Turning a Big Negative into a Bigger Positive: Erin Richard’s Story

How does one live with cancer? Each person confronted with cancer has to make a choice, it seems, how to do this. The cancer experience—fraught with aggravation, apprehension, and with varying degrees of suffering—doesn’t appear to offer much by way of choice. Nonetheless, each person tries to find a way to persevere, and each has their own story to tell.

This book tells part of Erin’s story, and how she lives day-to-day in cancer’s shadow. Erin is a regular person, a wife and a mother, who is trying to put one foot in front of the other, proceeding in life like us all—but with the vital difference that at the age of thirty-nine she developed a life-threatening illness—stage four breast cancer. She has gone through a slew of treatments that work for a time, then seem to stop working. Erin lives with the knowledge that one day the oncologist will very likely have no more potions to offer.

Erin Richard
Erin Richard

She says that developing cancer changed her from a shy person to someone not afraid to speak her mind. Cancer also reignited her interest in photography, painting, and acting. She is now nurturing these innate abilities, and putting them to work. Cancer has made her more acutely aware of societal injustices, and has prompted her to fight for longer sickness benefits for people with cancer who, like herself, can no longer work. Since cancer overtook her life, she has become a basketball fan—a sport, prior to cancer, that she cared nothing about.

And now she has written this book. How many of us get to write books? With a husband, a son, a father and mother, and friends; and with bills to pay, meals to cook, things to do and places to go—she has a lot of life going on!  It has been my privilege to get to know Erin. She has taught me, by way of example, how to live life more fully.

I am reluctant to say this, but if it wasn’t for cancer I would likely never have met Erin. Not Erin’s “bigger positive,” but certainly mine!

From the Forward by Tom MacNeil Oncology Social Worker,
Cape Breton Cancer Center, Sydney

Reviews

Erin does a great job of helping others learn about possible problems people with cancer may face during treatments. Her explanations can help others easily understand that what they are going through is “normal.”

MaryAnn MacMillan

At some point you will know someone or you yourself may get a cancer diagnosis. This book provides a personal account of the many challenges that go along with a stage four diagnosis, which is not just health-related. It also dispels the myths that anyone who has not yet been touched by cancer may not understand. Very informative and inspiring!

Julie Macintosh 

Very informative, educational and straightforward. Erin gives an excellent firsthand description of her courageous battle in living with cancer. Whether you are fighting cancer or if someone you love is doing so, reading this book can help show you how to receive and/or give support, and what you can expect while going through treatment and afterwards.

MJ Macphail-Loughlin

This book gives you an understanding of all the trials and tribulations that a person diagnosed with cancer must go through. We all know someone who has this disease, yet it is usually not spoken of. From beginning to end, you’ll learn about all sorts of treatments that can be used to fight this never-ending battle. Hopefully, the education offered here can help us all be more aware and sensitive to this subject.

Liz Harpell

Facing the uncertain power of cancer with great inspiration, strength and positivity, Erin shows us the importance of living versus dying with The Beast (cancer).

Jacqueline Adams

 

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