Monday 23rd September 2019

Two Years Ago: Before My Cancer Was Diagnosed. Pt 3. 35/2019.

Two Years Ago: Before My Cancer Was Diagnosed. Pt 3. 35/2019.

Thanks to readers who have commented on these posts.

They are, in some ways, very personal and maybe a bit indulgent but they are going a long way for me to feel better and recovering well from my version of head and neck cancer, found in my upper gums and under one lip.

The first two posts about the two years ago can be found here and here.

My last words on the previous post were these:

“take the teeth and bridge out, I HAVE to know what is underneath!”. I was a bit better-mannered than that with my request to my dentist but inside I felt these words more!

Why Did I Want The Teeth Taken Out?

For well over 6 months from late 2016 into 2017  this dentist and I worked on “what could be going on with my gums”.

This is why.

  • My upper gums were sore and red. They felt that way in part of my upper palate (roof of my mouth).
  • There was a ‘feeling’ of skin tearing up behind the covered part of the gums as I had a bridge permanently in my mouth.
  • The bridge (and a crown) had been added to the 6 front teeth spaces to add to my appearance and function as the original teeth had been heavily filled and already had been treated to the maximum by the dentist in Castle Hill in 2010-2011.
  • I went along with this procedure without question as I was promised it would be better. It was paid for by Medicare for people like me with chronic dental issues back then.
  • I admit I was ignorant of the what and how of the procedure but it seemed to be right. I trusted the dentist.
  • What did happen over and over from then until April 2017 is each new and subsequent dentist (3 in total)  told me “You are not cleaning behind the bridge properly”.
  • I did what I could. It was a very awkward and uneven space and even the dentists were challenged with their instruments.
  • “You have candida” I was often told. Yes, OK. I took so many fungalin tablets and added nilstat as a mouthwash only to find no change, and diarrheoa as a side affect. NOT something I welcomed with IBS already the ‘beast within’.

The mouth still hurt.

I had thorough cleaning at the dentist as late as March 2017.

The mouth still hurt.

I watched the gums slowly creep over the top of the front teeth.

The mouth hurt more.

But still this dentist wanted to investigate more even though he said theoretically he could take the teeth and bridge out.

I went through trying to get myself tested for nickel sensitivity – nickel is part of the bridge. I chose not to. I wanted action.

I could not eat much at all – combination of the very sore mouth and anxiety about it and good ole IBS.

So, the deal was struck. My teeth and the bridge they were on were coming out of my mouth on 6 April.

But wait….

I am too scared to both travel AND to do this! Right?

From my journal the day before:

On Wed 5 April I was nervous about the upcoming dentist trip

I did go out & do things but the “enormity” of what was ahead overwhelmed me

I broke down & just couldn’t see how I could deal with it

B was good at listening but I knew that despite the dread & worry & fear IF I didn’t go through with it it would be :

Avoiding

  • Would make it worse
  • I’d not get my mouth fixed

So I took steps to make sure I got there:

1. 1/4 Valium in arvo & then at night helped reduce the internal rumblings

2. I told myself it was a positive to be getting it done as it’s troubled me for so long I couldn’t let it go on & on

3. I needed to tell myself the outcome & process had to happen. I stopped thinking there was doubt or other choices. I needed to own this

4. I ate small because I was scared of IBS but that’s not new.

5. I knew I could take immodium if there was a reason

6. I used the hypnosis from audible in a big way

7. I had B taking me & he agreed to do it anything to make it work.

The day came. It was just after lunch. Not that I ate any! Yes, my dear husband did drive me and yes, I took medication as advised. I was warmly greeted by the team who really understood this was hard for me. I had my iphone and  earbuds and a hypnosis session ready. It started with LOTS of needles and reassurance all the way. I could give a signal to stop (I did only need that to tell them it was still hurting too much). I could also ask for a break to go to the loo. I did that once. By the time I decided I had enough…it was done. I was surprised. My husband had sat in the room reading as I was treated and it was nice to know he was there.

I knew there would be a denture put in – and whilst that did not hurt then  it did later. I had the model made the week before. So, then I was shown the teeth and bridge. I took a photo but not the teeth with me. The dentist’s opinion at the time was that everything looked OK gum and bone wise and I would see him the following week. I just needed to get back in the car and home. It was done! Over.

