Monday 8th August 2022

Being Me in June & What’s a Move Back Home To YOU? 41/2022.

Being Me in June & What’s a Move Back Home To YOU? 41/2022.

This post will cover quite a bit of ground!

It’s my time to share how my Word of The Year is working out for me via the  post to this link up run by Deb, Sue,  Donna and  Jo too.

It’s my end of (not quite but nearly) June 2022 sharing “the month that was”

And it’s a more detailed post about where we see our future life being lived.

Word of the Year. Be(ing) Me.

I am, now, living the me I want to be more than ever.

I have learned to speak up and confidently share what it is I really would like, rather than hide behind my emotions….and become frustrated. So in being me, I can share more further on about the move back home and the why.

Sometimes we can make mistakes in OUR thinking about what others might be we try to guess what direction life might take us.

Now, of course, after all the inner work I have been doing, AND living, I realise that our thoughts are not always true, and they can often be something that tells us lies and distorts our thinking.

I probably feel the BEST I have felt both emotionally and physically ever. Lots of the impact of having my cancer gone, my recent surgeries helping my other issues and being incredibly grateful for life and being here NOW to enjoy it all.

June’s Happenings.

  • We have remained well and (cross fingers) covid and flu free because of our use of masks everywhere AND all vaccines possible on board.
  • More conversations about moving back to Sydney…see further down.
  • My 6 month visit for a check at Westmead with my prosthodontist. I couldn’t take photos of us this time round but did a few shots around the place. I mentioned all the amazing work he had done having my upper prosthesis and lower partial denture so well set and he said “no, it’s you doing the hard work every day that makes it so”. Worth it, I say!
  • Update: on 21 June, he called me to say ‘bone loss’ appearing near an abutment (implant site) you will need to come back next week for a CT scan and we will take the prosthesis off to check all around it. This was unexpected news. I got stressed. I then was able to see it now as being grateful for this person’s competence and diligence. But another reminder of what having head and neck cancer has done to me. No cancer noted.
  • Cold weather. Nights down to single digits…but the mandala crocheted rug has helped me feel very warm and cosy.
  • Cooking: soups for me and Dad, meals for us, and cakes and treats. The freezer means that with batch cooking I don’t need to every day.
  • News that we will be fee paying at the GP’s from July and that the very low Medicare fees paid by the Federal Govt NEED to be lifted …no change for many years.
  • Meeting up with my two adult granddaughters for coffee when I was back in Sydney.
  • Having a follow up appointment with the nice Gynaecologist here and going along with his plan for me to have…(yet another) surgery to repair vaginal 2020 I had rectal prolapse repair & that was so worth doing. I have been living with a cystocele for over 20 years. All from childbirth. Ageing, and dryness is not helping so now using a prescription oestrogel cream till surgery on 11 August. I am sharing all of this because we never did…women told some stories but not like these. So, don’t put up with something that a specialist may help you with…and I know I face more recovery time (sigh) but I have done this before. I am 72…and over the counter fixes and supplements do not help with this. I was ANTI this surgery because of misinformation. No way was I having anything to do with mesh. My Gynaecologist said HE was one who was telling those other colleagues NOT to use it. So, that is why NOW I am going ahead.
  • Saying good bye to my GP here of over 5 years who has helped me with so much. But the good news, I have all of the tools now to continue onto a new GP at the practice and once we are back in Sydney, will be returning to our old GP practice.
  • Deciding to continue the blog until my hosting and other add ons run out in around May 2023.

About The Move Back Home….

In making the choice to move back home to NorWest Sydney in our future there were these three things we considered in our decision.

  1. When we moved up here, from NorWest Sydney to the N.S.W. Central Coast (around 2 hours north) it was for reasons of financial freedom from a mortgage, releasing me, the then 65 yo, from any more paid work, and to see how life was for us on the coast. 
  2. The move saw us try out 3 different parts of the N.S.W. Central Coast, and we loved aspects of each. But none of them was now, as we move into our mid 70s, good enough to keep us here as our health needs changed, along with a loneliness for like friendships (my need) and to have great opportunity to connect with member of our family.
  3. Our saved money was now, due to many factors, never going to buy us a house here or back in Sydney, but the rent increase here (significant) meant we were able to afford to rent in an area back in NorWest Sydney where we have ties of family, friends, health and familiarity.


