By heatherericksonauthor.comThe Erickson Family
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…

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…

Joyful

Homeostasis is defined as “a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group.” [1] In other words, the different aspects of your body are working together to give you optimal health and stability. Emotional homeostasis just means that you have a balanced mental state. Nothing helps contribute to this more than a joyful attitude. Be Genuine You can be joyful while still being genuine. By being who you really are at your core, you are being true to yourself. Being genuine allows you to admit when things are difficult when you need help. It’s much better to be open about this than to hide it Read more…

Social Media Fast

Here’s one from the vault of things I’ve learned as a caregiver: It’s extremely difficult to fast from social media when your life is in crisis mode, This year, I decided that one of the things I was going to fast from for Lent was social media. It should have been a cinch. I’ve done it several times before, and while it certainly was a sacrifice, it was also a good thing, and entirely possible to do, successfully. Then, my husband had some emergency situations with his health Could we get through them without social media? Sure. After all, 20 years ago we didn’t post the details of our lives to a social media account. Very few people had cell phones and an app was Read more…

Sleep

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 S for Sleep Problems when You’re a Caregiver. I’ve always been a nighttime person. I used to blame it on working the night shift as a nursing assistant when I was younger, but my night owl habits go back even further than that. Still, I was always able to get enough sleep. Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer and that changed. Read more…

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

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 R is Relax: Progressive Muscle Relaxation There’s a cycle you go through when you are under stress. Your muscles tense up, you get knots in your shoulders and a sore neck. Often these tight muscles cause you to get a tension headache. This only adds to your stress. By learning to relax your muscles, you can break the cycle, relieving tension and Read more…

Quality of Life

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 Q for Quality of Life People often talk about quality of life when it comes to health concerns. Decisions about treatment must take quality of life into account. Patients often decide to discontinue cancer treatment based on concerns about quality of life. What is quality of life? Is there a set standard for it? In today’s A to Z post, I propose Read more…

Plan B

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 P for Plan B – A Change in Plans. Vows My husband, Dan and I were recently talking about the fact that most people don’t really believe their wedding vows. They are standing before the minister (or whoever they choose to officiate their wedding). There beside them is the person they love most in the world. Their friends and family may even Read more…

Snake Oil Salesman

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 O is for Oil as in Snake Oil Salesman. One thing that can be very frustrating for patients and caregivers to deal with is the snake oil salesman. I should specify that I’m not talking about oils specifically, nor am I disparaging the use of oils such as aromatherapy oils, cannabis oil, or any other oils that can be used to complement Read more…

saying No

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 N for No: The Power of Saying No. When you’re a caregiver, saying, no can be the difference between drowning in obligations and keeping your head above water. Even though it’s important, saying no might be a very difficult thing to do. Saying No to Others Saying no can often feel like you are disappointing someone. It’s especially difficult when you’ve been Read more…

Office Visit

There’s a difference between a general physical and a regular office visit. Knowing the difference can save you a lot of frustration when dealing with your doctor. What’s an office visit? An office visit is when you will discuss a new or existing health problem. You may get additional tests run or a referral to a specialist who deals with this problem specifically. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to treat the problem or reassess an existing prescription. This is also the type of visit you have when you want to talk about several vague problems that you’re concerned might add up to something more serious.   What’s a general physical? A physical is all about preventive healthcare. Regular screenings and a general review of Read more…

recurrence

The metaphor of a rollercoaster is often used to describe cancer, and for good reason. The ups and downs of your emotions, your schedule and the status of your health affect a patient and their family from the moment you suspect there’s a problem. This is especially hard for children, who have far less information than adults do, about what’s happening, They depend on their parents to help them know how to respond to these peaks and valleys. The first thing you can do to help your children through a recurrence of your cancer is to assess how you’re handling things. The good times After enduring the hard times of cancer treatment and finally being declared NED, in remission, or even “cancer-free,” you want to Read more…

Avoiding Burnout

It’s that time of year! This April, I will once again be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Every day (except Sundays) bloggers post to their blogs something that pertains to a specific theme (usually) and corresponds to the letter of the alphabet assigned to that day. Today is the day when participants reveal their chosen theme. Last year my theme was “Caregiving.” This year I’m going to branch off from that theme and focus on something that caregivers (and everyone else) from time to time, must battle. Facing Cancer with Grace’s theme in 2019 is… Avoiding Burnout Burnout is the result of prolonged, excess stress. It can leave you mentally overwhelmed, physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and even spiritually withdrawn.  Burnout renders you Read more…

Positive Self-view

Continuing my series on resilience, today we are going to look at self-perception. How do you view yourself? Are you your own best friend, cheering yourself on through victories and trials, or do you assume the worst about yourself, saying things to yourself that you would never say to someone else? When you make a mistake, do you cut yourself down, or do you give yourself the benefit of the doubt? How you answer these questions says a lot about your ability to bounce back when you hit a wall. It’s essential to have a positive self-view. And why does it matter? Recently, I have been losing things. Things like a gift card, an envelope with cash, and a very important birthday card. These things Read more…

Making Memories

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 M for Memories & Terminal Cancer. When someone you love is terminally ill, making memories becomes a priority. Recording memories is important, too. Often caregivers hesitate to say that memories are the thing they want to make most. There is often concern that by talking this way, you will hurt the patient you are caring for. Maybe they will think that you’ve Read more…

Interpreter

Have you ever thought about what it’s like to have limited English speaking skills? How would you handle things like a doctor’s appointment? There are things such as disabilities, and being a Limited-English speaking person (or LEP), which can affect your communication with your health care team and your access to support services.  Today, we’re going to learn why an interpreter is a crucial part of health care for people who aren’t fluent in English. 18%, or 47 million people in 2000, spoke a Language other than English at home. 8.1% of the population, age 5 and older spoke English less than “very well” (2000 US Census) Check-in Downstairs A few years ago, our local clinic was getting a major renovation. For 2 years they Read more…

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