Sunday 26th June 2022

Cancer Is Always ‘There’. 2018.84

Cancer Is Always ‘There’. 2018.84

It is rare these days for me to compose a post and publish it immediately. I have planned posts, scheduled posts and draft posts. Today is different.

I need to write out my truth and my feelings based on recent, significant events for me: a Cancer Patient.

What Do I Mean “Cancer is always ‘there’?”

  • Once diagnosed with cancer I held onto the belief, rightly or wrongly, that my surgery would eliminate the cancer in my upper gums and behind one side of my top lip.
  • It did. In terms of reports back from the many lab results, biopsies at the time of the major surgery in July 2017, and the reassurances from my professional team.
  • However, I do, like many others who have been diagnosed with cancer, “know” that it could come back in another way or form….and also that the reason for my four surgeries has been because I had/have cancer.
  • The many (22 now) visits to Westmead Oral Sciences to have treatments and checks for the progress of my mouth healing, stent wearing and health of my gums is because of cancer.
  • This came home to me yesterday, ONE week after re-gaining what I thought I wanted most: my smile, when it appears that the top lip (cancer site) is tightening again and I need to do some exercises to help it gain more suppleness.
  • There I was, thinking (albeit naively) that the cancer thing was almost gone.
  • Nope, no and not at all really. Check ups, doctor’s visits, mouth checks … is not gone nor over by a long way.

Explaining My Mixed Emotions and Responses/Reactions via My Photos.


Thank you for reading.
I wonder if any readers who have cancer/had cancer might identify with this.
I am a relative newbie (only 15+ months since diagnosis) yet it feels like I have had cancer forever.
I guess I do.

Cancer is always ‘there’.


Linking with Sue and Leanne here for MidLife Share The Love linky.



  1. Personally I do think cancer is with me now forever. I try to sit calmly with that reality.

    • Good point Julie. I think that is one I need to remember and accept. Thank you for visiting for the first time and commenting. Denyse x

  2. Denyse I think it’s wonderful how far you’ve come, but you’re right, you’ll always have the knowledge that you’ve done battle with cancer – especially when you look at photos and in the mirror. You’ve come so far, but you are now a warrior with the battle scars to prove you won the fight – celebrate your victory my friend – but also, stay vigiliant! #MLSTL 🙂

    • Thank you Leanne for always caring and taking the interest in this oral cancer of mine. I have been somewhat disarmed by the fact I have reached this stage…teeth on top…and now I wonder about “this and that” which tells me, as my fellow head and neck cancer friend, Julie says ” it is with me forever”. I like that take. Denyse x

  3. Denyse, I have not had cancer, but I am wondering if it is like experiencing the tragic death of a son. The hole is always there – and it doesn’t take much to make the tears fall, even after 2 and 1/2 years. I read a quote from a friend about “the hole in a sock”. We darn it, over and over, but we still can feel exactly where that hole is. ❤️

    • Dear Dorothy, I think they are very similar and in fact, I would find the death of a child (grown up too) so very very hard to manage through my life afterwards. I think you show tremendous strength and courage in your life and I am very glad to be one of your on-line (but almost as real!) friend.

      Megan Devine’s book, I added her work to my appreciation post today, has taught me much about grief.
      Your words, wherever you place them to share with me, are always a comfort.

      Thank you
      Denyse x

  4. As I write this, I’m sitting next to my mother who is recovering from her 4th or 5th surgery in the last few years due to several recurrences. Because of her history, the docs all thought the spot on her lung was cancerous and needed to come out, so into the OR she went yet again on Monday. The surgeon was absolutely giddy when he came to tell my dad and me that the spot was NOT cancer. Still, due to the fact that prior to the surgery we didn’t know what we were dealing with (biopsy done but inconclusive), I flew home to support Mom & Dad through another surgery. We’ll always have that nagging feeling in the back of our minds anytime something feels “off”. God Bless you, Denyse-heal well. #MLSTL

    • Oh Kim, we get placed in such tense and worrying situations with this horrid disease they call cancer. I was holding my breath reading your comment.

      Thank you so so much for taking the time to respond and all love sent to you across the ocean.

