The Ericksons

Category Archives: Living with Cancer

Blog Posts about Living with Cancer

book review

“What Does It Feel Like to Die?: Inspiring New Insights into the Experience of Dying” by Jennie Dear may seem like the last book I would want to read only a few weeks after my husband died of Stage 4 lung cancer in our home on hospice. But I am so glad that I did read it. So many questions Read more…


the future

Looking into the future is extremely difficult for me—almost impossible, in fact. How do I do that when my husband has a terminal illness? Do I imagine a life without him and plan accordingly? Do I dream the dreams we’ve had for our lives, the ones that cancer threatens to steal? Although they are unlikely, they are preferable.It might seem Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will explore putting a schedule in place for writing. I’ll focus on the genre of self-help as it relates to writing about cancer, Read more…


When you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, survival tops your priority list. As time passes, you meet other cancer patients. Some of them survive. Some of them die. Learning that one of your friends has died of cancer, always brings with it a sadness–and sometimes, guilt. It’s a phenomenon known as survivor’s guilt.EncouragementAs a 5-year -survivor of stage IV Read more…


Do you remember the last time you went to the doctor? If it was within the past couple of years, chances are, you were asked to “rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no pain, and 10 being the greatest amount of pain humanly possible.” What does that even mean?? I’m going to shed Read more…


Do we need to “have it all together?”So many tragic things happen in this world and in our personal lives, that require us to have faith. What happens when the faith we have is imperfect? The truth is that we all have imperfect faith. The good news is that even with imperfect faith, our prayers make a difference.A Parent’s PerspectiveWhen Read more…


Today we will look at why people blame God for trials and sufferings in life. This is the second post that looks at Job from the Bible to gain insight into suffering.A few weeks ago, we explored the common (though often subconscious) idea that a person diagnosed with a life-altering illness, such as cancer, must have done something to cause Read more…


In part one of The Who Cares for the Caregiver series, we learned who caregivers are, We also looked at the affect caring for someone who has cancer or another serious illness, has on them. In Part two, we learned specific ways you can help a caregiver. In today’s post, the third and final installment in the caregiver series, we learn about Read more…


This is my final A to Z Challenge post, and it is perhaps, my most difficult. What can I write about that starts with Z? I decided to take an actual term, Z Factor, and slap a new meaning on it, all while sharing what has given us peace of mind throughout my husband’s cancer journey. So here it is…The Read more…


X-RayAn X-ray is the most commonly used imaging scan for most people since it is simple, safe, and low cost. Doctors use x-ray to diagnose injury and lung issues, from bronchitis to lung cancer.An x-ray uses radiation in small quantities. The radiation (or x-ray) passes through the body, capturing an image. The rays are blocked by dense tissue, bone, and Read more…


One thing all cancer patients do is wait. From the waiting room, on, waiting becomes a huge part of life when you’re living with cancer,Waiting roomMy husband and I had monthly visits to the cancer center for 5 years prior to his diagnosis with stage IV lung cancer. I received infusions for rheumatoid arthritis there. The day we went to Read more…


This post about visiting someone who’s ill is from chapter 3 of my book, Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who Has Cancer,Here’s what Jesus had to say about it:“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty Read more…


Undifferentiated, A Definition (1)A term used to describe cells or tissues that do not have specialized (“mature”) structures or functions. Undifferentiated cancer cells often grow and spread quickly.This is a somewhat scientific post. Keep reading because it’s very interesting.Tumor grade is different than cancer stage.After the doctor biopsies, suspicious tissue, he or she sends it to a pathologist. The pathologist Read more…


The Lymphatic SystemYour lymphatic system is part of your circulatory system AND your immune system. It’s a network of vessels and lymph nodes that make up your body’s drainage system.These vessels move excess fluid that’s been collected from all over the body back into your blood stream. Once the fluid enters the lymphatic vessels, it is known as “lymph.”The word Lymph Read more…


What is your immune system?The immune system is your first line of defense against infections, both viral and bacterial, as well as other diseases. The immune system, which is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs.How does it work?Your immune system works through a series of actions known as the immune response. This response attacks invaders including organisms Read more…


One of the things we learned early on in Dan’s cancer journey was that even if a treatment worked, eventually, it wouldn’t. Cancer cells become drug resistant.Our StoryWhen doctors first diagnosed Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, they perscribed a targeted treatment called, Tarceva. The treatment worked well for 18 months before the cancer in his body became drug resistant and Read more…


I recently went to the dermatologist for a full exam. As a bonus, she removed a small lump that I’ve had for years. She numbed the area and in 2 seconds (maybe even less) removed the pea-sized lump, putting in a couple of stitches and a Band-Aid. Then, she labeled the sample and sent it off to the lab.  She Read more…


The earlier cancer is detected, the more easily and effectively it can be treated. Asymptomatic, or “quiet” cancer often spreads, unchecked to other locations (i.e. metastatic). This is why some forms of cancer have a reputation for being especially deadly.Some cancers make themselves known early on because of a side effect that sends a patient to the doctor. An example Read more…


This is the 2nd post in a series on having a family care conference. See part 1, “Family Care Conference: Getting on the Same Page,”  HEREMore Meetings?Your first family care conference might have felt overwhelming. No doubt, there were a lot of strong emotions. It may have been the first time you met as a family to talk about the Read more…


An illness like cancer affects not only the patient but also their spouse/caregiver, children, family members and close friends. Everyone has questions, concerns, and fears. A family care conference is an ideal way to help everyone learn exactly what the patient’s health status is, what the patient needs from family and friends.Often, the desire to get the patient and their support Read more…

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