothes from local Australian stores including Millers, Rockmans, Suzanne Grae, Noni B.
  • I do not have any items of clothing that are sent to me or are sponsored.
  • I tend to buy all of the clothes at sale prices.
  • I organise my wardrobe in colours….mostly reds/pinks/oranges….and blues/greens

If you are new here, the links I have provided above will give you more explanation of my points!

The photos are curated by me for Instagram. I have a private account as I was hacked last year. If you would like to follow me, just ask: @denysewhelan

This week, I wore:

I hope this post has been helpful and of interest.

Do let me know in the comments!

What are you wearing?

Denyse.

P.S….. a very important “what I wore”. Since cancer surgery in May 2017 I have been without any upper teeth. On Monday at my prosthodontist visit, I got to wear something I had not for over one year: MY SMILE!

 

 

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WHNCDay, Beyond Five, Soup For The Soul & Emma McBride MP. 2018.62.

WHNCDayBeyond Five, Soup for the Soul & Emma McBride MP. 2018.62.

Let me start with this.

I was diagnosed with a head and neck cancer in May 2017.

I had no idea that a cancer could be in my mouth.

Many posts here have charted my journey and it has been ever so helpful for me to post, learn and help others too.

What is WHNC Day?

It is World Head and Neck Cancer Day and is on 27 July each year. Last year, on this date I attended my first post-surgical appointment at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and there was nothing anywhere to indicate it WAS WHNC Day.

This year IS different. For me, and for more people who are coming on board to spread the word which is AWARENESS.

You see, as I was ignorant of mouth cancer, many who may eventually be diagnosed with a head and neck cancer (not brain cancer, it is a different group and speciality) and sometimes too late for life-saving treatment.

I’ve been wearing a ribbon from Beyond Five for the past weeks and having my photo taken to raise awareness. The ribbons are $3 each and available from Beyond Five (address is below)

Around the world there are organisations of professionals, patients and carers gearing up for this date with meetings, a conference is being held in Melbourne where I know my surgeon, Professor Jonathan Clark is attending along with my Specialist Prosthodontist, Dr Suhas Deshpande and an event, in Australia for the very first time called Soup for The Soul.

Beyond Five 

I first heard about Beyond Five in June 2017 as I was approaching my BIG (as I still call it, because it was!) surgery when A/Professor Ardalan Ebrahimi answered my long email very helpfully and suggested I check out Beyond Five as it was an organisation he and the Professor had started. At the stage I did glance at areas on-line but my mind was not able to take in much.

As I have moved well into recovery mode, my story was added to Beyond Five’s patient experiences in April 2018. As an educator AND blogger as well as head and neck cancer patient I became better acquainted with the organisation. Here is part of their mission.

Beyond Five is Australia’s First Head and Neck Charity supporting patients with head and neck cancer, as well as their families, carers and the healthcare professionals who care for them.

Their Story:

In 2014 a team of passionate people working within the field of head and neck cancer care had a common desire to provide access to information about head and neck cancer to people all over Australia.

Head and neck cancer is incredibly complex and diverse. It includes more than 10 different cancers that can affect a person’s:

  • mouth
  • tongue
  • salivary glands
  • skin
  • voice box

Each type comes with its own causes, symptoms, characteristics, complexities and treatment options.

There was a real need to provide comprehensive information in one place that was easy-to-access.

We spent 24 months gathering the content with the input of:

  • surgeons
  • radiation oncologists
  • medical oncologists
  • nurses
  • speech pathologists
  • dietitians
  • dentists
  • plastic surgeons
  • psychologists
  • health literacy experts
  • patients
  • carers

We included information for all of the stages of the cancer care journey from diagnosis through treatment to life after cancer. This means that patients and carers can easily find the information they need at the right time.

Beyond Five launched in September 2016.

(side note: my diagnosis date, May 2017)

Why Beyond Five?

When we talk of curing cancer, we talk in terms of  five-year survival. However, in patients with head and neck cancer the effects of the cancer and their treatment stay with the patient forever. These effects may be seen as scars on the face that cannot be hidden by clothing or may be difficulties with speech and swallowing.

The name ‘Beyond Five’ refers to the long-term need of patients which they often need more beyond five years after diagnosis. Find Beyond Five here: 

Soup For The Soul.

The sotry above indicates that Beyond Five is a charity that is new to the scene to help patients with cancer. In fact, this year is only their 2nd year in full operation. So, the FIRST every fund-raiser is happening and it is called Soup For The Soul.

Why that name? It IS winter, so it is a great idea to have some soup with friends and ask for a donation towards Beyond Five and their messages needing to get out to more. Another, and even more important reason is the symbol of what soup means for people with head and neck cancer. It is often the life-line food of nourishment and care. I had a lot of soup last winter and more this winter even though I can get some less liquidy foods down now.