      Denyse x

  5. Every range of emotion in dealing with this challenge is so understandable! You example of strength and courage is amazing! Keep holding on to that fighting spirit that comes through to us in these posts. And your smile is beautiful Denyse! #MLSTL

    • Oh thank you Mary Lou. That is most kind. One day I am going well…and yes, strong and courageous then a small hiccup (as it has today with added pain) occurs and I get a bit weepy until I can give myself some kindness and a bit of a pep talk and here I go again.

      It has been a bonus getting my smile back!!

      Denyse x

  6. Denyse, a good friend who is a 5-year breast cancer survivor told me that any time she has a body twinge, she thinks “cancer”. Not food poisoning or stomach flu, but cancer. Not a pulled muscle, but bone cancer. So yeah, I think it is always with you.

    I too am now in physical therapy as the scar tissue is/was pulling my shoulder out of alignment. I might need to be doing exercises against this for a long time…there is some indication that radiation scars take as long as 12 months to fully “settle in”. And I also get to take regular on-going endocrine therapy (with the side effects) and see the body changes every time I look in the mirror (still not used to that image)… so yeah, the cancer is always there. But so am I!

    • Yes to all of this. I think for some time I had been ‘kidding’ myself with the thought that the cancer was taken via the first surgery (it was) and when I was through all the aspects of the mouth reconstruction, I’d be fine.

      But now I accept ‘fine’ will come with….buts and maybes and it was quite a time I had yesterday (and today as I go on) accepting this.

      Thank you so much for your understanding and sending wellness wishes across the ocean!

      Denyse x

  7. Although I’ve never had Cancer, Denyse, I know from my Mum that you can go into remission and then the Cancer can come back to haunt you. However, she suffered with breast cancer over 40 years ago when the medical research and technology were not as advanced. I suppose that Cancer Survivors always have it in the back of their minds that it might return, but I also think that because they have survived, they appreciate every day more. Thank you Denyse, for being part of our #MLSTL community and sharing your most personal and inspiring story with us all. Have a beautiful week. xx

    • Thank you Sue, I understand that my posts must bring memories of your Mum back even more. Yet, you are so gracious and kind in your care of and for me. I am always grateful to know you are there.

      Denyse x

  8. Dear Denyse, Thankfully, I have never had cancer, but I certainly gained a new perspective today from reading your post today. I am grateful I have never had that challenge in my life. I am grateful to have gained inspiration about facing the trials of life because I have seen how you have faced such trials that would level most people.

    • Thank you very much Sally. I was ‘in your position’ only a year and a bit ago. Yet, there was something telling me that my mouith was not right.

      I am developing a deepening understanding via my experience and that of cancer survivor friends of what it is to have ‘cancer there’.

      Your words are very kind and thoughtful, thank you.

      Denyse x

  9. Hi, Denyse – Thank you for deciding to compose and publish immediately today. Thank you for sharing so candidly and openly your experiences with cancer. I am not a cancer patient but currently have family and friends going through this. Your honesty and positivity is very, very helpful.

    • I am glad Donna that this helped you too in understanding.

      On some occasions, as in yesterday, writing about things like cancer via the blog, lifts it from my mind and onto ‘paper’ and therefore helps a great deal.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Denyse x

  10. Denyse Ibhavent had cancer sonfeel a bit out of my depth in replying. But I do want to thank you for posting so openly and honestly about your experiences. I’m sure your posts would be helping others in the situation #MLSTL Sharing on SM

    • Jennifer, thank you but do not apologise about being out of your depth. I believe that when we connect here, we have a new perspective to help us grow.

      You are most kind and I so appreciate that.

      Denyse x

  11. I don’t have cancer but I do live with ulcerative colitis & dystonia and they are always there. It affects every area of my life and pretty much drives me writing.

    Thank you for sharing so honestly about your cancer journey. Gentle hugs to you!

    Visiting from #MLSTL

    • Thank you so much for your welcomed and relevant comment. Yes, chronic, life-altering conditions such as yours also limit most daily routines. I am so sorry about that. In my case, for sometime IBS was like that. However, I know your conditions are much more severe and send you wishes for some kinds of cure or respite.

      Denyse x