Monday 17th January 2022

Share Your Snaps #6 #WHNCD. 30/51#LifeThisWeek. 60/2020.

Share Your Snaps #6 #WHNCD. 30/51#LifeThisWeek. 60/2020.

Devoting today’s Share Your Snaps to: World Head and Neck Cancer Day 2020. It’s today.

Sharing the stories is part of what I am able to do here on the blog and in other social media but they are not all “my” stories. Some of course, belong to others.

The photos here cover a range of people who have been given a head and neck cancer diagnosis. Some may have had surgery, others radiation and chemo. Some a mix of all. I had surgery only.


Head and Neck cancer not well-known as a cancer, even by G.P.s and some specialists. The work of Beyond Five continues to offer up to date information for patients, families, carers and professionals. My work as a Community Ambassador is to share awareness of the role of Beyond Five.

Today: WHNCD,  I pay tribute to the head and neck cancer community around me and further afield.

I admit I did my first year of HNC (as it’s also known) alone until I was invited to be part of the Central Coast Head and Neck Cancer Support Group.


  • Sharing the stories…in pictures and some words, this World Head and Neck Cancer Day.


  • Women of Courage Who Are Head & Neck Cancer Survivors Shared Their Stories Here:
  • Maureen Jensen from New Zealand. Story Here.
  • Tara Flannery from Australia. Story Here.
  • Julie McCrossin from Australia. Story Here.


  • May there be greater funding for research into HNC AND supportive grants to Beyond Five so that more information can be shared via the website, webinars and “in real life” events if COVID ever lets that happen again.


  • Last week’s post was more detailed about head and neck cancer and its signs and more. In the coming weeks, as of today, Julie McCrossin AM and professional leaders in the field relating to head and neck cancer will be sharing on-line here. This on-line event replaces the Forum to be held last June which was cancelled due to COVID.


  • I am particularly grateful to be part of a New Zealand-based Head and Neck Cancer Support Group on Facebook. Started a while back, it is a friendly, reassuring place to be to ask some questions, find some support and to know you ‘are not the only one’ with head and neck cancer…even if it is still pretty rare. Find the group here. You will need to answer some questions first before acceptance.


  • To you, my blogging community, I say thank you over and over for your interest and support in this ‘hnc’ thing of mine from when I was diagnosed. I am incredibly grateful to be well…but also to be well-supported here. The link to my Head and Neck cancer posts is here. I am told this has been useful for some patients and families to read. Makes me grateful to use my blog for this purpose too.

I still have another 2 years of cancer checks to go …the next is in September. I never take it for granted that my version of head and neck cancer has gone forever.


Link Up #199.

Life This Week. Link Up #199.

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  1. Denyse

    Thank you for being such a passionate and empathetic advocate for HNC. I have learned so much from your posts.

    SSG xxx

  2. Well done and congratulations! Lovely post and very important reminder not to ignore these things…even when you don’t know it’s one of those signs! Good awareness, especially the support group. Those onlone groups are very hand when you are feeling overwhelmed – good to know you aren’t in it alone (with people that really understand)

    • Thanks so much Lydia.

      I admit I knew of ‘no-one’ like me for at least 2 years.

      Then, thanks to my work with Beyond Five, and the blog, two patients of my surgeon found me.

      Obviously contact does not happen directly from the doctors but they shared from the above.


  3. Well done, Denyse! You’re a passionate ambassador for HNC on WHNCD.

  4. I can’t imagine how alone you must have felt when you went through HNC – your story and your ambassadorship and the online groups will help ensure that others have support from people who get it.

    • Thanks so much Jo.

      Yes, back in the first year it was lonely but then once I put myself forward to help where I could, and those in charge of Beyond Five saw my potential then I was able to do my ‘helping thing’ and as a retired educator it’s a great fit.


  5. You have helped so many with your blog, sharing your story and those of others. It can’t have been easy over the years but I’m so pleased to hear of support groups that help you and others. Thanks for sharing your story as it has raised awareness of a little known, before now, but very important issue. You are a fabulous ambassador.

    • Thanks so much Debbie.

      I know no-one ever wants this cancer in their lives, but when it lands, places like my blog (now I have followed Sam’s example about her cancer) help people as does Beyond Five.

      Not everyone is social media savvy so meeting with a group like the Central Coast one can help others feel less alone.


  6. You are a great Ambassador Denyse. I can’t imagine how alone you must have felt during the early days. It was lovely to read that your blog is providing such a great service to other sufferers.

    • Thanks so much Jennifer.

      Yes the early days were hard but then my Associate Professor stepped up and answered all my questions prior to the first big surgery and helped allay some of the strongest fears. He knows I am ever-grateful for that.


  7. You’re such a great ambassador and advocate for Head and Neck Cancer. I did both my diagnoses “alone” which is one of the reasons I started to share my story on the blog – it was very cathartic. I know that sharing your story here and with others, not just in the HNC community, will educate, help and inspire others. Thank you for spreading awareness and starting the conversation.

    • Yes dear Sam, it was your blog where I got my idea to something similar to help others.

      I remember back in mid 2017 as I was deciding what to do re blogging about HNC, I read your posts and saw that they would help ME as well as others to do that as you did.

      Thank you for your kindness and inspiration.


  8. I’m glad you were able to connect with other people going through the same thing

  9. I have to admit, fundraising and awareness does my head in – not because I think it shouldn’t happen but it just seems needlessly competitive and I have never found a way that makes it make sense to me. I’m just not a competitive enough person i guess?

    Either way, I’m glad you found a community that supports you and helps with understanding of your experiences.

    • I’ve thought about your comment today because I get so sick of so many people asking for donations etc which is why, when I did my first soup for soul on-line event I was reluctant.

      The thing is, governments etc can’t fund it all…the illnesses, the cancers etc and this one is waaaaay down the list.

      Hence the awareness raising and education which I am comfortable enough with…but sometimes it feels like I am speaking or writing to no-one.

      But, I also keep my blog posts as a resource, and now know how many people with HNC have found my posts and felt far less alone as a result.

      Thanks Vanessa, for making me consider what I thought about this too.


  10. Hi Denyse, as you know I am a nurse in a surgical ward that has head and neck cancer patients amongst other specialties. I am going back to work this week after 11 weeks off. We have a Nurse Navigator for our Head and Neck patients so I will pass on to her the web address of your blog – I am sure other patients will find it helpful. Thank you for being an ambassador for this cancer – you are right in saying it is not well known. I am so glad you have recovered so well from such a major surgery. Regards, Christina

    • Wishing you well on your return to work. Hope it is not too taxing.

      In addition to sharing my blog details, which is where there is more about Beyond Five too, there is a Brisbane based support group started some time ago by fellow HNC Ambassador Marty Doyle. He knows of local Gold Coast groups too, so do share his facebook page with the Nurse. She may already know of this but it won’t hurt to share!

      Thank you for your kind words and concern for my wellbeing. Last week’s surgery is still very fresh in my mind and abdominal stitches vertical and horizontal are part of the reason!


  11. Hi Denyse – I’m so glad you had a happy ending to your cancer journey (even though there’s still those ongoing checks on the horizon). I think your positive attitude and willingness to share your journey played a vital role in your recovery. It’s so lovely to see your smile again after all those surgeries x

  12. What a journey! It’s so inspirational to read your story and see how you have come through smiling and hopeful.

  13. Great post! Always a learning experience here.