In this exploratory study, 15 women (aged 37 to 76), who were recruited through collaboration with their oncologists and had stage IV breast or ovarian cancer, were interviewed, and their stories analyzed for emerging themes. Each woman gave a chronicle of diagnosis, treatment, symptoms, and side-effects of the illness, starting from the first sign of a problem. The larger part of the interview described physical, familial, and existential repercussions of terminal illness. Here we provide an oveiview of the major themes present in eveiy interview. We identify small narratives embedded in other types of discourse (chronicle, question and answer, clarification, paeon) by using Lobov's elements (abstract, orientation, complicating action, attitude/evaluation, and resolution). The action of the narrative often took place as an evolution or accommodation in identity and hinged on oscillations between integration and disintegration, masteiy and defeat, wholeness and defectiveness.
Rosenblatt, Laurie; Lakoma, Matthew; and Alexander, Victoria
"So Short a Lease: Women's Accounts of Living with Advanced Cancer,"
Storytelling, Self, Society:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/storytelling/vol1/iss1/4