Sunday 26th June 2022

Gratitude for Women & Girls In My Life: IWD 2022. 15/2022.

Gratitude for Women & Girls In My Life: IWD 2022. 15/2022.

In past years I have made social media posts for IWD….International Women’s Day.

Today: Tuesday 8 March 2022 I want to go further:

My late Mother.

I did a recent tribute post to her here. We are together in 2003 where she & Dad had their favourite Winter stays 1990s to 2000s : Burleigh Heads.

 

 

My late Grandmothers and my Aunt.

Mum is in this collage too. This is from the tribute to them, from me, as Women of Courage. To be found here.

 

Women Who Helped Me Through Head and Neck Cancer:

from diagnosis, surgeries and into recovery.

Not every woman is here.

There are the ones who asked after me on social media, and are part of head and neck cancer groups.

There are my blogging friends…so many, and they are also here on the women of courage page.

I remain incredibly grateful for their:

Love

Compassion

Concern

Healing Wishes

So, with gratitude I honour my recovery with this collage:

From top left:

  • Every week, from 2017 I had coffee at Randa’s in Wyong. She cared for and about me on some very tough days. I remain in touch regularly.
  • Meeting Lisa via her establishment of the Big Hug Box: we shared a passion for giving back and for our cancer care at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Lisa’s story is here.
  • My Friend and Fellow Teacher…and HNC rare oral cancer friend. Tara. Smiles all round when we met. Her story is here.
  • A friend from social media is Dr Katie Nash, a Paediatrician who now lives on Central Coast, and very grateful for her time to chat and have coffee
  • Nadia Rosin: CEO of Head and Neck Cancer Australia. Friend and wonderful advisor to me as an Ambassador. This photo from day we met in October 2018 at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
  • Cate Froggatt. My goodness we sure have connected…hugs, words on line, and in person and as the surgical assistant to my professor, Cate has seen more of the inside of my mouth than me. A great friend…on the phone via reassurance too. Her story is here.
  • Julie: the nurse at the Oral Surgeon’s at Ourimbah who KNEW where to refer me for diagnosis and treatment after Stef, the oral surgeon told me I had cancer in my gums. So grateful over and over for her knowledge!
  • Two in one gratitude photo here: with A/Prof Puma Sundaresan who is the chair of Head and Neck Cancer Australia, and Dr Caity Frede, whose initiative to fund raise for HANCA was on behalf of her dad, who had succumbed to Head and Neck Cancer. I was honoured to be asked to speak at the charity fundraising event.
  • My local Federal MP Emma McBride. Emma has been especially interested in sharing more about head and neck cancer after she came to our place for morning tea in July 2018 prior to World Head and Neck Cancer Day.

Then I show my gratitude to these people.

The women and the girls I am related to by blood…as they say.

My daughter: (middle left & right)  an amazing person in many ways, who is far to self-effacing but her Mum can say that. She has raised her family singly but with some support and has been, at the same time, a person who also gives back, as a volunteer at Sydney Jewish Museum, and in past times at her schools, on local sports’ committees. Back to Uni and continuing to teach part time, and raise her kids through very challenging times, she became a teacher librarian at a local school but now, by invitation as stepped up to be an Assistant Principal. Her oldest three are all over 21 but her youngest child is still in primary school…so she is a busy woman. However, she is a caring one who keeps a lookout for her fellow staff members and in this time of covid and teaching from home has been an exemplary leader.

My eldest granddaughter and second granddaughter: (top left & bottom middle) Now adults I can’t say too much of course, but they are finding their feet in life, and staying connected to family. Both of these women were in our care quite a bit as kids, and we share some great memories now. They were also the duo who managed our pre-50th Wedding Anniversary photo shoot.

Our daughter’s youngest. (middle right) This one is somewhat shy but also loves to share her stories and life with us via media. We attended her 9th Birthday last year and she was one happy girl connecting with family and friends.

Our son’s three daughters. One is almost a teen and we are in bottom left and in top middle. Miss R was cared for by us from 5 months to over 5 years a few day a week and we so value her love and presence in our lives. Miss E, dark hair ( middle top, and bottom right) is a character who we cared for from around 5 months till 18 months. When we left Sydney we did not get the same chances to be carers for Miss M, blondie in top left, middle top, and bottom right, but we love her courage, and her determination. She shares my Mum’s name as her second name.

 

Thank you all. Your lives and your stories lift me up. To those not mentioned, you too are valued by me for your presence, love and friendship.

Every day…but especially on International Women’s Day.

Denyse.

This from my son today on social media. I am very touched and grateful.

 

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The Month That Was: February 2022. 9/51. FINAL. #LifeThisWeek. #280. 13/2022.

The Month That Was: February 2022. 9/51. FINAL. #LifeThisWeek. #280  13/2022.

February 2022.

I was going to give away blogging. I was feeling stale and like I had already said what I wanted to share about in this forum.

I did let myself sit with those feelings and thoughts for a while as I have learned over the years not to act upon them quickly.

So I did some of this:

Be kinder to myself

What did I learn from the time spent?