My comment to Leanne: after my first post announcing the possible move….

There has never been an expectation in our family to ‘care for us’ at all. However, what I note, as Dad is much older now, is that his son, is someone he can ask for help as needed. He does not do it much and he has a couple of friends where he is too. Everyone else from his life…is no longer here!

In the friendship vein, B and I made friends through our careers but now almost 20 years later, things have moved on with those groups and here there has been no-one with whom we can say we share anything in common.

We are, though, incredibly grateful for the relationships we have made up here at the northern end of the Central Coast. So many people we have connected with professionally and in a caring manner. People who remember your name at the coffee shop, to those at the dentist/doctor/podiatrist who know me well enough to joke around…and many more. And as for the hairdresser. Of this I cannot (yet) speak. My BEST ever haircuts are by Bec.

So, whilst I will outline what our plans may be, it is clear for us, that our time living here has served its purpose in our lives and we will move to where ‘home’ feels like it is for us more!

We plan to return to the area of Sydney where we used to live but to rent. There will be no chance we can buy again. Ever. This is the story for so many we know, and that for now, includes members of our family. What we will be able to do though is find a smaller place for around what we are paying here, and despite having had 8 years away, will pick up connections to needs such as health ones and shopping and so on. We are already planning our downsizing and de-cluttering to another level. And whilst we are not publicly saying any dates or times, we would think that by this time in 2023, that our move will have been made.

We rented teacher houses in our first years of marriage, settling into the north west parts of Sydney in 1978, and leaving the area in 2015 for the N.S.W. Central Coast. It will be back to this general area of north western Sydney (much expanded since we left) that we hope to call home again.

This image is from where I lived age 10-20 and where my parents did until 2011. Northern Beaches of Sydney. Manly.

A Taste of Life Back Where I Feel It’s Home. 

On 16 June 2022, I had to go to Westmead for a 6 month check and usually once that was done, I would drive back up the M1 to our place on the coast. This time, I had two other ideas in mind, to get me back to the NorWest of Sydney area, and to bring me up to speed where we are likely to live and about the changes in the places and more.

I drove a very familiar road from Westmead, up Old Windsor Rd, through the turn offs to Glenwood (where we lived 1998-2015) and to Windsor Road and onto Rouse Hill Town Centre. There has been a HUGE amount of urban development and infrastructure like the Metro Rail, yet I could still  find my way. After parking as I recalled the spot, near the Library, I was easily able to meet my two adult granddaughters in our agreed catch up spot near Muffin Break at the Food Court.

We had a great catch up, and yes of course, in almost 8 years much has happened to the centre and to our girls but we enjoyed the memories and later as I left, I captured images. I was around, as a teacher back then in mid 2000s seeing the Rouse Hill Town Centre built!

One more stop before driving back up the coast was to the Family Medical Practice at Rouse Hill, which is now a Mega one…but the same two women I knew from the old practice back in the day, welcomed me with hugs and lots of questions…and yes, we will be fine coming back there. Great news.

It was a tad overwhelming on that day however, as I managed emotions based on:

  • Five years since cancer diagnosis….and all those trips back and forth to Westmead for my upper prosthesis to be made over time…huge
  • Seeing my adult granddaughters in a place I last shared morning tea with them as teenagers.
  • And then noting how, despite all the changes, we can still pick up and be well cared for in our health futures.

I was able to share it all with B after the day, and then the next day reflected on the gratitude which abounds for me.

So, back to the question….what would a move back home mean to you?

Perhaps you are already ‘home’ and that is wonderful.

Maybe, you are able to make ‘home, wherever you are’
I guess I tried to do this for us but in the end, the ties of love, the familiar and connections with like-people helped me know that I could only pretend for a while.

I was always set on moving back to Sydney if B had died because I had never considered that he too may want to go along with the idea.

