Fighting an Illness as a Long Marathon:How Children Deal with Cancer When They Know the Diagnosis Shigeko Saiki-Craighill 1 , Kachiko Terasawa 2 , Masahiro Sako 3 1School of Health Sciences,Tokyo Metropolitan University of Health Sciences 2Osaka City General Hospital 3Pediatric Department,Osaka City General Hospital Keyword: 小児がん , 病名告知 , 闘病 , 子どもの成長 , childhood cancer , communicating diagnoses , fighting illness , child development pp.267-283
Published Date 2004/6/1
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.1681100093
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 Seventeen adolescents who were aware of their cancer diagnoses,as well as their families,doctors,and nurses were interviewed regarding the experiences and changes the adolescents went through. The data was analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The degree to which the adolescents felt shocked by the diagnosis depended on how much of a negative image they had previously formed about the illness. However,for most of them,the emotional fluctuations they went through after being told of their diagnosis lessened within a short period. The adolescents would rely on their physicians to choose treatments and to remove their anxieties about the possibility of relapse and death,and would concentrate on fighting the illness.

 The adolescents referred to their experience of the illness as a long marathon - in other words,an extended,grueling ordeal. Although their morale sometimes wavered during the difficult parts of the marathon,they tried to understand the meaning of their illness,and this helped them better understand what was really important. They also set up small goals to reach,because the ultimate goal seemed too distant. As a result of this focus on small goals,they became better able to persevere. They also became more aware of the help they were receiving and subsequently became more thoughtful of others. These various experiences and the reactions they stimulated did not just have a simple one to one relationship,but rather were all interrelated. Therefore,positive transformations were generated in these adolescents as they struggled with their illnesses.

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