  • That I need to keep my blog going as it is like a part of my life’s history
  • That I do not need to please others to keep blogging
  • That others actually understand more than I may have thought
  • That I can make a shift in my thinking, and blogging practice and run a link up too
  • That I have an outlet for my words and photos…

The History of Life This Week Link Up.

I was blogging most days of the week back in 2016 and there were quite a few friendly link ups. On Mondays, Kirsty used to have “I Confess” and when she was leaving blogging to concentrate on her business and busy family life, I thought why not have a go. I had already been posting  a topic each Monday called “life this week” so that’s where I went with it.

Life This Week is the new link-up from here, on Denyse Whelan Blogs.

Starts: Monday 12 September 2016.

Each Monday I’ve been using the topic “Life This Week” which for me has meant anything I came up with that seemed relevant for that week. It might have been something topical from the news, or something in my life and from time to time I joined in the link-up on Kirsty’s blog.

Started Life This Week Link Up. Sept 2016.

And the very first link up had….24 bloggers link up!! Yay for them…sadly many are no longer blogging but that’s life!

Moving on to the news:

It’s all in the blog post I have linked up to the FINAL Life This Week…so do have a read! Please.

Thank you for continuing to be part of this community. Here’s to seeing you back here on Monday 14 March!

Denyse.

and from Bernard who is pleased I AM still blogging…and Happy Birthday for 27th!

 

Life This Week. FINAL 28.2.2022.

This is opening 9 hours earlier for me to add my post…I am not awake at 5.a.m. Mondays! 

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.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a kind 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.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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Being Me: February 2022 Review. #WOTYLinkParty. 11/2022.

Being Me: February 2022 Review. #WOTYLinkParty. 11/2022.

Last month I wrote here and joined in this new linky party.

Back again to this new linky hosted by friends Deb, Sue,  Donna and  Jo too.

 

I am glad to have the chance to write about my Word of The Year progress

….even though mine are two…and despite being little actually are BIG in terms of making changes.

For me, it’s often easier to link my progress and review with photos as they have the memories of the time embedded. It helps me anyway!

Being Me: Health-wise.

  • I admit I held quite a bit of stress and anxiety relating to not being well from late November onwards.
  • I know that ‘it’s me’ and how I am and can BE yet I would like to manage this with greater ease.

THIS got me through really tough times….and now, I have to soften…and go slower…

  • I went to my general practitioners’ rooms a couple of times because I still was not well and wanted reassurance more than anything.
  • That wasn’t quite forthcoming until I got the results of the tests I’d had. One related to ‘my bowels’ and whilst I knew it was most likely I.B.S. it was necessary for a pathology confirmation.
  • That turned out fine.

In fact my main G.P. when I finally saw him after his 3 weeks on holiday was pleased to hear of my better healthy days. Yet still.

I did need to ‘fess up about I.B.S. and my constancy of worry about it after its long absence.

And I surprised myself (and him) when I said

“I think I am going to see any I.B.S. as a barometer of my health. In fact, I now know, that last year, after the virus, I probably continued to try to do too much (again) and back it came”.

I might get some help but in the end I am the one who does what I can…to BE ME

So, from this conversation and into reality I now:

accept

this

as

part

of

me

and

offer

myself

compassion

now

not blame.

 

But, I hear you and me say…”that is HARD and now you are not being hard on yourself but self-compassionate, HOW is it working for you”?

In January 2022 I signed up for a very helpful and much needed program right for me, now, called Self-Compassion App. I found it initially via the App store (iphone) and then when they offered a 20% off subscription after the 3 free days, I took that up.

 

The Self-Compassion App: app icon

The Self-Compassion App

 

I have written about it here but the various reflections, learnings and actions have all contributed to me being:

  • Kind(er) in my self-talk
  • Encouraging when I may be feeling a little anxious
  • Able to see these things (feelings, thoughts) do eventually pass

A human BEING with all the frailties and qualities that make me the ME I am more comfy with these days.

How I Help Myself.

The first time I realised I could choose to do less to be more I couldn’t quite believe it.

As a life-time doing person, helping person, sharing and teaching person, I was not sure that I could until I realised this:

I

Had

Little

Choice

Now

because I was/am keen not to fall back into the behaviours of ‘older’ me but not yet quite as wise me!

After making adjustments for myself and then in discussion with Head and Neck Cancer Australia CEO, I know I can continue my role into my 4th year but in a less active one and with fewer needs to drive and attend meetings. This graphic is from my twitter header.

February is FREE for Me to Plan…or Not! 

So, this is/was new. Very new.

I can plan my own February…..

It took me a bit to give myself permission to enjoy a morning tea out with me. Half the muffin came home for B. I really loved being back ‘people watching’ too.

Change Takes Time:

I have always I guess since I was a kid, been ready to throw myself into whatever the first term of school, whether as student or teacher brought.

In retirement back in Sydney, it often meant, back to grandchild care some days a week, and perhaps school pick ups.

In volunteer land (we have both inhabited that for many years) it meant the gearing up of activities to plan, places to be and work of some kind to do, for others.

Meetings. Face to face or via zoom and writing and helping others.

