Monday 24th September 2018

Just For July #4. 2018.66.

Just For July #4. 2018.66.

The last Just for July. Gosh that did go quickly.

I had a few thoughts about ‘the last post’. Not the song. The post.

And this is what I came up with.

Facts About MY July.

  1. It is a month of ‘nothing much’ usually. Except for last year when I had a big cancer surgery.
  2. I never do “dry July: because.. I do not have a tipple. At all. Any more. I don’t mind one glass of champers and the last time I did that was possibly in January 2014 when Dad was 90.
  3. I considered “no buy July” for about a day…but then again, if you know me well, that was NOT going to happen.
  4. What I have bought to date: crystals (from China) because I really like the textures of them and connection to the earth, some lovely Skin Boss body oil from my friend Kirsten, some nail polish – it has been over  a year since I did anything ‘girly’ as paint my finger nails, and two Moleskin art journals
  5. Seems I have become a bit of a star-fundraiser (well, I was when I last looked) for my head and neck cancer charity Beyond Five because I am second in the individual total for funds-raised. Oh..still not too late! LINK HERE. TY
  6. We had a visit from 4 of our grandchildren. Such fun. So exhausted (for a good reason) when they left. Funny things kids say: from Miss 3 “will Papa take me fishing?” and from her to her five year old sister “don’t talk about my pencil grip”…and from Miss 8 looking at our spare room “Oh the bunks are there but you haven’t had time to make them up yet” Sadly Miss 8, we think overnight stays are done. Sorry.
  7. I set a record (for me) of sitting with a couple of 5 minute breaks in a dentist’s chair for 4 HOURS while he accurately, slowly and very very carefully adjusted parts of the inside of my mouth.
  8. I went and asked the local library if they would like me to run a class (as a volunteer of course) for adults to do mindful colouring and mandalas
  9. Getting dressed with purpose each day is still going strong thanks initially to Nikki Parkinson aka Styling You & her #everydaystyle on Instagram. BIG congratulations to Nikki on her 10th Birthday. Amazing lady who I have known since 2011!
  10. And lastly,  my seeking of places for coffee and is something to look forward to every day. Mrs Woog is a great believer of that. Do you listen to hers and Mrs Berry’s podcast “The Hot Flush”?

Now I am likely to keep these Thursday posts going.
Mmmm I do have to think of a catchy name.

Maybe August Thoughts

or Awesome August…

I shall see. No, I have decided I will continue and the title is Appreciation In August!

 Tomorrow is World Head and Neck Cancer Day. 27 July. Thank you to those who have supported my fundraiser for Head and Neck cancer awareness via my “virtual” Soup for the Soul. See above link.

Happy last week in July 2018 people.

Thanks for your kind responses to my new post topics and lightness here as well.

It’s good for me too!

Denyse x

Joining with the lovely Leanne and her crew for Lovin’ Life Linky on Thursdays.

 

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My Head & Neck Cancer 1st Anniversary. Pt 1. 2018.44.

My Head & Neck Cancer 1st Anniversary. Pt 1. 2018.44.

Writing this post I feel a surge of gratitude for my cancer diagnosis.

Weird?

Well, for me, BEFORE I knew that there was a nasty cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma in my upper front gums, I was anxious, fearful and this had been building up for the 3 years since just before we left Sydney to come and live on the Central Coast. My life was reduced to managing a sense of fear any time I needed to leave the house. Whilst it was not quite crippling, because I have a very determined edge to my nature, it was not how I liked feeling. AT. ALL. Blog posts here and here tell more:

In early May 2017 after a series of medical and dental examinations, CT scans, X-rays, a biopsy for gums that were not only NOT healing after the teeth and bridge had been removed  but were growing ….the news came through about WHY. The posts about my cancer can be found here.

Words are few but pictures tell much of my story. Away we go. Oh, and I AM someone who takes lots of pics and am grateful to have this record.

Part One.

In the lead up to the first Anniversary of my diagnosis I had thought this post could be a ‘thank you’ one.

I did not realised until late March that I would need a 4th surgery. However, I accept that the mouth still needs more work ….and I am trying not to whinge too much about the fact I will be having the ‘mouthguard/stent’ in for much longer AND another skin graft….because whingeing is not cool. This post is going live AFTER my 4th surgery on 16 May 2018.

I have accepted that there is no real END time with cancer.

I will be having checks until mid 2022. Then, as with most head and neck cancer patients, there is more to come, such as management of my implants over time. See this wonderful Australian-based  support site: BeyondFive here.