For the week 20 July to 27 July (WHNC Day) there are events and meals and gatherings planned around Australia. I am off to one at Gosford on 24 July with a head and neck support group. I am hosting a “virtual” event for my blogging, facebook and other friends and I have opened a fund-raising page here.

Please donate what you can afford. I suggest $5 as that’s a bowl or a cup of soup!

Here is the link to my page, where the donations are sent directly to Beyond Five after the organisation looking after the funds takes a certain amount for their costs. This varies according to the amount donated.

Emma McBride M.P.

Emma is our local Federal Member and I wrote to her asking if she would accept a fund-raising ribbon from Beyond Five from me. A very busy lady as you can imagine, I was surprised and delighted to receive a call from her office in Canberra to say Emma wanted to come to our place, if that was convenient, to find out more and to accept the ribbon. So on Monday 9 July we did have a very pleasant chat and took some photos which went on social media and I am told there may be something happening on 27 July to raise some awareness for head and neck cancer and some funds via Soup For the Soul. I am very grateful!

I know there was a lot to read and get through today but this post has been getting ready to be published in advance of World Head And Neck Cancer Day and I wanted to cover all the information.

Thank you for reading…and I hope, commenting!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie on Tuesdays here

Joining with Sue and Leanne here on Wednesdays.

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Denyse is A ‘Baby Boomer’ Who Blogs. 2017.120.

Denyse is A ‘Baby Boomer’ Who Blogs. 2017.120.

The point of this post is that I wish to be a blogger who connects all with age groups which includes those closer to mine. I am in my late 60s (a Baby Boomer for sure) and want my voice to be heard, and words to be read by a wide range of people. I am blessed to have many people come here to read and connect. I want to have more from the demographic of the over 60s and beyond. How I do that is something I am seeking advice about from you! I would be delighted if you could read this long post and add some wisdom for me to extend my words and pics into a bigger and broader community. I remain very happy where I am to date, but at almost 68 I would like more! Thank you, Denyse. xx

Why I started a blog.

In 2010, at 61, I started  this blog. It was after I had retired (again) from a part-time teaching role in a K-6 school as an English as  A Second Language Teacher. I was ready to be at home with my similarly-aged husband and to help care for some young grandchildren through the week.

I wanted to share my knowledge, skills and passions from education and living life in the senior years with an on-line readership.

It was important for me to connect as I no longer had a social group outside of home once I stopped work.

Twitter, back then, was a great place for conversations and ‘meeting’ people and as @denwise1 I loved it. I made REAL friends from this and as a commenter back then, on a great new site called mamamia, I got a clue that my writing of my life experiences may resonate to help others.

I can now be found on twitter here: @denysewhelan1

I’m also have an instagram account which is private as I was hacked: find me by this name and ask for the follow:  @denysewhelanblogs

The Facebook page for this blog is here.   I have conversations on Facebook as Denyse Whelan Blogs. Over 65 Sharing Stories About Life.

Denyse – post cancer surgery – Sept 2017.

Some history of blogging from me and about Australian blogging too.

In 2011 I went to the first Australian Blogging Conference, held in Sydney, and called Aussie Bloggers. Later in that year I went to 2 other blogging events. I met so many bloggers who remain on the top of my list of blogs now  and they have gone on to make businesses of their blogging: Mrs Woog from Woogsworld, Beth from Baby Mac, Nikki from Styling You, and writers/journalists such as Rick Morton, Donna Webeck, Bianca Wordley, Megan Blandford, Eden Riley and Lisa Mclean. Later at a book launch for Kerri Sackville, I met Lana Hirschowitz, Chantelle Ellem, Kylie Ladd and many more.

In my life as an educator I could never have met people such as these and so my world was widened as a result of blogging. In fact, in 2012 I was selected to Tell My Story at the Digital Parents Conference. The story has evolved somewhat since then, but the esssence of wanting to connect remains.

Why three blogs did not work for me. 

I was pumped in 2012 to mid- 2014 and wanted to be my usual enthusiastic and sharing self. I knew I had skills and knowledge AND experience for families with kids starting school and already at school. Families were letting me know at the meetings I held in pre schools that this was so helpful for them. I knew from my University teaching days interacting with pre-service K-6 teachers I had information and help for their future careers that they told me was great. I also knew I loved sharing both my life, and to an extent my family and back then grandchildren were not exempted by me or their parents. So the 3 blogs!

Ready Set School was one. Ready Set Teach was the second. Denyse Whelan was the third.

Was I busy? Heck yes. Did I have quality content? I thought so but as someone once told me, maybe much of what I wrote about would already be on MUCH bigger sites than mine such as kid spot. It was disappointing that the follow-through promised by the young teachers did not come through either. I had professionally designed and set up blogs, I had a newsletter each month, and I tweeted and facebooked for each blog. It turned out for MUCH more effort and little or no return. I attended Pro Blogger and other conferences. I commented on many people’s blogs and I joined in every.single.link.up. that was relevant.