Afterwards I recorded this:

 Mouth sore & swollen

 Ice packs on my mouth

Taking medication – neurofen & anti-biotic

 Still got some bleeding (6 hours later)

Headache & tired

 Ate squashed pear, yoghurt & grated cheese & PButter

Very proud of myself and was told by B I was great.

Now if only IBS would bugger off!

Back to dentist next week to check it out & adjust the partial denture.

It

Is

Over.

Then I had about a week of pretty intense pain manipulating the partial denture in and out of the top gums. The gums were sore. I just expected that I guess. The following week, I re-visited the dentist alone with more self-confidence albeit in pain, where he adjusted the denture, told me what to look out for and I would see him in around 4-5 weeks.

And so, within that period of waiting, things did not progress as well as either of us hoped.

There will be a fourth part to this lead up to the Two Years Since My Cancer Diagnosis.

I hope that sharing my story is somewhat helpful to you. However, I must add, as my Head and Neck Surgeon told me:

“Denyse your cancer is rare and you getting it with no risk factors (smoking, drinking) is even rarer”

With Prof Clark – My Head and Neck Surgeon at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Thanks for being part of the journey in these posts I am writing…for good reason and for information shared as I so often need to do since my Head and Neck cancer diagnosis.

Denyse.

Joining with Sue and Leanne here for Wednesday’s Midlife Share The Love linky,

With Leanne on Thursday for Lovin Life link up here AND with Alicia on Fridays for Open Slather here.

Thank you all for your link ups.

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September Stories. #1. 2018.89.

September Stories. #1. 2018.89.

I’ve enjoyed writing Thursday posts on a theme. There has been the  Just For July series and the Appreciation in August one just finished. I did give a lot of consideration to what September might be, and with the chance to tell stories in a more detailed form, here is the first! September Stories. I hope YOU enjoy too. Denyse.

Sixteen Years Ago.

But first:

I really enjoyed being a K-6 School Principal. I had waited till my late 40s to decide to ‘take the plunge’ and actively seek a principal’s role in a K-6 school in Sydney’s west.

Having been a relieving Principal in a school where I had been a Deputy Principal I knew that I did not want to apply for that role as I had been at that school for almost 10 years.

This was a much longer period than I usually stayed in one school and family reasons were part of this but I knew that to lead that school was fraught with trying to placate factions and being in conflict ethically with the old-fashioned and out-moded forms of discipline.

In the lead up to the end of the 1990s I was asked to relieve as a Principal is a larger school within the Western Sydney environment I knew well. This school already had a leadership team including Deputy Principals but it was the wish of the out-going (Long Service Leave first!) Principal that someone from out of the school be appointed. That was me.

What a baptism of fire this was!

Whilst I knew the general area, I was not knowledgable at all about the make-up of the student population – which was well into the 600s. I was to lead that school for Terms 3 and 4 when a principal would be appointed. There were special needs classes, there were children of high needs (intellectual and behavioural) in mainstream classes. Fortunately, it came with a non-teaching Deputy, who helped bring me up to speed with every new challenge including:

  • chasing a boy who was ready to jump the low fence and run onto the road. He stopped. In the playground.
  • finding another boy climbing to the roof of a building to escape the problem he had being in class.
  • having a mother of a girl scream at me over the desk “what are YOU going to DO ABOUT this, YOU”RE the PRINCIPAL”

“I really do not want to be a Principal” I said after a very hectic Term 3 leading into Term 4…but then again..

” the old death bed regret” popped into my mind.

Did I want to think I should have given the principalship a go but I did not?”

Answer: NO.

Further Reasons!

As the last Term progressed, unless I did decide to start applying for Principal’s roles, I had this ultimatum delivered.

As a Deputy Principal who had needed to leave her original school (the 10 year one) because the school student population  was slowing and there was no longer a DP position, I had to accept any position as a DP and guess where I was appointed: to the school where I was currently Relieving Principal. 

Oh. No, I thought that was untenable and also once I knew who the new boss would be in the following year my hand was forced – in a way. So it was out with the application templates and late nights writing and honing these to match K-6 School Principals roles that I might fit.

It All Takes Time.