So, no “thank you and farewell post” for Part Two. Just more gratitude and let me show you who those people are and why I am grateful!

Part Two is scheduled to go live on Tuesday 29 May 2018.

Denyse.

In many ways I hope, that as I am a teacher AND a learner, anyone who knows someone with Head and Neck Cancer might find my posts helpful. It is one of the reasons I blog: to share, to learn and to connect! My page above has my other posts relating to my cancer story.

On Tuesday this posts links with Kylie here

On Wednesday this post links with Sue and Leanne here

On Thursday this post links with Leanne here.

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Today I Will. #LifeThisWeek 48/52. 2017.131.

Today I Will. #LifeThisWeek 48/52. 2017.131.

Today I will.…I wondered what I thought about when I made this prompt! It was a while back so when I re-visited it to write I decided to add in what was current for this week coming AND, by popular request, post my recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie! Oh yes….the first 10 Prompts for #LifeThisWeek 2018.

  • Drive to Sydney’s suburb of Dee Why to see my almost 94 year old father. Dad remains very well and independent and has many friends where he lives, some of whom he tells me are only a few years older than me. Thanks Dad! I cannot believe it but in checking my calendar this year there will have only been 3 trips to see him in total. I got very stressed about driving on M1 relating to my IBS back in the early part of the year and so did not go anywhere near that road. Until I had to. In fact, the first time I had to I wrote about here and it was the start of me overcoming my fears and anxiety with exposure therapy. So, Dad got his first visit for the year from me  in late April 2017. We talk on the phone each week as well. Then my life imploded with the news I had cancer…you can read about that here if you weren’t following the blog back then. The second time I drove down solo to see him was in early September and then my recent planned visit was cancelled as I had a bad virus. So…..off I go today.

The day I finally went to Sydney for the first time in almost 5 months.

  • Congratulate our daughter on her graduation from Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga campus)  with her Masters of Education (Teacher/Librarianship). She has spent more time doing this part-time than she ever imagined when she began the 2 year part-time course and was the Teacher-Librarian in one school until the end of 2014 and then BEGAN a brand-new school’s Library from January 2015. Family and health issues of hers and her grown kids meant she had to take some breaks from Uni (study is on-line) but for her to keep the role she loves in her school the course was to be completed. Today she graduates! We are so very proud of her achievements under difficulty and that next year she is back to school full-time and in charge of the School Library once more! She and her 4 children are attending the Graduation ceremony at Wagga Wagga on Monday at 9.30 a.m. We will be there in spirit!

 

  • Complete the cupcakes for the 21st Birthday Picnic next weekend for our eldest granddaughter who is 21 just before Christmas. We are so happy to be able to see her for her birthday and we will drive down to the park where it is all happening. This young woman has faced quite a few personal health challenges when she was diagnosed with Crohns Disease but she makes the very most of her life and as you might recall I wrote about her here and she allowed me to add her YouTube. It was an amazing and memorable day when I met you, JR, in the San, on a Monday and there you were..a beautiful little girl who would one day call me “Grandma”.

 

  • Add the recipe here for lemon meringue pie which has been  synonymous with celebration in my family from when I was a child. Once I learned to make the pie I added the variation of sometimes making it in little tartlet cases. It really IS a simple recipe but you make it to your taste in lemony-ness. I recall requesting it on special occasions and when we had all of our kids/grandkids for a meal back in the ‘living in Sydney’ days, lemon meringue pie would make an appearance. Since my mouth is severely compromised for eating I search for food ideas I can literally eat and swallow and this lemon meringue pie passes! My dad totally loves it too and will have some memories of Mum’s cooking when I take him a container of mini Lemon Meringue pies in January to celebrate his 94th Birthday!

What better way to say “Congratulations” on completing your degree KT…than Lemon Meringue Pie!

  • The Recipe: You will need 2 eggs, separated. One can of condensed milk. 2 lemons. Small amount of castor sugar. A baked pie shell. Can be your own or purchased as I did.

First: Oven should be pre-heated at around 150 degrees. It is just to help the pie ingredients mix and to get a nice brown look on the meringue.

Method:

1. Separate the eggs so that you have two yolks and two lots of egg white. I do this one egg at a time into a glass to ensure there is NO yellow in the egg white or it will not whip into meringue. I put both egg whites into a small bowl. Nearby I have my castor sugar ready.

2. Cut and squeeze the juice from two lemons. If you like a really tangy lemon, you may add a bit more juice (from a 3rd lemon) as you taste test the mix. You have to really. Leave juice in juicer. For now!

