University of Tasmania
whole_BreadenKatrina1995_thesis.pdf (4.53 MB)

Cancer and beyond : the question of survivorship

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posted on 2023-05-27, 00:55 authored by Breaden, Katrina
In Australia, as in many other countries in the Western world, the five year survival rate for persons diagnosed with cancer is now approaching 50 per cent. Although there is a growing population of cancer survivors, little is known about what surviving entails. Nurses usually do not feature in survivors' lives, for survivors are mostly lost to our experience as they leave the treatment merry-go-round. Traditionally, a survivor has been defined as one who has been disease-free for a period of five years or more. However, this definition in terms of linear time, does not reveal the experience nor the process of survival. This process commences at the point of diagnosis of cancer and continues for life. The aim of this thesis is to present a phenomenological exploration of the meanings and experiences of surviving cancer. Using a method of hermeneutic phenomenology (as described by van Manen 1990), the study draws on the stories of six women, who by their definition are surviving cancer. Through research conversations, the women describe what this experience has been like. A discussion of themes has been structured according to the everyday experiences of living in a body and living in time. The women describe a survival process that includes: feeling whole again; the body as the house of suspicion; the future in question; changes in time; lucky to be alive; and sharing the journey. The thrust of the work is to deepen nurses' understandings of survivorship.


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Copyright 1995 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.N.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references

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