Tuesday 1st December 2020

One Year Ago. Head & Neck Cancer. October 2019. 87/2020.

One Year Ago. Head & Neck Cancer. October 2019. 87/2020.

For the past two weeks, and now concluding this week, on a  Wednesday I am posting a ‘review’ blog post mostly to remind ME of how far I have come in terms of the changes brought about in my life thanks to the diagnosis of head and neck cancer on 17 May 2017. The whole story is here. 

Using some photos I am adding my memories from the time.

Here I go:

October 2019.

 

 

I was very well by this time one year ago. I did have a cancer check in September 2019 and all was good and I was told, see you in 6 months. That brought me to the early March 2020 appointment which was held in “just before COVID times locked down”.

 

 

I was getting myself ready to celebrate my 70th Birthday at the end of November 2019, and had a little look at young Denyse who began loving cake…waaaay back. Mum would have made this. She did not really enjoy eating sweet things but she knew how to bake them for the rest of us.

 

 

 

Just before October 2019 I found out about two other patients with head and neck cancers who also had the privilege of sharing the care and treatment of “my” Professor too. These people found me via formerly Beyond Five..now Head and Neck Cancer Australia, and then read my blog posts here. They reached out to me. One I got to meet in person. The other, another teacher, and I will catch up once we are on some kind of holidays at the same time. Head and Neck Cancer, is as I read recently a lonely disease. It is always good though to meet up with others who understand. The health professionals too as they get to see progress within us.

 

 

 

 

I did have a special and kind friend from my world of art die in early October 2019 and on the day of her funeral, I went to a favourite place of mine that she also loved me sharing, the ocean and thought of her and her family.

 

 

 

 

My gratitude for having an open space by the ocean is well-known. I have, since moving nearer the coast, found solace and a great sense of peace walking on the beach and in the water. The beach I loved doing this has, thanks to the ways of the ocean, become almost inaccessible to people who are older and with a compromised right leg (fibula-less) I won’t go there unless I can access it with ease.

 

I drove to Sydney’s Dee Why to visit Dad in his independent retirement unit in October. He must not have wanted a photo that day. Here I am before leaving home.

 

Later, I drove as I often do, past South Curl Curl beach and stopped to have a little walk. It was a magnificent day. And when I did see Dad in October 2020 he agreed to this photo! He turns 97 early next year.

 

What have I learned in doing this series?

That for me, things got better and better.

They also were very hard on some days to tolerate. Many of those days were long, boring, painful and challenging as so much depends on T I M E to heal.

Yes, that old adage is true…time heals all wounds.

So, as of NOW: October 2020, I am a very well person. Go me.

Actually, also ‘go my husband’ who has had to listen to ALLLL  of the stories from me.

On Saturday 17th October it was 50 years since we met. As this post goes live, we will have travelled to the north west of N.S.W. to the city of Tamworth where we met. We plan to have a couple of days going to towns that were of great significance in our early single, then married lives. There WILL be a post about that you can guarantee it. 

 

I have had a very challenging year in some respects in 2020 with – as for everyone:  COVID 19 and its various means of changing our lives….

  • specifically for me it has been a year of ‘getting more medical and surgical things’ done. I had to concentrate on head and neck cancer until late 2019 so in 2020 there are no more excuses.

 

  • In March 2020 I had both eyes cataracts removed and no longer need glasses for distance or driving. Still for reading but at a lower prescription and I need sunglasses out in the sun.

 

  • In July, and then into August 2020 I had a rectal prolapse surgery (planned) and hernia repair (unplanned). There was a wound healing complication after 5 weeks and I needed further surgery to debride the wound and then  T I M E and a VAC machine and wound changes till all finally healed by October 6. BEST news ever!

 

  • Well, there was more too! Early September, when I was still attached the the VAC machine, my husband drove me to my Cancer Check with my surgeon and nurse, and all was so darned good, I got the news that floored me…”see you in a year.” And….

 

  • On 15 October my prosthodontist checked out my upper prosthesis and declared I am maintaining the area very well indeed! I don’t need to return to see him till April 2021.

I love these images…me with my health professionals. I love that they agree to having their photos taken too.

Check Up with ColoRectal Surgeon

Head and Neck Cancer Surgeon & Me.

With My Prosthodontist

This is why I blog. It is so helpful to share with others and it is a great record for me and my progress.

Thank you for your interest, I appreciate it.

Denyse.

Joining Leanne and friends for Lovin Life Linky here. 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Comments

  1. I love seeing and reading your thoughts as you progress through the years Denyse. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I agree blogging is a great way of recording what’s going on and looking back at how far you’ve come. #mlstl Go you 🙂

  2. Thank you so much Deb. I always appreciate your care and support.

    Blogging has many benefits alright!

    Denyse.

  3. It is great you have this journey documented Denyse and I love that it’s able to give you a sense of perspective. You can see how far you’ve come but – if you’re like me – you can better understand what the important things have been. I’ve not blogged as much but I know when I have in the past or I’ve kept a diary… the stuff I’ve stressed about hasn’t often come to fruition or been a big deal and yet other things have popped up instead.

    • Thanks Deb…so true. Blogging is a very handy tool for me.

      I can see with greater clarity my progress and what I dealt with at the time. I also see, now, just how much it was a challenge for me and yet I still kept on…as I needed to.

      I do have an on-line personal journal I complete most nights and it shows me evidence of my improved physical and emotional health. I sometimes do a “this time a year ago” review using it and I do see how much I have not only changed but for the good. Sigh. It’s been a long time coming!!

      Take care, I have always appreciated your kind words and support and hope I can offer the same back to you.

      Denyse.

  4. It’s always good to look back and appreciate how far we have come, what we’ve conquered and achieved and you have done all of that and more. Also, I am so envious of your access to beautiful beaches and beach walks. I do live near water but not beaches and I hope that one day I might. Have a great day Denyse! xo

    • Thanks so much Min. Good to see you here again too.

      I admit I do not get to the water or the beach nearly as much as I might have thought before moving so close. There is always “something” else to be done.

      Now, though as I realised I have overcome all of my recent physical limitations after the abdominal surgeries, the excuses are wearing thin!

      Take care,

      Denyse.

Denyse values & reads every comment written, thank you. There is always a reply.

*