Back then, applications for Principal  were sent into the District Office for the Superintendent to look over with his/her panel of selectors. These were a parent from the school which was seeking a new principal, a staff member from that school, a principal of similar status as the role on offer and the Superintendent. If the application met with the panel’s approval, professional referees (nominated on the application) were called, and then if the panel thought they wanted to know more then the applicant was invited to a formal interview.

I went through this process over some weeks for a total of four times and got to interview but not the role. I was also still leading a school! I did get positive and helpful feedback particularly by one District Superintendent By the second last week of Term 4 I thought I was not going to get a Principal’s job but that was not true and within 2 days of school ending for Term 4, I was offered and I accepted the role of K-6 Principal in my own right.

Appointed As Principal.

The District Superintendent rang me to offer the position and of course I accepted it. Being so close to the end of the year, I could not visit the school until close to the end of the January holidays.

The words that rang in my ear, and were written to me by the District Superintendent echoed…and not nearly as much as in future years.

“Denyse, you have to bring this school into the next century and I know you are the one to do it. It won’t be easy and it will have challenges but you are the right fit for this”.

To Be Continued.

Next week, I will outline the story, in more detail about the meaning of Sixteen Years Ago.

Denyse.

Linking up with Leanne here for Lovin’ Life on Thursdays.

 

 

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What I Wore This Week. 4. 2018.86.

What I Wore This Week. 4. 2018.86.

I began this Saturday post 3 weeks ago, and will consider next week how I feel about continuing it.

Initially it was at the request of a facebook friend and I was flattered to know that she was interested in, and wanted to see more of what I wore.

I admit, I am coming into the 11th month of #dressingwithpurpose and wondered if people might be sick of seeing my image every.single.day.

Then I put another spin on this and decided, I am doing this for my mood, to get up and have somewhere to go and to record the photo. 

So it is a YES to continue and a MAYBE to posting here each week.

I would like to know what this post means to you as a reader/blogger too.

Denyse.

Family visiting for lunch. But first coffee in Wyong.

 

Off to Lake Haven for Coffee.

 

Check up at Westmead

 

To Lake Haven for…coffee with my hub. Dressed in RED because needing the boost

 

To Podiatrist at Budgewoi, then coffee (& carrot cake!)

 

Grocery shopping..then coffee at Charmhaven

 

Needing a boost in mood. Off to Erina to get art supplies and have a coffee out. Worked!

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The M-Z of Me. 24/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.49.

The M-Z of Me. 24/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.

This week’s optional prompt is a part two to this one: The A-L of Me.

As I mentioned last time, I had done an A-Z of me a few years back so I reviewed it and there was little to change. I find that interesting in itself.

Mother is a role, a word and a lifetime of tears, laughter, sleepless nights, pride, being over-protective, taking the blame, being respected, walking a tight-rope of ‘damned if I do and damned if I don’t’ …I became a mother at 21 and was not really ready for the many roles a mother must play. Selfish? Maybe. Realistic? Probably. But I always wanted to be a mother.

No-one notices an older lady, as I know unless I stand out by saying something, writing  or more. Invisible now to many in society, I am finding that can be a plus at times too.

Opinionated until someone wants to cross me, or criticise my view…and unless I can come back with strength I tend to crumble and admit defeat. More O for Optimistic that I used to be since I was diagnosed with cancer.

Private views tend to be kept by me on all manner of things I would LOVE to express, but I always get concerned about being criticised so I am more likely to ‘shut up’.

Quality is an important part of my work, and in my life, as I like to think my personal connections with others are ones of quality as I value this so much too. I also ask Questions a great deal!

Reader of anything, and via different means, including the newspapers and on-line as I like to be better informed each day. I love reading blogs, on-line articles about life, education & art.

Social is part of who I am and if I can’t have my social needs met within an informal setting or one where I am ‘at home’ I become lonely and sad. I love that I can count as friends people I have not yet met particularly from this wonderful world of blogging. My social network of friends (met and not yet met) buoys me through my cancer journey

Traveller me wants to keep on visiting places and people as I love this. What’s stopping me for now is cash and needing to be fully fit after cancer. I am actually enjoying being an armchair traveller following friends’ posts on Instagram too.

Unique I am. This makes me Denyse…and all that comprises me, and I enjoy being unique as much as I like seeing little parts of ‘me’ handed on to my family members as character traits – the good ones of course!

