Although technically, when done via Windows Update, it's an update, it's commonly referred to as an upgrade.
With an update you won't lose your programs. In fact, there should be no need to reinstall them from the disk you bought or the installation file you downloaded. The only risk of losing those programs is if something goes wrong and you don't have those installation disks or files anymore. But surely you made a copy?
Your documents are not in those programs, but in your My Documents folder or whereever you saved them. All you have to do to not lose them is backup and backup and backup. Backup In such a way that you're sure you can restore them even in a new OS or on a new PC. Backing up "a machine" might not be the right thing, unless you can restore individual files from the backup. That depends on the backup program you used.
Back when the updates were first being scheduled, I scheduled one, but it never happened. Occasionally, I'm prompted to schedule the update, but it already has been, so I end up pushing the button that says "wait till you are prompted to update to Windows 10."
I am not sure what is wrong.
Also, I want to be sure I don't lose my Office 2010 or Kingsoft programs and files since I am a writer and all my documents are there.
The Office came with the computer, with Windows 7 installed. I have backed up the machine repeatedly and have much of this on Dropbox as well, but is there anything else I can do to be sure I don't lose my work?