Wednesday 19th January 2022

How “Heart” Helped Me. #SundayStills. 96/2021.

How “Heart” Helped Me. #SundayStills. 96/2021.

Terri here has shared the prompts for August 2021 and I will share this post soon as ‘my’ Sunday becomes Monday here. Terri is in the northern hemisphere. I do enjoy sharing and am happy to wait till Monday. This is her prompt: Images Inspired by Favourite Song Lyrics. Come and read to see what I did for this post!

As many who follow me know, I was diagnosed with a rare head and neck cancer back in May 2017. The whole set of posts is here on this page.

What I went through and what I needed to go through took, at times, so much courage even being scared. I was, in the first year, always driven to Sydney (2 hours from home)  by my husband for surgeries (yes, 4), post-op checks, and to Westmead for the Prosthodontist to do his amazing work, to eventually give me some teeth.

Then, from March 2018, I was ready to do this for myself. The Westmead visits anyway. They were tiring, in some ways boring, but very much needed for my prosthodontist, in photo with me top right, to do his measuring and more. I also had I.B.S. then too, so would become worried about having an attack whilst there and so I needed to do my best to encourage myself and to keep the worries and fears of the times in check.

MY head and neck cancer team.

I found singing outloud in the car really helped me. It released the ‘feel good’ chemicals to reduce to fear chemicals. I love the words too. I am a musicals type of gal…as they say but have never seen this one. I just happened to hear it on a 50s collection. I played it over and over…and then some. I continued to use this song as I drove from home to the M1, by that time, I had settled emotionally and could change my auditory choices. I only recently played it again. First time in a year or more and it helped


My car.

Now you know my reason for this one. HEART! And of course, I make hearts on the sand and see hearts in nature too!

Even listening and watching the You Tube clip now makes me feel warm and fuzzy and proud of myself for getting through very challenging times by myself and with my own strategies. Some of THE words which mattered to me:


You’ve gotta have heart

All you really need is heart

When the odds are sayin’ you’ll never win

That’s when the grin should start

You’ve gotta have hope

Mustn’t sit around and mope

Nothin’s half as bad as it may appear

Wait’ll next year and hope

When your luck is battin’ zero

Get your chin up off the floor

Mister you can be a hero

You can open any door, there’s nothin’ to it but to do it

You’ve gotta have heart

Miles ‘n miles n’ miles of heart

Oh, it’s fine to be a genius of course

But keep that old horse

Before the cart

First you’ve gotta have heart

We’ve got heart

All you really need is heart

When the odds are sayin’ you’ll never win

That’s when the grin should start


We’ve got hope

We don’t sit around and mope

Not a solitary sob do we heave

Mister, ’cause we’ve got hope



I LOVED writing this post, sharing the images and of course: Heart.




  1. You loved writing this post and I loved reading it! I was recently reminded by another blogger friend of how uplifting listening to and singing along with our favorite songs can be. Music was once very important to me…just from a bystanders/listeners position…I am not very musical myself. But then in recent years, our radio stations became harder to pick up. And our local DJs were replaced with national DJs who I found obnoxious. I have favorite music on my phone and my iPod but equated listening to those devices with going to the gym. Something we haven’t done since Covid. So my life has been music devoid. So glad for this prompt, for your great post, the hearts in your life. We look for heart-shaped rocks every hike we take. I have a collection of them. Glad to be reminded of them, too. I thank you!!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Oh how “heartened” I am by your lovely words and kind response.

      How awful to be devoid of music…because of all those reasons.

      Whilst my husband is far more musically talented and interested – he plays a couple of instruments and is loving learning on-line too…I am more of a “sing along” person. I loved teaching little kids for all those year because I loved their songs.

      I got myself completely caught up with Hamilton last year, even though I had no idea about it except for a few friends who said “Denyse you will LOVE it” and they were right. The soundtrack is another that gets played often when I am solo in the car.

      Oh for Heart shaped objects found..they truly are lovely aren’t they?

      Thank you Leslie and I hope you find some music to enjoy very soon.


