Friday 22nd October 2021

Taking Stock #3. 27/51. Life This Week. 75/2019.

Taking Stock #3. 27/51. Life This Week. 75/2019.

My Soup for the Soul

For the last two years I have been recovering from cancer. Specifically a rare cancer in my upper gums and under the top lip. Oral cancer is part of the Head and Neck cancer group. It’s not well-known and this is WHY I have continued to spread the awareness news…and WHY I add the link to the fundraiser I have on-line to help the organisation Beyond Five where I am an Ambassador. To date, I now have wonderful donations bringing my current total to almost $300. Thank you. This the link to where you, should you choose, may donate.

Of interest to me is the Taking Stock I did just before my big cancer surgery in July 2017. Here it is...with many caring comments from friends I know here.

Taking Stock #3 : 2 years on! 2019.

Making: decisions about how much time I spend sharing my art time with and for others….and coming up with the response I need to do more that is just for me now.

Cooking: little cupcakes. I think I write this a lot. Cupcakes get me through tough days and having fewer teeth. The current group are tiny ones and being made for the Soup for The Soul event coming up at Central Coast Head and Neck Cancer Support group’s fundraiser.

Drinking: after water, double shot small lattes. Every day.

Reading: two items: The Sydney Morning Herald which we now have to go and buy as home delivery is becoming extinct here. The late Chris O’Brien’s memoir. He was a superb head and neck surgeon whose skills and vision saw people like my head and neck surgeon trained under him and my head and neck nurse practitioner. His idea too, after seeing comprehensive cancer centres in the US, was Australia needed these….

Wanting: to keep sharing the stories of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse because if not for Chris and his vision, I would not have had such a friendly, comprehensive cancer hospital for my surgeries and check ups and where I feel very welcomed.

Looking: at my Apple Watch. To see how my steps, standing and getting exercise circles (rings) join up.

Playing: for the third time, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton via Audible, in my car.

Wasting: too much time on thoughts that do not need chasing nor imagining into more/worse.

Wishing: I could achieve (gain?) contentment on a more regular basis instead of striving as much as my personality seems to dictate.

Enjoying: being back to ‘listening’ to books over and over. See above for Boy Swallows Universe.

Waiting: for some appointments where there is a bit of is with a new psychologist as I need to share how the grief of cancer along with ageing is confronting, and visit #38 or #39 with my prosthodontist to see ‘how my upper prosthesis’ is going.

Liking: just being ‘the two of us’. For all those years of a  household caring for kids, working long hours in busy and responsible jobs, caring for grandkids part-time….and part-time work…it’s just US being retired, yes some ageing is part of this, but it’s just us. Married for 48 years.

Wondering: how Dad’s health will continue to be so good for so long. He is 95.5 years!! Still very independent.

Loving: having time as best as I can make it work for me.

Hoping: that friends & family who need to find work/stay in work roles they enjoy can stay employed at the level they choose.

Marvelling: at people who understand anything ‘science- related.’

Needing: to ensure I do not obsess about how many steps I take…which are actually in competition with me…

Smelling: the sea when I get out of the car at The Entrance and always being taken back to January school holidays in the 1990s when we took family vacations there.

Wearing: clothes that I enjoy wearing and that I am much more (literally & figuratively) comfortable in – after some small “panics” about weight gain…which turned out for be good for my health. Who knew?

Following: people on twitter who make me think and also are prepared to have a decent and non-abusive conversation: I follow #education and #headandneckcancer mostly and make a contribution.

Noticing: there is a lot to be more grateful for which makes me actually notice more!

Knowing: I will forget some of my newer behavioural strategies to manage my reactions to potential stress…and give myself a break when I do.

Thinking: that I could do with less thinking…the one I am getting better at ‘over thinking’.

Feeling: Love – for and of others.

Bookmarking: every single page it seems where I save something on facebook. Best I review that.

Opening: my emails and seeing donations to the above cause. Thank you!

Smiling: because I MISSED my big smile for 14 months!

Do you ‘take stock’ regularly? Thanks Pip Lincoln for her original taking stock here.


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Next week’s optional prompt: 28/51 Self-Care: Share Your Story #4 15/7/19




  1. I do a similar thing each month with the Currently linkup from In Residence. It’s fun to take a look at what we’ve all been up to. How amazing that your dad is independent at such a grand old age! Contentment can be a tricky thing, it’s about finding grace for yourself and finding joy in the little things – still something I’m learning too!