It often meant, since 2017 appointments for my head and neck cancer checks, surgeries, treatments with the prosthodontist and more.

I gave myself permission to STOP.

I am learning so much about myself from freeing myself too.

I am learning that I am a valuable person to myself and my husband and family.

I am learning that I do not need to DO as much now, to continue my life moving forward and that the last almost 5 years have taken a toll of sorts.

I was always ready to go, to drive, to put up with a lot of time waiting, to recover, to do without eating for ages, to not plan too far ahead, and to keep trusting that my head and neck cancer professional team knew exactly what they were doing…but

I felt a great deal of emotional stress and some physical stress over those years.

I now realise I am was can feel emotionally worn out….but definitely NOT out!

So now I self- nurture.

And I wrote about the unexpected but actual GRIEF that overtook me recently here.

 

And so far, I am loving that I am giving back to me to be me…..Sunday solo excursions listening to an audible book or some fave music. I love these times

And I continue to be grateful and remembering how to BE ME in a different time in my life. I may be ageing (aren’t we all) and into my early 70s but I am also learning to BE which is a challenge I am prepared to take!

Thanks for your interest in my post for Word of The Year.

I look forward to catching up with yours and others soon too.

Denyse.

P.S. For regular readers and those who link up with me on Mondays, come on over this coming Monday, 28th February to catch up on some N E W S.

 

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Words To Live By In 2022. 2/51 #LifeThisWeek. 2/2022.

 Words To Live By In 2022. 2/51 #LifeThisWeek. 2/2022.

Welcome to the second link up for 2022 here at Denyse Whelan Blogs.

Thank you to Tanya for my new link up image. Do copy it for your blog if you share my link up there.

 

A reminder of the link up rules…not much has changed but it never hurts to have a refresher, right?

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.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a kind 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.

 

Words To Live By…in 2022.

See my post from last week here.

I am adding more to the words:

BE

ME

I need to remember this word.

P I V O T

I have an issue with my right leg since the fibula was removed and it means I cannot ‘pivot’ myself with ease…I feel I could fall.

But that’s not what I meant.

There have been many occasions in 2021, particularly related to living in pandemic conditions when I have had to change my thoughts and activities that may have been planned. ‘Old’ me would have ranted and railed on some occasions, but now, I can express disappointment but learn to change my ‘tune’.

There was a ‘perfect’ example where I had to practise my pivoting and that was when our plans for Christmas Day in Sydney with our family was cancelled for us as I had symptoms of Covid and needed a PCR test.

But wait there is MORE.

I reckon I need to pivot almost every day…the huge change to how we ‘live with covid’ since Omicron exploded here and around the world means this.

For me and B, it’s about making ourselves a relatively safe place at home, like a virtual lockdown. I have had to say to my Dad, 98 tomorrow, that I am not driving down to see him because:

  1. My GP thinks I still have remnants of the virus that is not covid…he is right. I can be feeling well for a time, then whoosh, feel weak and lethargic and my gut is affected
  2. Keeping boundaries of self care rather than my old-hard-to-lose practices of people pleasing and I end up not doing well
  3. I will talk to Dad on the day, maybe even facetime if my brother is with him and I sent a card….

And we are literally taking each day at a time here.

Plans for this week, and into next week cannot be formally set. Covid threats and our health continuing to go well is paramount. We are doing what we can ….and it’s hard when I know we would love to see family and get out and about more. Not happening. For now, and the foreseeable future.

Want to use “pivot” too? Go ahead! It’s yours….

I will consider many of these words to help me

BE

ME

 

H.E.A.R.T.

words…..because I am a feelings person first!

Health  Empathy  Awareness      Rest     Trust    

Hope   Emotions    Acceptance       Revive        Truth  

Honesty    Education     Acknowledgment     Review      Time

Words from previous years to continue to  help guide me.

my WOTY 2021 is going to accompany me in 2022

SMILE from 2021 was a good one, as was GRATITUDE in 2020,

Thoughts on Gratitude

and the others before helped me through my cancer years B.O.L.D. and before then,

I gave ACCEPTANCE a go somewhat unsuccessfully in 2015 and KINDNESS in 2016.

Words To Help Remind Me About Living Well

  • I am also learning….to, as my husband tells me…hasten slowly.
  • I am a recovering striver*, with high achievements behind me and a pretty fast paced mind …matches my walking style.
  • * I made this up but it works for me to be more aware….
  • I will stroll more than walk at pace when I really want to surround myself with sensory memories.
  • I will continue my morning and evening meditation practice.
  • I will put my devices down for a time (increasing from 10 mins at first) to pick up a magazine or book.

I will not think that I have to DO something every.single.minute.

I am learning to BE ME more.

I will make mistakes and then I will say that’s OK, and remember what my intention is to have at age 72:

  • a somewhat less busy daily life
  • time for me
  • time for being with B
  • and time to play…with art, words, photos and more.
  • and I will be colouring my world.

Check out next week’s post about Colouring My World in 2022.

I am confident that it will all be something I learn to love and will wonder how I lead the life I did before now!

What do you think?

Denyse.

Life This Week. #273. 10.1.2022.

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.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a kind 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.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


 

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