Tuesday 28th June 2022

My Cancer Journey Begins. 2017.75.

My Cancer Journey Begins. 2017.75.

A while back I decided that to best describe the life stage we were at was to use the word ‘journey.’ For some people and their reasons, journey is not liked. I happen to like it and will be using it for what is now being added to this life stage!

Thank you to the many people who commented here last week and on Facebook when I made my news public. Sharing has helped me!

Whilst I do not intend to blog every week about the cancer that is here within…I will for now as it helps me!

The cancer journey continued with a trip to Westmead Oral Health on Wednesday 24 May for a consultation, examination and measurement session with the Dental specialist who will be part of the surgical team when I get my cancer cut out. I admit I was stressed. I still am. It is such an unknown and my mind needs to be more calmed. However, as my GP said when I saw him after this big session on the Friday “Denyse, you are doing very well indeed!”. Today we are back to Westmead for a follow-up with the Dental Specialist and scans on my neck and head to ascertain all is well for the major surgery and on my leg where the bone and skin will be taken for the reconstruction and skin graft.


Still mentally criticising myself for the meltdowns, the tears in front of the professionals and more….yet it is a situation of such immense emotions and I was already struggling somewhat. I am still going about my days at home with as much normality as possible.

In the meantime, I am making art, taking photos, blogging, chatting on-line, reading, walking, tending the garden and talking to my lovely husband and being mindful to eat as well as I can even with my sensitive gut.

On Thursday I made a trip to Budgewoi to take some photos and these help remind me of the journey and that it is, like everything in life, one step at a time.

I am not sure as I am writing this when  I will be making the journey across this bridge again on the way to Chris O’Brien’s Lifehouse. I shall update.

Thank you for reading thus far! I am encouraged along the way via the comments and support.


Joining Kylie Purtell, celebrating her blog’s 8th Birthday, here and with my friends who also Blog on Tuesdays.



  1. inthegoodbooksblog ( Michelle) says:

    Hi Denyse, I have only just found out about your diagnosis; I am sorry to hear this news and wish you the very best on your journey. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. xxx

  2. I think it would be weird if you weren’t stressed – there’s so much to take in, not just with the diagnosis but the surgery too. I think your GP is right, you are doing so well and I’m sure that’s because you have your “mindfulness toolbox.” There’s so much more in your life than this diagnosis – your art, your blog, your garden, your photography and of course, B, the fam bam and us, your online cheer squad. Keep on keeping on!

  3. If anyone can do this, it’ll be you. You always appear so strong and determined. Your mandalas will guide through. You’re in my prayers. Maria xoxo

    • Oh thank you Maria. I have my moments and let people caring for me know when I am feeling it is a bit too much and every person has been kind as a result. Today was a better day than the previous visit to Sydney so I guess getting to know more about what is ahead is helpful. I appreciate your prayers, D xx

  4. Oh my Gosh, don’t criticise yourself. It is only natural, Denyse, to feel stressed, worried and upset. You must be on an emotional rollercoaster. Let all of those emotions out and keep putting one foot in front of the other xx

    • Thanks Renee, I am understand this more as I go on and today it’s been good to reflect on how ‘well’ yesterday went as compared to the previous week. I am glad that there is nothing more scheduled this week. Denyse xx

  5. Oh Denyse, I’m glad writing about it is helpful. You’re a tough cookie, for sure. Keep creating!

  6. Let the emotions out I say. I think anyone in your situation would be feeling exactly the same way. Sounds like you have also developed some great creative outlets to help you through this journey as well as supportive family and friends. Thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way xx #teamIBOT

    • That means so much to me Erika. Thank you for the kindness offered and it is always good to know my bloggy friends ‘get me’ too. Denyse xx

  7. I second everything Sammie says and I think in this sanitised filtered online world your honesty is invaluable. Keep on walking

  8. Hey, don’t you dare feel bad about having any meltdowns. I’m sure if someone else was writing this post you would reassure them similarly. It’s COMPLETELY understandable and – I’m sure – expected.

    I think writing about this experience will help others and hopefully it continues to help you as well.


    • Oh yes, you are right Deb. I should take some of my own good advice offered to others, right? I will! Thank you my friend. D xx

  9. I’m with Deborah – please don’t be self-critical: feel all the feels. x

    • I am talking about my feelings with people but what I got a little bit ‘sick of’ was my bursting into tears and then I kindly told myself ‘hey you’ve only known about the cancer for such a short time’. Self-compassion is essential. I go up and down with the mood but knowing I can do this and HAVE to is where I draw my strength and use all those mindfulness practices I’ve been learning since 2015. Thanks Bron. xx

  10. Don’t chastise yourself for those tears in front of doctors and nurses. They understand that this is a big thing in your life. And not only that, you’re trying to process an overwhelming amount of information in such a short time. Don’t feel bad about showing that you’re upset, I know from my own visits to the oncologist with my mum that they see the gamut of emotion from patients and their family members. Just like your GP said, you’re doing really well Denyse. One step at a time xx

    • Thank you so much for your insight. I did not know that your Mum had travelled this path and I am so sorry about that too. You are an amazing friend and I love your support and love from over the seas. Denyse xx

  11. Crying is such a great release and for me it feels so good to let it out instead of trying to hold it back. My initial reaction is to hold it back and fight it. Sometimes when I’m meditating, the tears just roll down my face even though I don’t feel like I’m crying. This journey my husband and I are on with his cancer is an emotional roller coaster! The anxiety and fear of the unknown are physically and mentally draining. I try to remember to take one step at a time and one day at a time and enjoy each moment. It’s not always easy, but I try. Sending peaceful thoughts your way. We are stronger than we think!

  12. Oh wow. You too, are on this cancer journey via your husband’s. My husband says to me that we are in this together which is comforting. Thank you for your insight and understanding. I am finding more and more the kindness of others at this time is there. Many good thoughts and healing vibes sent your way too.