Wednesday 27th September 2017

Cancer and Me Four Months On. 2017.108.

Cancer and Me Four Months On. 2017.108.

Really? It’s been four months since I found out that cancer was in my mouth….and by this Thursday coming, 11 weeks since it was removed. Oh. Then that has  gone both fast and slow!

I did say I wasn’t going to have cancer at the centre of my blogging but I cannot deny that it’s there/here/everywhere around us. My community nurse who visits each week to change and check on my leg wounds’ dressings has cancer. Hers is breast cancer. I know of on-line friends recently diagnosed too and one, very sadly, who has passed away. And the country was saddened to see the recent death to cancer of Connie Johnson from LoveYourSister.

CANCER.

I don’t use the ‘f’ word in front of it though. Many do with the #f…cancer. It’s just not me.

Today though  I am actually wanting to share the lessons having cancer has taught me. I am not going too ‘woo woo’ or having had a new experience from beyond. But it’s true.

Having cancer has taught me these 10 lessons:

  • I am not alone in getting a rare cancer and a most unusual one like mine …even if I did  know that someone else has had it might make a difference. The point I am making is I am not special”.
  • The surgeons know more about how to fix me than I do so I am better leaving things in their capable hands rather than trying to control where my cancer is taking me.
  • About kindness. Of strangers. Of friends. Of people I may only see a few times. So. Many. Kind. Words & Deeds. I am forever grateful.
  • When I need to be, I can be patient and wait. This is a huge life lesson for the previously still  impatient moi!
  • I have more inner strength and resilience than I have previously given myself credit for. It has made a psychological shift in me that has been noticed by those closest to me and the professionals I see more frequently such as my GP and psychologist. I am going well in so many ways, I can see & feel that now. 
  • To appreciate the little things in life. Sunshine on a day where I can go outside and soak up some vitamin D. A warm bed after an early shower (my husband still needs to help by sealing my right leg in a plastic bag. Time to talk. To my husband and to friends who call.
  • My creativity and independence give me great strength each day as I endeavour to feed myself for healing, wellness and enjoyment. It IS a challenge but now I am on my own two feet and fit to cook, I enjoy making meals for someone (moi!)  who has 8 teeth on the bottom jaw and a strong tongue. The rest…is attitude and being aware of how I can eat safely.
  • I can be calm about what is ahead because I am fortunate enough to be able to know (within a small likelihood) that my cancer is unlikely to metastasise.
  • What I face in the next 6-12 months is to get my mouth ‘fixed’ from the inside. I do trust my surgical and dental team 100% that their goal is for me to be cancer free (check!) and back to eating as I might have in the past (on the way) and to have my full smile back (it is half at the moment).
  • Every day is a gift and I need to be more in the present than I have ever been in my whole life. I am a work-in-progress in this as I often spent times in the past (regrets, sadness) and projecting into the future. I know that the only moment we have is NOW. 

What About You?

None of us have to have cancer to consider making life changes. Some of the last 2 years I had been on my way using daily meditation, creative arts and reading & doing on-line courses to better understand the various life transitions that were mine. Retirement. Ageing. Leaving Family. Selling Our House.

What do you do to help yourself?

Thank you to my readers here who have continued to be wonderful supporters and friends of mine as I continue to journey. I am buoyed by your care and words on-line whenever we connect!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell (who is cruising along right now!) for I Blog on Tuesdays here and with Leanne here for Lovin’ Life Linky on Thursdays.

 

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Selfie Time.#LifeThisWeek 32/52. 2017.99.

Selfie Time.#LifeThisWeek 32/52. 2017.99.

When I was younger I resisted being in most photographs and I used the excuse “I am the photographer”.

And I realised that by doing this I was avoiding my appearance flaws (in my head and in reality) of my size.

I read something which made me change my mind…not matter what I looked like and that was….

how will your family remember you as their mum, mother-in-law, grandmother if you are not in any of the photos?

It then clicked with me that I needed to be willing to be part of the picture!

I am glad I did because there are records of me playing, having fun and being with the kids.

But what is it about ‘selfies?’

Since the advent of the mobile phone and reversing camera inside, it is easy to take a photo of yourself and I admit I have become more interested in taking selfies as a way to measure new experiences, where we live now and…most recently, my cancer diagnosis and surgery.

So: here are but a few of my selfies.

I sometimes can talk my husband and my dad into being in a selfie and my grandson (down further) is selfie- savvy and is very tall!

Most of the  following selfies were all taken once I knew I had cancer in my gums and the ones in the latter stages are following surgery.

Do you take selfies?

Do your record your life in photographs?

Happy Monday.

Denyse.

 

Added: On Sunday 20 August I drove myself to the Beach as I wanted to see the effects of the high tides and the windy conditions..it was an independent activity I handled really well. In fact I came home and said to B “that was the most normal I have felt” since before surgery. To let you see the effects of the wind..I present 2 selfies!!

 

Joining with Alicia for Open Slather here and Kell for Mummy Mondays here.

Link up here for Life This Week!

Here are the rules:

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: Mindfulness.


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Daylight Saving Is OVER. #LifeThisWeek 14/52. 2017.50.