  2. Oh the overthinking, my mind usually goes for the worst case scenario and I have to reign it back in again!

    • Well, you may be pleased to know you are not alone in the default to negative because that’s how our brains are wired. Once we know this, it can be easier to reign the thoughts back.

      Sigh. Works-in-Progress we are!

      Denyse x

  3. Thanks, Denyse, for sharing your taking stock post and hosting. Great to read that you’re feeling love and smiling every day. I do a monthly wrap-up with my various categories in alpha order 🙂

  4. I’ve just relistened to This is How and How not to be a boy and They are All my family again. I wonder what appeals with audio about the frequent listening. I do reread book but usually decades apart…see you at the end of the month

    • Interestingly I think with the listening again (and again) we can pick up new messages and parts of the story.

      Now you after got me onto This is How (loved it) I do wonder which would be the next of Augusten’s you would recommend afterwards.

      Happy July break.

      Denyse x

  5. I reckon I could win the overthinking championships if there was such a thing! I’m yet to read Boy Swallows Universe – & am beginning to think I’m the only person in the (ahem) universe who hasn’t. Have a great week.

    • I am learning to over-think less if that makes sense. I do it by questionning myself as if I am the observor. I am very new at it though.

      Husband just finished BSU. He did enjoy it too but probably not to my fandom status.

      Denyse x

  6. I like that you’re picking yourself up on your thinking and behaviour (re overthinking and stressing etc). I know it’s certainly the first step to making changes in that regard.

    And it’s great your dad is doing so well at 95.

    • When I think about how much I have progressed in the 2 years or so I know I am doing well.

      Trouble with our brains is they go to auto default of the negative. At least I recognise that more now and can stop myself with more ease.

      Dad is pretty amazing but I sense he is ‘worried’ about his future as he does not want to leave where he is for advanced care etc. Again, we cannot predict but it’s a fact I guess.

      Hope things go well for you this week. I’ve been enjoying your beach and water pics.

      Denyse x

  7. Your smile is definitely a joy to us all Denyse and I enjoyed reading your thoughts as you Take Stock for another month. I need to stop overthinking things so this is a reminder that I take away today from your post. Have a great week and isn’t it wonderful that your Dad is doing well at 95. Good for him! #lifethisweek

    • Thanks for your kind words Sue. Hope you have pulled up OK after another amazing run yesterday.
      Good for you.

      Denyse x

  8. A really enjoyable read Denyse – very honest and I appreciate the fact that you don’t sugar coat your thoughts – I think we all have highs and lows and mediocre moments, but there is also so much to be grateful for and that’s the key isn’t it? Look how far you’ve come in two years! xx

    • As my husband says one of my qualities is honesty…and another is openness. I have to work on being less critical and more kind to myself as a result though.

      Thanks so much Leanne.

      Denyse x

  9. I am glad you are smiling every single day! That’s wonderful!

  10. I love a good Taking Stock post and this one is no exception. It’s so great to see your smile and hear that your dad is doing so well. You have good genes! I think apart from Jo, I must be the only person in the universe who hasn’t read Boy Swallows… I must rectify this situation forthwith!

    • Good genes alright it seems. I admit Dad is getting more frail but of course relishes the independence so much that none of us would want to wish his care be anywhere else. I know you would understand too.

      Thanks Sammie.

      Denyse x

      PS Boy Swallows Universe may not be to everyone’s taste so do not feel ‘bad’…remember I wanted to bail out until the author told me to keep going!

  11. Denyse,
    I’m a bit obsessed with closing the rings on my watch too!

    All the very best for your fundraising efforts.

    Congrats on 48 years of marriage!

    SSG xxx

    • You reckon we are self-competitive…I do!!

      Thanks so much for your good wishes SSG and keep on enjoying your staycation.

      Denyse x

  12. What a positive taking stock post Denyse! I was smiling while reading it and especially when I came to the overthinking bit 🙂 . Love your photos and stories, you are an inspiration to us all and your smile is fabulous to see.

    • Thanks so much Deb. So much in common…again hey!

      I am getting over “over thinking” step by step…but gosh takes some time!!

      Your kinds words are always appreciated.

      Denyse x