  2. Cause we’ve got hope! What a lovely post Denyse and a great way of working in song lyrics and photos. I’ve not heard of that song before but the words are very relevant to your story and fit the theme perfectly. Isn’t it fun finding these sorts of prompts? Today I turned off the TV, didn’t listen to any press conferences and put some music on instead, it was a great relief!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Deb, isn’t it a great song…well, I know now, that you know why I love(d) it.

      In fact, recently it’s been back for a bit to remind me of how I can “do hard things”.

      Yes I too enjoy the prompts and then using my, ahem, creativity to choose which path to go.

      OH, now I don’t want to spoil any surprises but I have a ‘take’ on beige. Yep. I know we are not beige people ….Wait and see!

      Staying away from the argy bargy is good. I dip in and out far less these days and it’s good for me.

      We are, however, deciding to do a bit of a stock up grocery shop because up here people are finding out that if they’ve been in a store, for example in the same window of time, it’s 14 days quarantine at home. We have limited ourselves to certain shops for essentials, and not going into a centre either but yes, Covid’s delta strain is very very catchy.

      We had a rainy gloomy day today..must have finally headed north from you!


  3. I love how singing helped you! Maybe I should try the same. I’ve had some anxiety issues lately and while I do sing and play music frequently, I don’t often actually SING to handle anxiety. Playing the guitar has helped a lot, but maybe singing is even better because it probably distracts thoughts more than playing does.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Susanne.

      I learned when I had my most anxious times (2015-2017) that walking it out helped..because of the adrenalin and cortisone needing to go somewhere…and I feel the same happens for me when I sing..this kind of song lends itself to loud and purposeful so it helps me.

      I hope you are feeling a bit better soon.


  4. This is a lovely post, Denyse. I do miss singing out loud in the car as I rarely drive anywhere anymore but I occasionally will blast out to a song while listening at home. It does release all the feel-good chemicals, that’s for sure. Great collection of heart-shaped finds. I have a rock I found years ago that’s heart-shaped. Hope you have a lovely week ahead

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you so much Sanch! It was lovely writing it too and remembering how good it was (still can be) to help me release the stress. I hadn’t played it for ages and as soon as I did recently I was immediately in back to Westmead on M1 mode!

      I guess with you not doing anything like the kms now, your dear car must be a bit sad! Ha! Bernard hardly uses his whilst we are in lockdown – it’s easier to take mine. But he ended up with a flat battery probably because it was ready to be changed but cars do like to be driven…all good now.

      Wishing you a reasonable week ahead too. I haven’t got our daughter’s birthday to distract me so I think more art will be on the cards!


  5. This is your perfect theme song, Denyse. Singing brings out endorphins and other good chemicals and between that and the music, it is calming and healing! Good for you, girl! Having the right mindset and attitude likely got you through the self-doubt and tough times you experienced and here you are on the other side of it all! I have long drives through the winding mountain roads to and from the metropolitan centers of Spokane and singing/listening to my favorite songs passes the time well and puts me in a good mood. I have premium Spotify and can download music to my phone which connects to my newer car. Your images show your heart and it is always a pleasure to read your version of each week’s prompts!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you fellow car singer! Yes it is fun and sure does help me. Love that we connect this way too Terri.

      I enjoy using my mind for “good” coming up with my responses to Sunday Stills.

      I haven’t gone to Spotify (yet) because we still enjoy CDs and between us we have made many personal playlists. My husband has almost 100% different taste but it’s all good when we connect from the songs of the 1960s which remind us of growing up as teens. The Beatles figure high for me from then as I saw them in a concert in Sydney in 1964 as a 14 yo.

      I have my thinking cap on already for next week’s prompt before your break.



  6. I love your images — the hearts in the sand and the leaves. It is amazing what this one song did for you. Your story is very inspirational and you have done a great job synapsing it to this song. Thanks for sharing your story and your “heart”. Bernie

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Bernie, I really found it much better to deal with what I was going through if I could remind myself of those telling but simple words!!


  7. Beautiful! I love your pictures, song and story too! I’m happy to hear you came through this difficult time and came through with heart! 🙂