3. In a separate bowl you place the two egg yolks and the contents of the condensed milk tin. Yummo. You may lick a little bit but not the lid. Ouch. Mix with a spoon to ensure all the egg yolk is combined and add the lemon and keep mixing until it is all together. Taste test to see if ‘lemony’ enough. Leave this for now.

4. Get your electric mixer and beat the heck out of those egg whites and as they begin to combine and go lovely and smooth white, add up to 2 tabs of castor sugar gradually. To know meringue is done, when you lift the beaters, the mix should form peaks.

5. Place the lemon mix in the prepared shell. It all fits in one this size above.

6. With a tablespoon, add some of the meringue to the top of the pie so that edges are covered. It does not have to be neat!

7. Place the pie in the oven  and DO NOT go far. It does not take long for the top to get a nice bit of brown on top and then it can be removed.

8. Eat it in slices when it is warm (mmm) or leave it to cool where it might be easier to slice (mmmm) and ENJOY!!

 

  • Add the first 10 prompts here for #LifeThisWeek 2018. THANK YOU for joining in #LifeThisWeek in 2016 and 2017 and do come along, when the mood takes you, to join in 2018. Every 5 weeks will be a photo-based post of any type you like. With the loss of many link ups relating to photos, I suggested this on the blog as a place to SHARE YOUR SNAPS and I hope you will! Without further ado: here are the first 10 Weeks of #LifeThisWeek prompts for 2018. 

  • 1/52. “Bye to 2017”. 1/1/18.
  • 2/52. Word or Intention for 2018. 8/1/18.
  • 3/52. Favourite Weather. 15/1/18.
  • 4/52. What is Kindness? 22/1/18.
  • 5/52 SHARE YOUR SNAPS 1. 29/1/18.
  • 6/52. Starting School Stories. 5/2/18.
  • 7/52. Who’s a Worrier? 12/2/18.
  • 8/52. February is… 19/2/18.
  • 9/52. TAKING STOCK 1. 26/2/18
  • 10/52. SHARE YOUR SNAPS 2. 5/3/18.

I will add this list to the Home Page soon.

Next week the last prompt for 2017 is Christmas Plans. Then there will be no #LTW on Christmas Day. First day back on the blog for me will be on Monday 1 January 2018. The prompt is always optional. Link up an old post if you are in holiday mode or not. It would be great to see some links but being New Year’s Day I would understand why there might not be many!!

Thank you for joining in this year. We never got to 52 weeks of the prompts thanks for my cancer surgery but hey, only missing 3 is not a bad innings!!

Take care and I look forward to reading your posts and responding soon!!

Denyse.

I do not know what breaks Alicia or Kell are having but for this last time in 2017 I will link up too. Thanks for sharing your space ladies!

 

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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Half Year Review. #LifeThisWeek 26/52. 2017.84.

Half Year Review. #LifeThisWeek 26/52. 2017.84.

Since I last wrote a Review post, here, so much has changed. But that IS life, right?

The blogging world is changing and shifting as people enter to start new blogs whilst others may leave taking up various roles based on the needs now. Link ups remain the main way many of us know what others are up to but the link-ups themselves that have been supportive of many are reducing. One factor is time.

Another factor is there is less interaction between the blog posters who add their links and ‘run’ in some instances. Over this past weekend the long-running The Ultimate Rabbit Hole closed its doors forever. Seeing Sammie’s last post for the link up explains why and  makes me realise how grateful I have been that people continue to run link ups.

I wish Sammie well of course, and those who have contributed to the link ups over the years.

I am grateful at this half-year review time for YOU…and YOU…and  YOU..yes, all of YOU.

My readers, my blog commenters and my blog linkers! So, what’s else needs mentioning?

  • We’ve moved into Winter here of course, and Summer for those readers (hello Katherine & Patricial!) from the Northern Hemisphere)
  • For many the upcoming end of financial year will mean sorting out finances and all that jazz. We no longer have to do that as our pension income is low. I do recall though that it WAS one of those jobs no-one really likes.
  • Recently we sorted out a big folder of stuff that everyone needs to be able to find and is a must. I am talking birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports, wills, powers of attorney and enduring guardianship papers. These documents WERE at a solicitors but he has died so we have them with us. Moving around means that we keep them safe…for now. Once we are settled we will be reviewing the documents as they were last done in 2010.
  • And I was diagnosed with cancer in my gums in mid May after a troublesome year with my top, front teeth. Sigh. Read about it here.