When I began one blog, found new readers and got my own link-up.

With the interruptions of life for this now 67 year old called: selling a house, renting in a new area to your ‘home’, resigning and retiring from ALL paid work in education, becoming unwell with stress-based illness including IBS, leaving the family we love behind…I KNEW even back in late 2014 as all this was unfolding that I would need to connection and SOMETHING to do each day of my new life.

Back to the one blog along with each and every day and writing as if my life depended on it.

It actually did on some days in early 2015 when I was so sad and broken that the ONLY thing to choose to do was to blog.

I wrote a daily blog post from 1 January 2015 until sometime in November 2016 when it no longer seemed relevant to ‘post daily’. In fact it was freeing and the job of the blog connecting me to more people had been a success via Link Ups.

My link up, Life This Week on Mondays started in early September 2016 and has continued with only 2 weeks break (cancer surgery for me – see here to know more) and usually has about 16 bloggers link. It is a friendly space and I enjoy the interactions and blog reading. On Tuesdays I link an original post to I Blog on Tuesdays and repeat the post in another link up called Lovin Life & that is it for now

Why I want to reach more readers who are ‘baby boomers’.

I love connecting with my current audience of readers, many of whom are also bloggers. These people are in the thirties and forties and I can relate to their lives from my long ago experiences ( I guess) and from what I see happening in my own children’s and grandchildren’s lives. I also connect with those who are blogging about entering the middle years. Those from the over fifties and up. I like what I read there too but still, I have moved past this age as well. What to do? I am not one to sit and wait nor to give up an idea so what I am going to do is post on another day each week about life as someone in the ‘over 65s’ group.

 

Born in 1949 I am a Baby Boomer and this is but one collage from babyhood to this year. Before my mouth cancer surgery.

There is much to say. There may not be a large audience to read nor share but maybe I am calling that prematurely. I am hoping that bloggers who are already part of the link up each Thursday with Leanne here might have some advice after reading this introduction as a linked post.

I would be happy to hear what people (over the age or under it) are interested in reading more about. I do have a lot to add to society and conversations here from an Australian Baby Boomer Blogger (that’s me!) may be the ideal way to do this.

Self-set Challenge to have a photo every day until I turn 68. Making the effort to co-ordinate my clothes even though I go nowhere much at all these days

I hope that this post has made some sense and that you may have some advice for me too.

Thank you for reading!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie for I Blog On Tuesdays here and with Leanne for Lovin’ Life linky here on Thursdays.

 

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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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Introducing Telling My Story. 2017.60.

Introducing Telling My Story. 2017.60.

In the past few years my life has changed in many ways.

I could say it has happened from the time I turned 60 I guess and at 67 now, it’s been for longer than I imagined.

I am naming this part of my life a transition yet it is more than that.

Like all humans I am living my life and maybe unlike all humans I am trying to understand myself and my life journey better.

Blogging is going to be one of the ways in which I recount aspects of what I have been learning:

I am a life-long learner.

My story is what it is.

My story.

However, it may help me in writing more about it instead of alluding to part of it or directing readers to past posts.

It is quite hard to confess to finding aspects of life as I knew it have left me and I am needing to become used to what is now.

I will write from time to time and it may be about some strategies and resources I have found helpful.

It maybe necessary to tell  the truth of what it has been like for me. And how that has affected my relationships, with myself included for the past few years.

Like I said, I am telling My Story.

Today makes it the introduction. I do not know when the next one will be.

This work, Stop, from Jeff Foster, in his book: ‘The Way of Rest’ Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love is about mindfulness, stopping, staying present.

I would have to add this is one of my biggest challenges. I wrote about ‘uncertainty’ here last week.

 

Whatever is happening in the circumstances of your life, stop. Just for a moment.

Bring your attention toward the here and now. Let the moment become fascinating. Gently begin to acknowledge what is actually happening where you are. Come out of your conclusions about life, your dreams about past and future, and being to notice the sensations, feelings, thoughts that are present, right here and right now.

Let your present experience – sights and sounds and smells – become the most curious dance in all the universe. You are seeing, tasting, touching, hearing the world as if for the first time. This is your Garden of Eden, your messy, intense, joyous, and heartbreaking Garden of Eden and you are awake to it at last.

Stop trying to figure everything out. Give in. Give up. Give all to the moment’s embrace.

Fall into not knowing…

 

I hope that you will find My Story of interest and that it will be something that speaks to you to help you in some way. I do not think we have spoken enough nor even considered what it means to become older, to stop work, to find yourself adrift in some ways where you thought there was security. I write to help me as I look back and move forward into whatever is to come.

Thank you for reading!

Denyse.

Posting for the first time for I Blog on Tuesdays with Kylie Purtell here.

Then joining with Leanne and bloggers on Thursday here for Lovin’ Life link up.

 

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