Date Night

The first time my husband and I went on a date, it was to the local coffee shop. He was playing it safe. If the date was a flop, at least it wouldn’t cost him a fortune and the night didn’t have to run long. I was having a problem with my hearing. I could barely hear a word he said over the background hum of the shop. So, I smiled and nodded. Apparently, it worked because he asked me out the following week for dinner. Eventually, we got engaged. One night as we were on our weekly date, we were talking about our upcoming wedding. Dan told me that he intended to keep dating me. “Every week from now on, we are going to Read more…

Caregiving Wisdom

The following are 6 nuggets of caregiving wisdom that I have gained the hard way. I’m a caregiver for my husband who has been living with stage IV lung cancer since 2012. Nugget of Caregiving Wisdom #1   Looks can be deceiving. Both caregivers and patients can keep it together in public, only to fall into bed, exhausted, once they get home. One patient said that people often were amazed at how good she looked, considering she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She said, “I wish I felt as good on the inside as I look on the outside.” You can’t control how others see and respond to your situation. That’s okay. But make sure that you don’t compare yourself to how you think you Read more…

Tagrisso Video

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Facing Cancer with Grace, I will focus on caregiving. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, where I will share ways to increase your creativity. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is V for Video. I will be sharing the videos we taped to share how Tagrisso helped my husband and I have more time together. Background In 2015, Dan began coughing frequently. Soon he was struggling to breathe. It soon became clear that the treatment he was on was no longer working. After being tested for genetic mutations, we learned that Tagrisso was a treatment option Read more…

Clear the clutter to avoid burnout

Today you are going to clear the clutter from one area of your life. Any area…You get to choose. This morning I’ve been running around looking for a copy of orders for labs that my daughter’s doctor gave me a couple of months ago. She has an appointment at the lab tomorrow and I’m supposed to bring them with, but can I find them? No. That’s because my home is cluttered and disorganized. Some of it is mental chaos after the holidays, but there’s really no excuse. SO it’s time to clear the clutter. Clear the clutter from your home This is a tough area to keep in order when you are living with cancer. Housework tends to get tossed to the wayside in favor Read more…

Unrealistic expectations and Parental guilt

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Facing Cancer with Grace, I will focus on caregiving. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, where I will share ways to increase your creativity. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is U is for Unrealistic Expectations & Parental Guilt. Parental guilt is part of having kids. It comes with the job. You first feel it when you make decisions about feeding, Breast or bottle? You may feel guilty about your decision to either go back to work or to stay home with your baby. Education decisions such as where your child will go Read more…

Time Management

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Facing Cancer with Grace, I will focus on caregiving. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, where I will share ways to increase your creativity. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is T for Time Management & Cancer. One of the things that I was surprised by when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, is how out of control our calendar became. We used to have this nice big calendar that hung on our refrigerator. It was always pretty full but under control. Within a couple weeks of my husband finding those enlarged, hardened Read more…

How can you begin your day in a way that will reduce burnout? Begin your day right… the night before. Take a look at the next 3 days on your calendar. That way nothing will sneak up on you. You will be prepared for upcoming appointments, things that need to go out in the mail, etc. Make a short to do list in order of importance. Set your clothes out for the next day. This will help you avoid a mad dash around your bedroom looking for that missing sock. Get to bed at a decent time. This is the one I struggle with. Stress can severely impact your sleep schedule and a lack of sleep leads to burnout—fast. Now that you’ve has a good Read more…

Staging Your Cancer

Doctors stage a patient’s cancer at the time of diagnosis. Doctors determine the extent of your cancer, such as how large the tumor is, and if it has spread, using x-rays, lab tests, and other tests or procedures.  This is called the “stage” of your cancer. By staging cancer, your doctor can determine among other things, how aggressive the cancer is and how aggressive the treatment will have to be.  Today we will look at how these staging systems work. Most staging systems include information about (1): Where the tumor is located in the body The cell type (such as adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma) The size of the tumor Whether cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes Whether cancer has spread to a different part Read more…

survive the holidays

Surviving the holidays can be difficult when you or someone you love is literally trying to survive the holidays. This almost always means the celebration will look different. I’ve put together a few thoughts and tips to give you a leg up. To survive the holidays you must first accept that things will be different. You won’t be participating in the cookie exchange or Christmas caroling. Things that were once fun, are in this new reality, exhausting. Even if you do have the energy to do them, they may zap your reserves so that you’re left burned out. One of the best things you can do is to recognize that the holidays will look different this year—maybe from now on. That’s okay. Change is a Read more…

Ask for Help

In 2012 when my husband was first diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, neither of us was very good at asking for help. It didn’t take long before we were spread awfully thin. #1 way to avoid burnout when you are facing cancer or any other difficult circumstance in life is to ask for help—and accept it. Asking for help is hard on your pride. Many people grow up thinking that asking help (or accepting it when it’s offered) is something you just do. So when you find yourself in a vulnerable situation, in need of assistance, it’s scary. And it can take some getting used to. Some of us have to learn the hard way and end up burning out before giving in. Asking Read more…

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