Friday 22nd October 2021

Share Your Snaps #2. 10/51. #LifeThisWeek. 20/2020.

Share Your Snaps #2. 10/51. #LifeThisWeek. 20/2020.

Welcome to the second in the series that comes along every 5th week here. “Sharing Your Snaps” as an optional prompt grew from a need to have some less-wordy posts and more photos to share! This one though is, like me, wordy.

Now: before you start….I am absent from the blog for now. As this is published I am either still on my way to Sydney: specifically Parramatta Eye Hospital and Day Surgery to have the first of my two cataracts removed OR in the place itself. My dear husband is the kind chauffeur, picker-upper from after surgery and the one charged with caring for me on our overnight stay. No idea of how I will be but know I am a good recoverer…because after Tuesday, we have a night at home, then back down the M1 on Wednesday for the left eye to be done. We go home that evening as my opthalmologist/ surgeon is happy for me to present to the Morriset rooms for check up on Thursday. This surgery has been coming for a couple of years and now, sigh, it is necessary. I will be back here when I can and am ready to do so in a semblance of being able to read still as my eyes will be a bit sore I am told. 

When I was in Sydney, specifically the suburb of Camperdown, I decided it might be a good idea to do a “day of cancer check” post.

“Sharing the Snaps and The Words!”

Missenden Road (just off the Great Western Hwy) is where the main arm of this major Sydney teaching Public Hospital is and it’s called R.P.A. or Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. On one side of the road too, is Sydney University with its residential colleges and more. “MY” hospital, as regular readers know is called Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and is just 6 years old. The building replaced an older part of the R.P.A. complex I believe. It is opposite a part of R.P.A., St Andrew’s Residential College and just down the inner road,  is Gloucester House, where my 96 year old Dad had a ‘melanoma’ removed…not a melanoma so good news!

Here’s my day: Tuesday 3 March 2020.

Left home around 2 hours prior to appointment. Drove myself. This has been the case since early 2018 for me. Happy to do so.

The trip is via the M1 or Motorway 1 which is a dual lane highway with speed limits of up to 110 kmh but two sections which are 80 kmh because of continued road works. I usually do not need a loo stop these days…go me…and wait till here for that.

I generally enjoy the drive via the M2 then over the Harbour Bridge (been driving over it since 1967 as a licence holder)  and along the Western Distributor until I turn left at the Sydney Fish Markets and up via Pyrmont Bridge Road and across the highway into Missenden Road. When we first visited Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, my husband drove (I was way too caught up with my day-old cancer diagnosis) and then as we came down for surgeries and then checks after surgeries he came too. We stayed twice in apartments shown here, and at 6.00. a.m. meandered up Missenden Road in winter-morning light for one surgery and daylight for another.

And, then here’s why I am here! Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is named for the visionary person, who died far too young, Professor Chris O’Brien. It was his vision, and drive which eventually saw the Federal Govt and State come together to fund this place. He did not see it happen. His wife, Gail has been there for every part of the journey. Every. Day.

Do come in. Take care first and welcome. This is why I love this place….it does not have the cold feel of any hospital I have visited. Music is heard, people chatting, creating art and just taking time to rest, look around and wonder. I still do.

Here’s my favourite sweet treat and great coffee. People watching too. Some medical and surgical people catching up. Patients brought down by a friend or family from their room and those of course, who are maybe waiting and wondering. It IS a cancer hospital I need to remember…..I have only just started being comfortable with enjoying this time for a snack since October 2018..teeth were in by then.

Oh, is that the time? Almost 1 p.m. Time for taking myself to the Clinic on Level 2.

I do prepare for a bit of a wait but last week it was around 10 minutes. Glad to have a 1 p.m. appointment booked always so I have a good trip home.

Kisses, hugs, smiles and gifts of little cakes and brownies. Oh, yes, and a cancer check up too. I can never forget that. I know once I tried to vanish it as a thought and my Prof said “Denyse I am a cancer doctor”. Yes. I know. After a great (but short as I try not to over step my time) catch up, proper examination by viewing and feeling – the glands around my neck and chest, he declared “see you in 6 months”. Wow. So good to hear. Delighted. Will be having a CT scan before that visit. Photos, please! Time for an updated one or two.

My Professor is the Chairman of Beyond Five, the organisation where I am a head and neck cancer community Ambassador and he and his surgical nurse assistant Cate were delighted to hear of the event on Saturday 7 March held on the Central Coast where I will speak and all funds will go to Beyond Five.

The drive home was good. In fact I was home without a stop in under 2 hours. I found it a challenge (but I was good) not to use my phone at all in the car as NSW is now having random cameras catching drivers (and I heard passengers..cannot confirm) using their phones. 5 points and a heavy fine. My phone, once I started its audiobook, sits inside the console where no-one can see it.

I hope you found My Day of interest. I hope to be back to comment when and if I can…and to read but I shall have to ‘see’ how I go.


Link Up #179.

Life This Week. Link Up #179.

