Saturday 21st May 2022

Taking Stock #3. 27/51 #LifeThisWeek. 82/2021.

Taking Stock #3. 27/51 #LifeThisWeek. 82/2021.

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 weeks. Before I start, some information:

July: World Head and Neck Cancer Day. 27.7.2021.

As we move into July, I will be publishing posts relating to Head and Neck Cancer as 27 July is World Head and Neck Cancer Day. It only started back in 2014 I think, with Michael Douglas the actor making the speech to open the world congress for all Head and Neck Professionals. Michael has had #hnc as its often abbreviated. In my role as an Ambassador for Head and Neck Cancer Australia, I will share more on-line and links about it too. In fact, the only fundraiser held by the charity where I volunteer (HANCA for short) promotes  Soup for the Soul events for people to arrange and then with any funds raised, to donate back to HANCA for the continuation of the support of supplying materials and information to GPs and to Dentist.

My local cafe BluJ’s has agreed to hold a Soup for The Soul Day and will be donating 100% of their takings on two soups. This place is one which I have been doing to for my much loved coffees since 2017 and I am stoked they are wanting to help raise awareness of Head and Neck Cancer along with me. Update: still hoping to go ahead once lockdown is over.

Now: Taking Stock for July 2021.

Admiring: those I see going through really tough times themselves supporting others. Examples I see: from cancer groups, from women in need of assistance and generally those who seem to need it most, reach out to help others.

Becoming: better at self-talk. I know, I know I know. By 71 I would have thought it may have gone completely but the good news, she has a much more gentle and compassionate voice and only every so often goes down what my husband calls the slippery slope. I know enough about my health and moods to recognise this so much more quickly.

Curious: about the ups and down of the blogging world. By that I mean what has obviously happened to many here in Australia there is reduced interest and reduced if not curtailed following of blogs. Maybe I am still naive enough to still think getting my words out there is good for my health…and I am always….

Delighted: that those words are often of interest to fellow bloggers who link up, and others who sometimes read and comment because….

Excited: is how I still am when I see something I have written and shared has a positive reaction.

Feeling: that I am well. It’s an amazing feeling alright and I am loving it.

Going: nowhere in particular beyond our normal neighbourhood and for good reason as we believe it’s….

Helping: to reduce our contact with any Covid 19 clusters and so we are….

Imploring: people to take this whole Covid 19 pandemic and its health and economic reactions and responses seriously even though we still see people….

Joking: about its impact. Maybe I am being super sensitive (yes indeed I can be!) but we Aussies have a tendency to make light of most things. May this time, we need to be serious and conscientious in taking personal responsibility.

Keeping: my life in perspective these days as much as possible and trying not to take on new ventures even though I can be tempted. 

Loving: the ways in which I can find simple joy in my day. It might be one colourful flower amongst a pile of weeds spied as I sit in the traffic queue at the lights or it might be turning the sound on when a friend’s baby LAUGHS with delight and it is shared via Instagram.

Making: the usual batches of meals and cakes and the like, because I only have to do that amount of cooking and baking once and get some nights off as a result. We often cook an individual meal or snack type meal for ourselves and we eat far less in quantity now we are…O L D er. It’s true!

Next: is probably what many of us are thinking about Covid19. There is so much uncertainty despite vaccinations going ahead around the world. And as I wrote above: we are still in Lockdown. 

Observing: that there are some things I notice more when I look down: a tiny leaf in a beautiful red, or a wee shell with a heart shape, or…what do you observe I wonder?

Pleasing: that my inner-self talk border far more on the forgiving and understanding side rather than its predecessor in black and white.

Reading: price labels on everything much better now I have my reading glasses with me in my bag. I don’t need glasses to drive, walk around but when it come to details I do! 

Staying:here as renters of this comfortable for us house as long as we are allowed to by the owners.*

Trying: to understand that even if we had to move (again, she says!) that our real estate agency would always take care of us. *In fact, they have told us that. 

Understanding: that years ago I could not have been this accepting of change. In fact, when….

Viewing: my posts for Taking Stock a few years back my constant refrain was about being housed securely.

Welcoming: your comments on this post.

X- You Choose! I am choosing to add some excerpts from previous Taking Stock posts as I can see that…

Yes: I have changed and for the good in term of my equanimity.

Z – You Choose! What say you? Have you noticed changes in yourself in recent years?


I have added these excerpts from 2017 when I was posting about taking stock. The dates are indicators of what was happening to me in 2017! A big year indeed. Interesting to look back.

Feb 2017: unwell with high levels of anxiety.