As best as I can let everyone know, my scheduled surgery is Thursday 6 July* 2017 at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney. I will be down in Sydney at the Lifehouse the day before with my husband for the pre-op clinic, meeting with an anaesthetist and the specialist Head & Neck Cancer Nurse. We will stay one night together here. **

Credit: Golden Grove

The next morning, I am to arrive at the hospital (The Lifehouse) by 6.00 a.m. My husband is going to stay for the next 3 nights at the lovely place because it is within 10-15 mins walk from where I am. He is going to be there for my so-called, anticipated worst days as I will be in Intensive Care for up to 2-3 days. Yikes. Even writing that is scary! But like I have said before, knowing he is there, or not too far away will be very comforting to me. He has always been there for me as I have for him in all the times of our lives.

Holding My Hand….since 1970

*I have been told that date is 85% certain. This is contingent on the special software and model of my mouth coming to the surgical and dental team in time for more planning. It is being made in Belgium. I sure hope it is that date as my mouth is very sore and uncomfortable. I cant believe I am writing this but it will be good to have the surgery done.

**There were offers of accommodation made by family and friends and of course we are grateful but this place is ideal. We were recommended it as a place to stay from the hospital as it is much less expensive than other local accommodation and we are already going to be able to get some subsidy for accommodation and travel via the Isolated Patients scheme as we live > 100 km from the hospital. We had no idea about these things until my diagnosis.

This is my second last post FOR NOW for #LifeThisWeek. Next week is 27/52 Taking Stock.  That will be the LAST until I resume blogging after my upcoming surgery. I have had kind offers from blogging friends to keep the link up going and I have said ‘no, thank you’ because I am pretty sure as I can be, that by the time I am ready to come home (10-14 days post surgery) I will be thinking about blogging again. Watch this space! 

My husband will be letting our family and friends know how my surgery and recovery is going and in turn, our daughter will add updates to my Facebook personal page and the blog page. It is my request (at this stage) to have no visitors other than him because I know I will be unwell, unable to speak much (if at all) and in pain. If I change my mind about this…a girl can, right? Then Facebook will be the place to look. That’s about it. No it’s not. Sorry!

How blessed I am to have made so many friends via blogging and social media since 2010. I have been given enormous support via kind messages, post comments, gifts, phone calls, cards and more. I have each and every wish & prayer tucked into my heart and that is helping me face arguably the biggest (health) challenge in my life till now. This is my message for me and for you! 

Thank you and Happy Monday!

Denyse. Join up here with Alicia for Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays.

I hope you are linking up 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! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Taking Stock”. On Friday 30 June 2017 I am posting a list of the prompt words from Pip Lincoln’s Taking Stock suggestions.

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News I Will Never Forget. #LTW11. 366/320.

News I Will Never Forget. #LTW11.  366/320.

Last Thursday I wrote a post about this. But I did not write about the news below.

This prompt came to me when I noted the date that would be close to “Life This Week 11.”

22 November.

This post goes live on 21 November 2016 but on 22 November 1963 came the news that shocked me to the core….and the whole world I guess.

The death, by assassination, of President John F. Kennedy.

I was just about to turn 14. In ‘those days’ news came first by radio to Australia and as quickly as the technology of the time allowed to the television stations. There were 3 in Sydney, as I recall,  in 1963. The commercial ones were Channel 7 and 9. Channel 10 came later in the decade. Of course there was Channel 2. The Australian Broadcasting Commission (its name then). Black and white service only. Colour TV came in 1974.

I was in my bedroom and just stunned with the news. Everyone was. Time stood still for a while. How on earth could that happen? Happen it did, and then we saw, via black and white (and somewhat distorted images) on the TV news later what had occurred.

Devastating.

The world reeled.

This popular President, son of a career diplomat, who had a proud war service history, married to a beautiful woman, two delightful kids was DEAD. By bullets from an assassin.

There were days, weeks and then months of continued footage and more stories. The apparent gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, was assassinated by Jack Ruby as he was led by Texas Police from the courts (as my memory serves) and this act was filmed and shown around the world.

The event of John F Kennedy’s assassination has been the conjecture of so many theories and made into books, movies and mini-series and I offer no response nor answer.

All I can say, it is news I will never forget. 53 years ago this week.

 

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credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

What is news you will never forget?

Did you decide not to follow the prompt this week?

How about considering next week’s prompt: BIRTHDAYS! Actually it’s YOUR Birthday but any birthday will do…LOL

Thanks for being part of Life This Week!

Denyse.

I also link here to two blogging friends who have Monday link ups : Alicia at One Mother Hen and Kell at All Mum Said.

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Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

  • 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!
  • THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week.  #LTW12 = Birthdays! {optional} prompt.

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