Living with breast cancer - a challenge to expansive and creative forces

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Maria Arman, Arne Rehnsfeldt
Title: Living with breast cancer - a challenge to expansive and creative forces
Year: 2002
Pagination: 290-296
ISSN: 0961-5423
ISI number: 000179946600018
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Health Science (Sektionen för hälsa)
School of Health Science S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Language: English
Abstract: The aim of this qualitative case study is to obtain a deeper and more profound understanding of the life world of women living with breast cancer focusing particularly on changes in life perspective. The study is based on a series of interviews carried out within the space of one year and involving four women with breast cancer; each woman was interviewed four times. The participants were between 42 and 54 years of age; three of the four interviewed were in an advanced stage, with metastasis or recurrent breast cancer. There was an increased awareness of the relationship between life and death, which constituted a disclosure rather than an actual change in life perspective. The four women were 'opening up' to the beauty and the essentials in life and experienced an increased desire to live their life in accordance with their own values. Their revitalised view of life increased their desire for authenticity. When it proved impossible to live in accordance with new insights the women were particularly frustrated. From a caring perspective our findings suggest that an awareness of patients' increased openness to their own needs and desires is an important resource in the healing and rehabilitative process of breast cancer patients. The paradoxes and the struggles involved disguise a hidden potential for health.
Subject: Public Health\General
Keywords: breast cancer, life perspective, caring, qualitative method, case study