Waiting: to have enough money to buy a house

Liking: that we do not have enough money to buy a house (yet) because it gives us more time to consider

Needing: to be as kind a friend to myself as I am to others and I am getting better at it

Questioning: why…about quite a few things that I now realise is futile


May 2017: just before I was diagnosed with head & neck cancer.

Trawling: Realestate dot com dot au with NO hope of buying anything but getting sad about how big the prices of houses are. Bad news.

Wanting: To be settled in our own affordable house one day. I hope.

Looking: Up at the sky every single day. It never fails to impress me.

Deciding: That going for a walk is better for feeling anxious than sitting feeling anxious. So I do.


July 2017: days before my first cancer surgery & reconstruction

Wishing: that my surgery was over, that I recover very well and that my year ahead will be a smooth path to have my mouth reconstruction over and there is no cancer found anywhere else. (quite a few wishes I know, but that’s my focus!)

Loving: the enveloping of care, concern and attention from many people since my cancer diagnosis and even though many of these people have never met me I know I am loved

Hoping: that Sydney house prices eventually settle as it’s a cray-cray scenario there (and in other cities I know) and I fear for those with a mortgage who are living  week by week



Sept 2017: waiting to heal & be ready for surgery #2.

Trawling: the internet for houses that we might buy ONE day …I think it is an obsession but I always want to be prepared.

Wanting: not much at all. No, that is a lie. I want to be planning something like a great holiday in my  our future.

Looking: quite self-conscious because of my mouth – post surgery – but….

Deciding: that is a small price to pay for being as cancer-free as any doctor can predict. 


Late November 2017: after surgery #2.

Thinking that the surgical team who care for me are very competent in their roles.

Feeling a lot more confident than I used to be about getting out and about up here and even taking myself to Hornsby recently.

Bookmarking all the wonderful comments that people make to buoy me up when I am feeling a bit down.

Waiting as patiently as I can for my long recovery and reconstruction of my mouth to be finished sometime in 2018.

Liking that I am learning, from my cancer experience, to be more patient than I was.

Wondering from how much my grandchildren have special memories of us, their grandparents.

Loving the blogging community I am part of and follow.


And to right now….happy and well…and ageing gracefully, I think, here we are: The Two of Us.

Do you think you’ve changed over the years too?

I guess it would be boring if we did not!


Link Up #247

Life This Week. Link Up #247

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. It’s a kind connection I value as a blogger! 

* 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, sales 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: 28/51 Self Care Stories. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Copyright © 2021 – All rights reserved.



  1. At first I thought you meant two soups – and thought ‘Well that’s not very impressive!’ but I realise you mean two types of soups, which of course could indeed add up if people pick right. Good for them and very generous, especially in this covid lockdown times that is hitting small business again and again. (In my defence, still only 1 coffee in!)
    Yes, the blogging world has shrunk a lot here -more so than in the US and UK. But if you enjoy it, it’s worthwhile. If you help just one person, it’s worthwhile. And you know, it’s where you and I chat, so that’s worthwhile.
    I too am reading labels closely, but for cholestorol content – I am literally boring myself.
    I like this idea of how you’ve changed – I too have noticed a change since I wrote a particular post. Maybe I’ll do the same…Have a fabulous week and thanks, as always, for hosting!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Lydia. Yes, we do help each other as long-time bloggers don’t we?

      I was starting to doubt my written expression when you saw that ‘two soups” and I could have made improvement ….

      They are, we hope, selling two different soups: Pumpkin & Spicy Moroccan and 100% of takings to the charity I support. Pretty generous indeed.

      However, we still need to be out of lockdown!

      Your kind words and support are balm to my bloggy soul. Thanks so much.


  2. Denyse, It’s good to see you feel more contentment and less anxiety over the years. I’ve noticed a few long term bloggers, 11 years or so, stopped blogging. A few bloggers took blogging breaks or write infrequently. I blog on weekends this year after picking up hosting the Coffee Share link-up. Have a great week!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Ah yes it is feeling good for me too, Natalie.

      It was a tough time for some years and it’s by checking back in I can see how far I have come.

      I will continue blogging and hosting this link up for as long as I continue to enjoy it and have community support as I do now.

      Thanks so much for hosting and sharing your link up too.


  3. So insightful Denyse, today’s responses and looking back at those from 2017. You are always honest and tell us how it is. I especially love your response to feeling – well! Can’t want more than that 🙂
    I always enjoy doing these posts, so thanks for letting us join you in sharing our thoughts and taking stock.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      I know. How grateful I am to say that I feel well.

