The Ericksons

Category Archives: Living with Cancer

Blog Posts about Living with Cancer


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 obvious that someone whose spouse has cancer, would have trouble looking into the future. But it can be hard to imagine for people who haven’t experienced it firsthand.To have and to hold…Our lives are so intricately connected. They have been 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, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:February 7 question – What do you love about the genre you write in most often?If you want to have some fun, take a look at the Wikipedia page for the list of 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 lung cancer, my husband, Dan, tries to encourage others on their journey. I, in turn, try to encourage caregivers that there is hope. There are new treatments and new tools in the palliative care toolbox to help patients deal with the 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 some light on this enigmatic pain scale, so the next time you or a loved one goes to the doctor, you can get the best care possible.Patients hate the pain scaleYou are suddenly put on the spot. The nurse or 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 one of my kids comes to me for help, I don’t require them to have everything in their life together before I respond to their need. If you have kids (of any age) I’m sure you feel the same way. 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 it; smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating patterns, etc. You can check out that post here.I concluded the post by sharing how to be a supportive friend when someone is going through a trial, rather than one of Job’s comforters, blaming the 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 the effect of caring for caregivers.Hearing CricketsI’m a very private, introverted person. At the time my husband, Dan was diagnosed with cancer, we hadn’t been married long. I was a stay at home mom and didn’t have many strong friendships.  So 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 Z Factor of Living with Cancer.Survival RatesThere are many things that go into survival rates for people living with cancer. Often how well a person is doing on their treatment seems to defy logic. We’ve seen some patients who are 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 objects in the body. Radiologists look at the x-ray picture and send a report of their findings to the doctor.CT ScansCT stands for Computed Tomography. It’s a painless scan that combines the power of x-ray with computers to make images. 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 the cancer center for his first oncology appointment, the waiting room became a whole new word for us. We saw the other patients who were waiting, in a whole new light. For the first time, we knew their fears. They Read more…

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