Thursday 20th January 2022

Taking Stock #2.18/51 #LifeThisWeek. 55/2021.

Taking Stock #2.18/51 #LifeThisWeek. 55/2021.

I wrote about the changes I have made to how I will blog when it’s time for Taking Stock. You are, of course, welcome to use my new version of the prompts or ones initially devised by Pip Lincolne. This optional prompt occurs every 9 week.


This time round, I am going to respond to these prompts relating to my head and neck cancer, diagnosis, surgeries, treatments and continued wellness. It will be marking the 4th anniversary of diagnosis on 17 May 2017. May will always remind me of this!

Admiring:  the skills of all those who helped to do my upper mouth reconstruction

Becoming:  such an advocate for spreading the awareness of head and neck cancer because it IS rare but it is also growing in numbers of people diagnosed in Australia and around the world

Curious:  about how I ‘got’ this cancer …at times

Delighted:  to be well in my recovery at almost 4 years down the track

Excited:  that my world is opening back up again for me personally as I take steps towards getting out there to share the awareness news

Feeling:  proud that I have come so far in my emotional health recovery that was at an all time low before my diagnosis in May 2017

Going: out each day as part of my health recovery

Helping: other head and neck cancer patients, families and carers where it may be appropriate

Imploring: everyone to “get your dentist to do a mouth check at your regular 6 months check” please

Joking: not. About the importance of knowing how to check your mouth yourself too

Keeping: up with my 2x daily practice of water pik use and caring for my upper prosthesis

Loving: that I have my smile

Making: changes which are working better for me as I adapt how I eat, e.g. using smaller utensils and remembering my mouth is a smaller space inside

Next: no longer waiting for what is ‘next’ in my treatment, seems all good at present

Observing: that I am a changed person inside thanks to this life-altering event in 2017…

Pleasing: …to note that the change is for the better

Reading: fiction, well, listening to it as I could not concentrate much on anything in recent years

Staying: well

Trying: to be more mindful and in the moment as much as I can….

Understanding:…that is not always possible but forgiving myself when I retreat to old habits

Viewing: my progress in terms of head and neck cancer with awe….still!

Welcoming: the ways I am learning to s l o w myself down to take notice of what I see, feel, hear and smell

X- You Choose! Xtra kind support from my blog followers and social media friends makes my recovery and wellness easier because I do not feel alone

Yes: to letting go of my past thoughts about appearance and….

Z – You Choose! …speaking kindly to and about myself. Always. Almost Always

And some more…

Gratitude to these people including me!

And finally:

Thank you for being part of Life This Week today.

Next week, I WILL be here but the words will not be mine.

The clue is at the bottom of the Link Up instructions.


Link Up #238


Life This Week. Link Up #238

You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week! NOT a link-up series of posts, thank you.

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to: Leave a comment on a few posts, because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere, or on your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Week.

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog & the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. These may include promotions, advertorials and any that are overly religious or political or in any way offensive  in nature.

* THANK you for linking up today! Next Week’s Optional Prompt: Knowing. 10 May 2021. Guest Poster: My Husband!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



  1. Hello! Thanks for letting me be part of the party! Have a great day.

  2. What a great Taking Stock – I am always in awe of how far you’ve come and oh my, the places you’ll go. I love how you have triumphed over your own challenges and use your experience to help and inspire others. Super excited for next week too – is that B’s first time on the blog?!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Sammie, it’s been a while alright since that May…and you were right there with me from the start.

      Yes, B’s first time and I am currently ‘helping him’ with the notion of commenting!

      Sent you an email but know you’ve been away..just about Women of Courage and asking you to check if you wanted any updates. During next week I will be reintroducing it with an update and a 3rd series for 2021.

      Happy Monday.


  3. Keep up your good work, Denyse. You’re doing great, taking care of your health and staying engaged with life. I look forward to reading your husband’s guest post next week. #lifethisweek

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Natalie, I need to continue my good routines laid down during recovery and each day I am well I am exceedingly grateful for that continuation too.

      It will be an interesting week on my blog for sure.


  4. This was a great way of Taking Stock Denyse and shows your progress in so many ways. It’s been one hell of a journey over the years and a real eye opener to those of reading on from the sidelines. Thanks for another great post and i always enjoy Taking Stock. Looking forward to reading your guest post next week!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Debbie.

      I am someone who doesn’t read my previous taking stock posts so I go into these full on and with first thoughts being my goal.

      It worked out well to do it this time round using my cancer recovery. Helped me see it as well.

      Yes, the guest poster is currently finding out he has to comment. Lesson for that tomorrow.


  5. I love your responses to these great Taking Stock prompts Denyse. They really show the progress you’ve made and your positivity. You’ve inspired me to do a taking stock post next time. Very much looking forward to your guest poster next week!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Yay for inspiring you to do that Jennifer.