      I sure was not back then and it was a really tough time. I know we all have them but mine was obviously the result of a few things in my life, and now to look back as the blog allows me to do, I can see my progress and recovery for real.

      Tomorrow it’s 4 years since the first BIG and long cancer removal and mouth reconstruction. I am visiting my favourite spiritual hangout to ponder my life’s good fortune. Instagram will be the medium for sharing.

      Thanks so much Deb for your words and 100% support of my blog and my link up. Always appreciated.


  4. I do enjoy your taking stock posts and I love how you’ve looked back this time and seen how much you’ve grown and changed. I have noticed the blogging world has grown smaller here – I think everyone has moved to shorter form Instagram and TikTok from the looks of it. I still like connecting even though I know I also don’t engage as much.
    I’m glad you’re doing ok. I almost linked my monthly wrap-ups but then decided I wanted to include my weekly gratitude post because of some of the external links and my thoughts around the current state of Australia in general. I hope you have a lovely week ahead, Denyse!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Sanch. You too have been here with me for a long time and how good is that we have made a friendship because of blogging.

      I am considering my blogging future somewhat because right now I am feeling a wee bit overstretched yet, who has done that to me…MOI!? I have plans in place for reducing that and will continue Mondays as long as I find I am going well and the link is supported.

      I said to B this morning, Mondays are fun because I love seeing who is here and saying hello!

      Let’s hope lockdown ends and we can be more flexible in our movements around the place soon.


  5. I loved your approach to Taking Stock this time with the posts from the past. It’s great that your cafe are choosing to get behind you and raise funds for the cause. I’m sure it’s because they find you inspirational. Let’s hope that whatever is next for all of us after covid settles down, comes soon.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Jennifer for your kind words and seeing how I have made progress is good for me too.

      Yes, to the generosity of my local cafe and saying yes to fundraising. It’s about making connections when I am out and about and in my early days, people there were so encouraging of my progress after surgeries their words always buoyed me.

      I hope you are going well too…


  6. I love your Taking Stock posts especially with the new improved prompts. You are very clever! Thanks for hosting every week and keeping the blogging flame alive. I think blogging is a bit old school now, the cool cats are all doing Instagram reels and Tik Tok and I wouldn’t even know where to start (and even if I did,I wouldn’t want to!) We bloggers are a rare breed these days! I feel for you with your rental. I loved so many things about renting but the uncertainty of stability and always having to move just made me so anxious. I love that you have such a decent real estate who will always take care of you – they’re even a rarer breed than bloggers 🙂

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you so much Sammie for your kind words and understanding.

      I love Mondays when I get to see who has linked up and left a comment. It’s like arriving at a very pleasant get together. One day we will be doing that in person again too Sam!

      We have no real choice financially other than to rent because with what money we will have it will not be enough to buy anything half decent nor to be in this area where all our support systems are: GP and chemist for one. Also, as we age, we want to hang onto some dollars for unplanned needs which may crop up…so, yes to giving up ‘security’ as I once saw it but to knowing we have great people looking after us in our RE peeps.

      I bet you are feeling all the feels right now..hopefully tomorrow is ZERO day and you are going HOME.


  7. Denyse, thank you so much for all you do for head and neck cancer! I’ve never mentioned it before out of respect and privacy of my friend but a very dear friend of mine (since I was 18) has ACC. It started in a nerve in her face. She had major surgery many years ago now. Things were good for quite a while and then it came back & spread and there have been countless treatments since. Her husband phoned me on Tuesday and things are not good. She’s in palliative care and I can do nothing but wait for the call. She’s a couple of years older than me so around 59. A bit of a downer comment – I’m sorry but it’s all I can think of at the moment and I haven’t been sleeping well. On a brighter note I am very pleased you are feeling well and more confident these days. I’m a bit out of sync with you on Taking Stock posts. Mine was last week as you know. I do one at the end of March, June, Sept, & Dec. Have a wonderful week Denyse! xo

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks for your appreciation of my role in sharing the awareness of head and neck cancer Min.

      I do it because I can and I like to think more people will be aware of its symptoms which can often be dismissed by primary carers like GPs and dentists.

      I am so very sorry about your friend. It is a cancer that “keeps giving” in a very nasty way. I have known of quite a few people now who have succumbed from this brutal and awful cancer and I send my love to you as you await the news no-one likes to get.

      I know I do taking stock a different way. It suits my weekly optional prompts better. As you know, this link up is about #optionalprompts.

      Always happy to see you here via a link up and comment. Your art is stunning by the way!