Never assume…have the courage to ask for yourself…and see what may arise.

Listening to our hearts AND our heads, helps!


I hope you were able to read till the end! Thank you.




  1. There’s so much happening for you and around you at the moment – and that will bring some upheaval – but all the work you’ve done on yourself and for yourself will help you deal with this. All the very best – and thank you for sharing stories that need to be shared.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Yes to that but in so many ways it’s feeling OK. Quite different to the ‘have to/need to’ move on from Sydney to Central Coast.

      So yes to all that work I did/do and reaping the benefits.

      Of course it will be more crowded and noisy and built up (even more) since 2015 but even driving back un Old Windsor Road felt different this time.

      Thanks Jo, you know where we are talking about too…so you get the ‘norwest’ part of Sydney.

      Thank you for the link up.


  2. Hi Denyse, what a year you are having and we seem to both be following a similar path. We are wanting to move back to family but it appears the housing market is not doing so well. We aren’t the only ones but sometimes you feel like you are, don’t you? I miss my family and whilst I love being near the ocean I would prefer to be back in Brisbane closer to family and friends. It is a big step for you as well so hopefully you will find a way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as always and linking up to #WOTY with us. We love having you along. xx

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Yes we do Sue. I guess me finally “owning up” to what I was thinking about to B took the courage I gathered and it turned out he was agreeable.

      Old views and thoughts don’t always serve us as we age too.

      I am in some ways grateful we could not afford to purchase because we don’t “have to wait” for the market to do what it does. I do admit, the owners here were part of the choice we could make about affordability for a place in Sydney when they raised the rent. It still will be “high” and our real estate agency here is so lovely and they will help with recommendations of us as new tenants because our income is still low. Fingers crossed.

      I hope you work things out too. Sometimes they come in a moment and then over time that changes and morphs into something more.

      Thanks for your kind words and the link up.


  3. It’s wonderful that the GP clinic can also fit you back in! We’ve talked about living other places but I think it would be hard to replace or accept the loss of a lot of the conveniences we have where we are.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Yes to that being one of the two main considerations after seeing that for what we are paying here, we could get back to our old practice.

      Mind you, only 2 of the doctors who know of us are still there, and it is all fee paying but that is what is happening here from next month.

      I will miss the access to the ocean and lake but I can counter that with all that I enjoy about being back in a busier world. I like that, unlike many!!

      Over time I think things have a habit of working out…


  4. Argh! I just wrote such a long comment and then it got lost in the void. Suffice to say I know you know that I can really relate to this post and you have articulated your and my feelings perfectly. I think it’s those ties of love and connection that make you feel at home and for us, that’s in the UK. And yes, it ‘s so important to listen to our heart… And our head. That said, I’m under no illusions that the move will have it’s challenges but undergoing change is where we grow the most so I’m ready for it. So happy that you’ve both made this decision and I can’t wait to follow along for the ride!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Yes indeed Sam.

      Sorry about the lost comment. Sigh.

      It is already a push me/pull you thing this big move for you and US. Missing aspects of here and trying to enjoy them…but also doing a lot of culling..over time…and becoming more familiar with what “is” again where we used to live.

      It’s a hugely populated area now of course, but it’s the area where we know people and some of those people are family!!

      Thinking of all you are doing too…saying goodbye is HARD.


  5. Hi, Denyse – I wish you the very best with your move. Thank you for joining us and sharing so openly with us.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Donna, it turned out to be a good place to share today and it’s a while before we actually do it but the decision is made and that is possibly the hardest!

      Thanks for the link up too.


  6. Hi Denyse – I can see why the move appeals to you – it’s moving back to the familiar as well as moving closer to family. I wouldn’t move to the city to be near my kids because it’s unfamiliar territory for me now (after 33 yrs in the country!) and I have a support network here that is stronger than relying on my kids. I definitely think you’re doing the right thing to cut down on the travel when it comes to major health issues and to give yourself the chance to settle before a move would be too hard. You’re 10 yrs down the track to where we are, but we’ve already started discussing where we need to be to “age in place” when the time comes. Good luck with the moving plans and with the up coming surgery.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you Leanne, that is it! I couldn’t really find the words but yes, “familiar” in many ways helps with the reason.