      I liked doing it and answer the prompts quickly because first thoughts are usually spot-on.

      Guest poster has written a pretty long one…and has now been made aware of blog manners re commenting!


  6. I’m loving this A-Z version of the prompts…and might just consider joining in next month…Wishing you a great May.

  7. Honestly, I’m so dumb sometimes. I’ve only just worked out your new prompts are alphabetical. Anyway, I love how far you’ve come, and all that you’ve achieved to help others while going through so much yourself. You really must be proud of yourself. Look forward to hearing from the man we’ve heard so much about!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      You know Lydia sometimes you pick these things up and sometimes you don’t….that’s fine. I tend in my way of doing stuff to be an annoyingly details oriented person.

      Love your kind words and support. Always.

      As for the man..he is getting kind of cold feet…but he will comment!!


  8. What a journey it’s been for you Denyse. It’s great you’re able to look back and see how far you’ve come.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Deb, and you along with other long time blogging friends have been right beside me as I did go through this. I always appreciate this!


  9. Hi Denyse – an interesting take on the “taking stock” challenge and so lovely to see your progess and to know all that you beat each and every one of the challenges you faced over the last few years. So nice to be out of it all and to have it in the rear view mirror 🙂

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Leanne. I changed the prompts as I got tired of them and the person who initiated them was more than happy for me to go my way and still use her title. Pip is very cool like that. Now an author of 5 books I think.

      It was knowing it was May (4th anniversary month) that I took the chance to look back and see how far I had come.

      Now, I have the challenge of living with what is now my new-to-me mouth and that is something I have probably only just done in the past week, funnily enough.


  10. Love this taking stock edition! I too would be curious about where the cancer came from and I wonder too what makes this form of cancer have rising #’s– are we just getting better at seeing/ diagnosing it? I sure hope that is the case.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Joanne.

      I have had to ‘let go’ of the where did this cancer come from a while back. I got the best answer to the mystery of its formation from a cancer doctor here in Australia who wrote of cells just happening to make wrong connections…and they multiply.

      I know that getting overly unwell which can be connected to stress which lowers the immune system can provide an environment for cells to change as can ageing. I could tick two boxes there aged 65 on. My cancer was diagnosed when I was 67.

      I just say now, it’s rare of rare cancer and I was fortunate to have been treated by the best of the best.

      I think some cancers (not mine specifically) are increasing, those head and neck one which are HPV related. I don’t understand it much at all …which is why I am a big promoter of awareness.


  11. Lovely way to take stock, Denyse! You’ve reminded me I’m overdue for a dentist visit. Hope you have a great week ahead. Thanks again for hosting this!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Sanch. Yes school holidays used to be my reminder for dental visits. I am due one in May but will be seeing my prosthodontist for a 6 month check and CT of my mouth before that.

      Enjoy the rest of your break.


  12. This is a great way to take stock! Need to try this.

    Curated By Jennifer

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Jennifer. I need to remind you again that you can only link up one post. I deleted two of your three.


  13. What an innovative way to share your thoughts with us, Denyse. Forces you to put on the old thinking cap! I am with you on that “Z” thing. I try to say only good things to and about myself and almost always succeed.

    Can’t wait to see what your hubby has to say to us next week!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Laurie. It’s been quite a staple in the old Australian blogging community for around 10 years now. I like it because it does cause you to literally “stop” and “do a check”.

      I changed the prompts with the original blogger’s permission. I was getting bored, so invented a good old alphabetical list.

      Husband is now getting worried/concerned…lol. Teaching him about comments tomorrow.


  14. “About the importance of knowing how to check your mouth yourself too”

    So much this. Back when I had tonsils I knew before doctors could clinically agree that I had another infection. I was correct every. single. time.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Yes! It’s where there is an imbalance in power alright.

      It was really me pushing my dentist to “take out the bridge” in the end as he was reluctant to do something so final and I said that I took full responsibility and could no longer put up with the pain and overgrown gums without knowing “what lurked”….of course, we now know but for most of 2017 until he did the extractions I had to be ‘patient’ as he explored less invasive options.

      Your eventual surgery took ages to happen too. I remember.


  15. Hi Denyse – it’s so clever of you to devise your own Taking Stock words and to then also theme it on your cancer journey. I’m so inspired by the graceful & courageous way you’ve managed it all and you’ve even thought of others while going through it all yourself. You’re amazing! xo

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you so much for you kind and loving words, Min. I have been aided along the way by people such as you and my blogging friends.

      I was only saying that to my husband last night (readying him to be able to comment next week) that without the blog and how it helped me share my story but also get out of my own headspace, it would have been much more lonely and hard.

      Thank you!!


  16. Thanks for this, Denyse! Great read and look forward to your next literary masterpiece.