Daylight Saving Is OVER. #LifeThisWeek 13/52. 2017.50.

In Australia the 6 month daylight saving period is over as of 2 April 2017.

Not all parts of Australia take part and not everyone is a fan of it. I used to find the four month period of it better way back. I guess a lot of how we feel about daylight saving is personal and circumstantial .

I did write about it 6 months ago here. 

Hot days which stretch longer than necessary I find personally challenging and then I also do not like the darker mornings as it comes to a close. Nevertheless I understand that its purpose is for energy saving and using what natural light there is available. I am old enough to remember when it started in the early 1970s and I also recall daylight saving starting earlier in 2000 when Sydney hosted the Olympics.

http://www.cclscorp.com/ESW/Images/Daylightshutterstock_RetroClipArt_64847860.jpg

I did some research too about the history of daylight saving in Australia and add it here for you!

How and when did Daylight Saving Time get started in Australia?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) had its beginning in Australia during World War I. The Commonwealth used its wartime powers to require all Australian states and territories to put into place DST. 1917 was officially the first year DST was used across the country. It was in force between 1 January and 25 March (late summer in Australia). It was discontinued after the war, but World War II saw its return for three consecutive summers.

It began with a late summer start on 1 January 1942 followed by a full summer (September – March) later that year. Tasmania may be our smallest state, but they had great influence on why we have DST in Australia today. The Tasmanian state government implemented Daylight Savings in the summer of 1967 to save power which saved water. A severe drought in the state made it imperative that DST be used to help the situation. As it turned out, they liked having DST in Tasmania so much so that they have continued it ever since. Because it was such a success, the Tasmanian state government pushed to get Daylight Saving Time used Australia-wide.

By 1971 legislation was passed by all states, except the Northern Territory and Western Australia, to run a trial period. Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia made it permanent in 1972. Currently Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia do not have Daylight Savings. Often confusing dates and changes although efforts have been made to unify DST dates across Australia, the Federal Government has kept it the responsibility of individual state and territory governments to decide when and if Daylight Savings will be implemented locally.

As a result, DST has varied at times depending on local issues. For example New South Wales extended DST in 1981-2 because of power shortages. During the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games special Daylight Savings Times were observed by some, but not all. This lack of uniformity is blamed for the serious problems in scheduling and reduced hours available to work with others across state lines. Daylight Saving Time also means Australia has 5 time zones when in effect. http://www.alldownunder.com/australian-dates/time-daylight-savings-2.htm

I posted a photo on Saturday as a reminder to my Instagram and Facebook followers that it was the night to remember to put the clocks back and saw that not everyone was happy for it to be over. So, are you a fan or not? How much does your life change when daylight saving begins or ends?

It’s back again on 1 October 2017 by the way!

Thanks for being part of Life This Week on Monday 3 April 2017.

Denyse.

Joining Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays.

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.

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* 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!

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* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Easter”.

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When You Know You KNOW. 2017.30.

When You Know You KNOW. 2017.30.

It is said that ‘when you know…you know.’ Do you agree?

I could apply it to some life choices I’ve made, including the acceptance of my now husband’s proposal.

Sometimes it can be applied to finishing up…leaving..stopping…whatever life is bringing you.

For me, the time I knew what I knew was here:

More than a year prior to when this photo was taken, I had retired from my University tutor/marker role. I still continued to have my small consultancy to pre-schools open but it too was brought to a halt thanks to the distance from the workplace and where we now lived but I also knew it was time. I loved continuing with teacher development  as an External Observer with NSW Board of Studies in 2015, however, changes to the structure there meant that my qualifications no longer met the new standards and that worked well for me to say goodbye.

There was ONE more professional role I enjoyed. It did not pay me, nor would I want it too. It was, however, a wonderful place and space in which to share my experiences and be part of a highly engaged professional community. This is via meetings called Teach Meets. And it was to be held back in Sydney’s Northern Beaches at my old High School! Of course I wanted to speak..and have a last look around my ‘old school’ from the 1960s!!

This post tells much more about the talk I gave that evening.

But, something within in me KNEW that this would be the last time I would be involved in any paid/volunteer role in education and I felt both glad and sad. However, I KNEW it was what I knew and I was so pleased to have made the choice for myself.

Here. Where I went to High School from age 12-17. Where I had decided to become a teacher if my HSC results were good enough. They were.

Manly Girls High School in my day..now a Senior School for Yrs 11 & 12 on Northern Beaches

It was the right choice! Both to start…and to stop..here!

1962. First cohort for the ‘new’ Wyndham Scheme HS kids. 6 years of HS. I am second from left 3rd row.

Some parts of the school were unchanged since I left in 1967.

I loved having a personalised tour from the Principal of my ‘old school’. Much had changed, but this view had not. From the ‘canteen’ area.

Giving my final talk as part of Teach Meet in August 2015. I have no regrets. I have an amazing number of memories. I also remain in touch with educators via social media and continued to enjoy the conversations but I am glad to no longer have any professional responsibilities.

Last time for this!

I’m a great believer in knowing when to go!

