Making sense of living under the shadow of death: Adjusting to a recurrent breast cancer illness: Gangs, violence, and social order in urban Nicaragua, 1996-2002

Dennis Rodgers, Kenne Elisabeth Sarenmalm, Anna Lisa Thorén-Jönsson, F. Gaston-Johansson Fannie, Joakim Öhlén

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Women with recurrent breast cancer face many difficulties and challenges, from clinical symptoms of disease progression and treatment to a range of emotional responses. Guided by grounded theory methodology, we explored the main concerns of women with recurrent breast cancer, and how they were dealing with their situations. Data were collected from 40 in-depth interviews with 20 women diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer. The core category illustrated the process of "making sense of living under the shadow of death," and was based on the women's experiences of adjusting to living with a persistent life-threatening illness. Confronting a recurrence of breast cancer was a life-altering event. Moving through a difficult and challenging time, women eased their distress by letting go of losses and reassessing important values. Through a personal transition women transcended living with a life-threatening illness. These findings emphasize the importance of recognizing existential distress in clinical practice. © 2009 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQualitative Health Research|Qual. Health Res.
Subtitle of host publicationGangs and Juvenile Justice in Perspective
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Pages1116-1130
Number of pages14
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Chronic illness
  • Distress
  • Existential approaches
  • Grounded theory
  • Illness and disease
  • Life-threatening
  • Palliative care
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Quality of life
  • Transition theory

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