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  1. So many familiar places in your snaps this week, I love the work that you do as a survivor and thriver!! Keep on keeping on!!

    SSG xxx

  2. Just on the phone, I think it has to be in the glove box or on the floor. Can’t be on the seat next to you or console (but I could be wrong….) Hopefully the cataracts went well and you’re back to normal next week…or better than normal I guess? Take care.

    • Thanks for phone advice. Used it a bit just for me to listen to a book.

      One cataract done, other tomorrow.

      Will be interesting. Already noticing difference but have to allow up to 6 weeks before getting any new readers. Won’t need the distance ones anymore.


  3. Hope your cataract surgery went well, Denyse. Thanks for the tour of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. It looks welcoming and well-designed.

    • Thank you Natalie.

      Something purpose built seems to do well as this hospital has.

      Recovering now with 1/2 eyes done.


  4. Lifehouse looks so welcoming – that vibe must certainly make a difference to the patients and their loved ones who go through it’s doors. I enjoyed the insight into your day. My mum had one of her cataracts done while I was in the UK and recovered well – I think the most difficult thing was the eye drop regimen! I hope all goes well and that you’re back to 20/20 vision!

    • Thank you Sam.

      You can see why having to go to a hospital for cancer is made “slightly” better thanks to a very wholistic approach.

      I am home with one eye done, and back tomorrow for #2. Already seeing the brightness but eyes will take some adjustment before I can get new scripts for reading.


  5. I hope all went well for you Denyce. Thanks for sharing your day. I found it really interesting to see what goes on in the process,

    • Thanks so much Jennifer.

      Yes a day for a cancer check is more detailed and longer when you live 2 hours away from the centre.

      One eye done, one to go tomorrow.


  6. Wishing you a speedy recovery Denyse!

    My first job out of uni was at RPA. I suspect a lot has changed there since I was there but a lot also looked familiar.

    • Thank you for your good wishes. I am one eye done and one to go tomorrow.

      Glad you had a walk down memory lane there.


  7. Still inspiring us and many others Denyse. Hope all goes well with the cataract surgery and you are back soon. Take care. x #lifethisweek

    • Thanks Sue. I am glad you can see what I do as being helpful too.

      One eye is done…and back for the other tomorrow.


  8. All the best Denyse, there’s always something going on isn’t there? I did enjoy reading about your day and commend you on your ability to face the traffic on your own. You are certainly a force to be reckoned with 🙂 After recent visits to hospitals I think parking should be free!

    I have shared a post from last year about IWD and includes lots of snaps 🙂

    • I know! I am waiting for the end of this week for there to be less pressing matters happening. I do understand however, that with our health there is always “something”.

      Having learned to drive in Sydney it does not phase me one bit doing the drive. In fact, I really have to be in better control of myself as a passenger…LOL.

      Hope the grandmothering is going well.


  9. I’m loving the work that you’re doing these days as an ambassador. I also admire your independence on the road – as you know, highway driving is something I struggle with.

    • Thanks Jo. I find it has given me purpose that is good for me.

      I was never a fearful driver until I had to be a passenger…lol. I am so much better at being independent and having learned to drive back in 1967 when the Sydney Harbour Bridge was a lot quieter helped. What I dislike these days is how the light rail or whatever it is has changed streets so much in the CBD none of my old parking stations are as easy to access.


  10. Good luck with your cataract surgery, Denyse. I am sending prayers and good wishes halfway around the world to you! I hope to see you back here in this space before too long. And that lemon tart looks soooo good! 🙂

    • I reckon I have caught those good wishes…as I am doing well from surgery #1 and back tomorrow for #2. That lemon tart IS the bomb and I cannot replicate it so it’s a special treat to go with my cancer checks.


  11. Hi Denyse – hope the cataracts went well and then go well (seeing you’re in between one and two) and thanks for sharing some snippets from your day – it was fun to follow along in your very social and busy footprints!

    • Thank you so much Leanne. Currently back home for the night before going back to one day tomorrow. I have sunnies over my glasses as it is very glary. Won’t spend too much time on-line.

      Hope your mum is doing well.


  12. Hope everything is well. My 90 year old mum is having eye surgery this week.

  13. Thanks for sharing your day. Glad it went well – good luck for tomorrow xx

  14. Next time you’re coming down, you should let me know in advance. I don’t work far from Lifehouse nad we could catch up for a coffee! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your day with us. Glad your eye surgery went well.

    • Thanks Sanch. Honestly, I did think of it and then whenever I get there a bit early something else comes up and it ended up with me spending time with Deb from the Arterie program who I have supported with my designs and mandalas for their programs. She and I rarely get to chat and then she told me she was retiring.

      My next visit is in September and that is waaaay off and I am pleased to say I will not miss being back for a bit. Given the changing circumstances of catching up anywhere socially it will be “interesting” to see how these next months play out.

      Stay well. I am going well and so pleased to be done with up and down to M1 for now.