Vocal person, not only a loud voice, but I like to talk..and here as well as in person. I sometimes have too much to say, and don’t mind some silence, but generally I “have” an opinion or 2…and don’t try to stop me ‘having the last word’. Many have, few succeed!

Worrier describes me in many ways, as I 0ver-think, and 0ver-dramatise…and 0ver-expect..and 0ver-anticipate. True to form about 99% of what I worry about does not eventuate. *sigh*. My husband would say, I am a  “W is for Work in Progress.”

X can be for kisses at the end of my emails, and in real life, from my beautiful family and my loving spouse.

Young for my age is what I have always felt, but now I may not get away with this generous descriptor. Let me just say, that as a 68 year old on paper, I am definitely 20 years younger in my head & heart. But the mirror disagrees!

Z can represent the sleeping symbol, and l admit now, that sometimes I do not get enough of this as my active brain, and creative thoughts take me into lands of planning for the future.

Bit of a night owl. Need to go to S L E E P!

I hope you saw something of ‘me’ as you see me from these pages.

Thanks for reading, commenting AND linking-up I hope!

Denyse.

When Alicia has her link-up on Mondays, I join Open Slather here too.

 

Life This Week 24/52.

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

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 25/52. SHARE YOUR SNAPS 5. 18/6/18. 


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Must Watch TV. #LifeThisWeek10/52. 2017.37.

Must Watch TV. #LifeThisWeek 10/52. 2017.37.

I am not quite sure why I chose this as a prompt as I am not really an avid TV watcher. I cannot abide having the television on in the background (will mute it if it is up to me!) but I also probably could not live without telly for a few reasons. One would be to keep up with what others might be chatting about in real life and on-line. Another is that at times there are some programs I do like and would not want to miss!

Oh and a bit of trivia I was 6 when television began telecasting in Australia and I was 7 when Mum and Dad got telly for us. Before that, on a Tuesday afternoon, a lady in our street invited the neighbourhood kids to watch Lassie on Channel 2. My mum said I couldn’t go back to watch if I came home crying again. Ohh. Muuuum! So, here’s my must watch TV and why!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/

I love our national broadcaster for many reasons and no ads is but one. I like the content and the ‘for all the people’ charter. I also worked for them in personnel waaaay back in 1967-68 after the HSC until I finally got the reprieve from office life to join the classrooms of NSW schools.

  • Love(d) Play School when I was caring for the grandkids and also at school for Kindergarten kids in disadvantaged areas where a show like Play School helped so much with experiential learning.
  • Watch the documentaries such as Kitchen Cabinet with Annabel Crabb and Home Delivery with Julia Zemiro…and many more. I tend NOT to watch Four Corners or Q&A anymore due to the content & people.
  • News. Love the news channel and I also like ABC Breakfast on TV.

 

http://blog.studiocommercial.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Selling-Houses-Australia-v1.jpg

  • We have had the very expensive (but we still choose to have it) Foxtel since it arrived in Australia as the wonder called Subscription TV.
  • My must watch programs are generally on Lifestyle and Selling Houses Australia is the head of that list. I also love Grand Designs Australia and Location Location Location Australia. Note: Australian content is what I love most.
  • I got to meet Shaynna Blaze and Andrew Winter at a Lifestyle channel expo in 2014 and they were both gracious and lovely.

  • We did not even give this show a thought when it appeared on TV screens in Australia. Not one.
  • Then in 2015 I discovered it via Netflix and became…HOOKED! But Netflix stopped it so I had to BUY all of the DVDS of course!
  • Now we own all of the DVDs from Downton Abbey…here’s my little secret…I love it so much, my hub and I watch around a 20 minute segment every night.
  • Yep, it’s the one time we actually watch TV together which is because we have such markedly different interests but this one is like ‘comfort tv’ for us.
  • We are on our 4th time round!!!!!

There you have it! My must watch TV.

What about you? Are you a fan of TV?

Did you ever “not” have TV?

Thanks for linking up and joining in the commenting too for Life This Week.

Denyse.

Joining other Monday linkies Alicia for Open Slather here and Kell for Mummy Mondays here.

Thanks for linking up this week. 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. Next week’s prompt is “Favourite Colour”.

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