      We have made a lovely lot of connections here with those who have cared for us, and I have enjoyed some social interactions but I “missed’ those from my world of education and schools. It will be great to catch up again, because distance is a factor living here and for ages I wouldn’t travel, and I am already excited for that.

      Yes, to the ‘we are ten years ahead’ and it’s good to see what others do and choose at this time. Interestingly we thought we would buy up here one day and stay. Turns out the huge rise in house prices saved us in some ways from being where we really didn’t want (as it turned out) to live for the remainder of our lives…f

      I am not facing another surgery this coming week (phew) but a lot of time in the dental chair, firstly getting a CT for a better view of what’s going on near one abutment, and then the upper prosthesis will be unscrewed and the whole area examined, and then put back in…From memory it takes ages, and for good reasons, so i will have my phone and earbuds for listening while two people and their instruments are IN my mouth!!

      Thanks so much for getting what I was trying to say.


    • I am sorry! I was not yet thinking of the Surgery in August when I responded above. Thank you, part of me is putting the prospect to one side as it’s still some weeks away. D x

  7. This sounds like you’ve made the right decision Denyse and although it might be unsettling for you for a while it will work out in the end because you both want it to. I hope your next lot of surgeries go well and I think it’s important for women to talk of these issues, so thanks again for your openness in doing so.

    Your word of the year is a good one and your update shows how far you are going and being you! Thanks again for joining us for the link-up and all the best wishes for the next stages of life!

    • Thank you Deb, I appreciate your kind words of understanding. I had almost blocked out the prospective surgery as I need to get back to the prosthodontist this week.

      August will arrive soon enough & whilst the recovery is likely to be at least 6 weeks, I am hoping it does improve my life going forward. And yes to sharing more! We women don’t do that well last menopause.

      Enjoy your Brisbane weekend and thank you for the link up.


  8. There is so much going on for you right now, Denyse, but it sounds like you are handling it like a champ. I wish you all the best with the upcoming surgery and the work on your implant. Thank you for being open and vulnerable about what you are going through. You never know when your experience may benefit someone else, even if it’s just to make them realize they are not alone. I’m glad you spoke up about your desire to move and that it was evidently well received. Good luck to you! Home for me is where I am right now. I grew up not far from here, and my family is close by. At this point in time, I can’t image moving beyond the two homes we have now; I do see us eventually choosing one of them and letting the other go, but we are not there yet.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      That is so true Christie but in some ways it doesn’t feel TOO much more as things are coming together for our life going forward.

      Of course we can only make plans that seem right for us now, but there is a good feeling around it all, in a “meant to be” kind of way. So, yes we are moving on, and already the culling and giveaways are happening.

      I think we do need to share our health issues. We did as mothers (I remember the collegiality of our teaching staff rooms) and then as we became ’empty nesters’ but the health issues that can make life into the 60s and 70s are rarely shared.

      I include myself in the ‘ignorant’ group until the young female GP from the UK started to take notice of what I was sharing with her and she wanted me to get checked out. I was, in some ways reluctant, having just come through those years with cancer but I saw her point and now am glad I am caring for this 72 year old body better! Not keen on surgery but it’s promising to help so I accept that.

      I love that you are ‘home’ where you are now and that is so lovely. Hope the retirement is going well…


  9. I am so happy you feel so confident being yourself. The news about the bone loss near your prosthesis sounds a bit disappointing, but I know you’re going to get through this. So glad you’re going to move “back home”. I don’t really think there’s any place I’d call “back home”. I’m also happy you’ve decided to continue blogging until May of 2023. Wishing you a good month of July.

    • Thanks Astrid for your kindness and warm wishes.

      Interesting isn’t it about ‘home’…for me, I really wasn’t sure until I knew it was the place I was missing most, where the people I love and know live.

      I am so pleased to see your words here and hope you are doing well.

      Take care,


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