  8. Hi Denyse – Like Min, I posted my Taking Stock catch up last week (at the end of June). Lovely reading yours and how positive it all sounded. We’re very grateful for where we live and not having had to go into lockdown when Perth did last week. We’re heading up to the city on Friday for a couple of appointments, so will be digging the masks out and remembering to wear them – it will be a relief to return home and put them away again! Stay well and don’t let the whole covid thing weigh too heavily on you – I think we’re so fortunate to have so little of it in our country – that’s what I focus on xx

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Leanne. I doing Taking Stock differently to be part of my optional prompts and how anyone else is doing them is cool.

      I like the fact more than anything that bloggers visit here to read, link up and comment.

      That makes my Monday better, every Monday!

      Oh going to the Big Smoke..yes, you will have to mask up. We got all ours out of course and we have them in the car, in pockets and in the wash.

      From next week in NSW we have to do mandatory check ins with our phone apps every place we visit. If people don’t have a phone, they have to add their details to a form. Yes, it’s come to this.

      I feel much better in many ways about Covid since we both got the vaccinations. We also limit our contacts as best we can. I just get disappointed when we don’t get to have catch ups with the family!

      Take care and I hope you go well this week.


  9. Hi Denyse, it’s so good to look back as you have done here, and see how far you have come. Especially with your journey through head and neck cancer. As you know, one of the specialties in the ward I work on is head and neck cancer. This month we are raising money for it with a step challenge. We are challenging the next ward over to win the trophy. Everyone is getting into the spirit of it and posting videos and photos of the ways we are getting our step count up. We have daily and weekly winners which keeps us motivated. I’ll let you know how much we raise at the end of the month! Good luck with your soup for the soul fundraiser. Regards, Christina

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Oh thank you Christina.

      I did recall you worked with head and neck cancer patients. Good luck with the challenge.

      I hope funds raised are put to the cause. Which charity is getting the benefit?

      Marty Doyle is the Ambassador for Head and Neck Cancer Australia based in Brisbane and he is very active in the community and has connections with Qld Cancer Council too. Your place of work is Gold Coast as I recall.

      Whatever you are doing, thank you…and thanks to the patients and their families too.

      Great stuff happening with you and your enthusiasm. If you tag anything with #headandneckcancer I may see it.


  10. I always enjoy your taking stock posts. I learn many things!

  11. I love how you can see themes and developments in your taking stocks. Monthly catch-ups really are the perfect way to look back with perspective.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      I think they are good for us all, thanks Jo.

      When I consistently do them they are snapshot of life how it was…and how it is.

      I do that going back to show me more than anyone how far I have come.

      And that feels pretty darned good even if it took a dose of head and neck cancer to help…


  12. I love the last bit about being more accepting of change. And like Jo, I can see the theme in your post about blogging and online communities. I’ve not been online as much in recent times but it’s always nice to know when I do that my friends are there.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      What a great way to look at it Deb.

      It IS where my friends are…especially now I have stopped work and live away from family.

      Bloggers also “get” others who blog and that makes this little place of ours on the internet even more special.

      Thank you!


  13. This was such an uplifting post, Denyse, and I love how you always make every topic something positive and inspiring.
    Regarding following blogs and such, this is something I feel very strongly about. Blogs have become something else, a marketing tool, rather than creating and maintaining community. I’m glad there are still blogs around like yours and those of all these people who join the link-ups. I love the social aspect of it to me it’s more interesting than social media.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Susanne, as a relative newcomer to my blog and the #lifethisweek community I am so appreciative of your insight and kindness about blogging.

      I am so glad you have found this space and look forward to sharing the words and photos over time from you and from me and others.

      Thank you,


  14. In your taking stock comments you mentioned how folks are leaving the blogging world… I’ve noticed a number of folks I usually follow not posting anymore, some posting much less, and a few turning off comments, which changes dynamics a lot. I’d be sorry to lose this outlet and the connections it’s given me.

    I don’t usually participate in any of the theme blogging spaces – not even doing your prompts for the link. Maybe that’s the wave of the future for me and blogging if I want to maintain community.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Ah Pat, I hear you.

      I am glad you have come on over and linked up and commented too.

      I know that “this space” of mine here in Australia is one I value a great deal.

      However, I also know that without bloggers linking up and commenting, then sharing with others, then the aspect of being a community is gone.

      I look forward to reading more of your stories as retirement and your changes interest me very much.

      Thank you,

  15. So neat to see how your perspective and attitude had changed through the years. I hope the soup campaign is very successful!

    • It’s a great way to review! Thanks for good wishes for Soup for the Soul. We are now in a new week coming of more lockdown & I am not sure when my friends will re-open their cafe. Wait & see!