Are you?

What decisions did you make because you ‘knew’?

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell here and the bloggers who Blog On Tuesdays.

Linking with Leanne for Lovin Life here on Thursdays.

 

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Textures And Shapes At Norah Head. 366/155.

Textures And Shapes At Norah Head. 366/155.

On Thursday I set out on a mission to see the clouds that were forming near us and all over the Central Coast.

I drove to Norah Head Lighthouse which is around 15 minutes from home and a favourite place of mine to walk, look, listen and NOTICE!

The clouds did get a lot of my attention but as I walked along the path I noticed more.

I am in a creative headspace more and more these days thanks to art, journalling, meditation, blogging  and photography and it shows.

What I saw and quickly noted, then photographed were the various textures and shapes in plants and trees in this one stretch of the path.

Do you notice the smallest things around you even when you are in bigger spaces?

I seem to do this more and more.

Denyse.

photos 150

This week linking with two photography friends here:

Jen at Pierced Wonderings

Trish at My Little Drummer Boys.

 

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Making Progress Is Not Linear. 366/41.

Making Progress Is Not Linear. 366/41.

I’ve been making progress with my mental health, adjusting to my new (to me) life here on the coast and to the ‘newness’ of being fully retired.

There is no doubt that this has been a challenge for me.

My husband is most understanding of my changing moods which are usually short-lasting for the negative ones and getting much longer for the better ones.

This is what I call progress.

But then something occurs, or I just wake feeling somewhat anxious with no reason and it can be a difficult day spent worrying or actually getting overly stressed about having an episode of Irritable Bowel Syndrome’s diarrhoea.

That’s when I think “I am not improving”.

I also berate myself a bit and wonder why I just cannot get myself right and not go back to the older, anxious me.

Then, when I look through a lens that is not clouded with the views of the past, and I have better perspective I can see the improvements as I note them over time in a journal.

It just takes me some hours, or even a day to regain this confidence and perspective.

I now also acknowledge that grief is playing a part in the sometimes changed mood. I miss much from my past that is true. I do not regret that I have finished my paid working life, nor sold our home and moved…and I have to say, that on balance we are glad to be out of Sydney.

Of course I miss my family and ‘old way of life’. But that too is part of the past. The family is growing and changing and we, the 2 of us, are making our way in our new life together.

Just as I am unsure sometimes about the now and the future, I am also more than sure that everything will work out for us.

I just wish that progress was more linear instead of this up and down..down and up journey called LIFE.

Do you ever feel like this in some way?

Tell me more so I know I am not alone!

Denyse.

health

Joining with Raychael over here at WorthCasing Wednesday.

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Change is Hard For Kids Too. 337/365.

Change is Hard For Kids Too. 337/365.

Learning to manage change is so hard. 

Maybe managing is too big a goal.

Just breathing through change might work.

Even waiting a few minutes, hours or more for T I M E to pass.

Many friends, both in the world of blogging, and in my family/friend groups, are experiencing a range of emotions, and behaviours.

From within themselves, their partners, their children….

In this end of year period of over-hyped shopping centres, television ads & specials, school and pre school farewells and the orientations is it any wonder, within a period of a day, the ALPHABET of emotions and behaviours can manifest?

A – anxiety

B – bothered

C – cranky

D – disobedient

E – excited

F – fearful

G – giggling

H – heated

I – ignoring

J – joking

K – kicking

L – laughing

M – moody

N – nasty

O – over-tired

P – patronising

Q – quizical

R – restless

S – sleepy

T – tantruming

U – unhappy

V – venting

W – whinging

X – X is for crossing lines..of behaviour!

Y – yes

Z – zzzzzzzz

How are you, if you are a parent of a child, managing this for yourself and your child?

Perhaps a little easing off of the daily routine…maybe a ‘day off’ school/pre-school if you can fit it in.

Then, so time for just hanging out together!

I hope you can.

Denyse xx

 

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The Best Gift For Your Child. 289/365.

The Best Gift For Your Child. 289/365.

This post was first published in 2012. I have made few changes as I believe that it is still the case..that our kids need time as our ‘gift’. 

I know when parents begin to think about what to give their children for celebrations or marking particular occasions, they become concerned for the gift to be the ‘right’ one.

What is the best gift for your child?

How does any parent determine this?

Should there be a ‘best’ gift at every age and stage?

I truly believe there is no better gift, than that of time.

Time for children to:

  • sit and read with a parent
  • take a walk around the block
  • play outside
  • throw a frisbee or a ball around
  • listen to a child’s recount of the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ part of the day
  • accompany a parent solo somewhere
  • be taught something new by a parent, something the child wants to learn
  • tell their little stories, even though they take around 5 minutes, and mention every detail
  • let them take their time, no corrections, eye contact if that’s what suits
  • have a visit to where Mum or Dad spend some of their days working away from home
  • chat about the coming weekend
  • enter into a D&M (deep and meaningful) driving along in the car
  • sitting beside your child at bedtime, and being ready to really, really ‘listen’

I know that you will have some more ideas of how you give your child the ‘best gift’. Please share, that would be great.

Denyse xx

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