Master of Science (MSc)
Faculty of Science
Dr. Paula Fletcher
Pediatric cancer survival rates are increasing (Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation, 2011) and with this, so are the late effects of pediatric cancer (Oeffinger et al., 2006). This research examines the lived experiences of the perceived long-term effects of pediatric cancer on adult survivors and their primary support persons in order to understand the multifaceted nature of the illness on adults, and how it affects others close to them.
The theoretical orientation used to guide the research was phenomenology in order to present an accurate depiction of all the participants’ lived experiences. Specifically, background questionnaires were administered and one-on-one semi-structured interviews were completed and transcribed verbatim for subsequent data analysis. Field notes, member checks, and triangulation were used to enhance the credibility of the study.
From the analysis four themes emerged: (1) “There wasn’t a lot of time to sit and think.”: The Pediatric Cancer Experience, (2) “There is no before cancer…there’s only cancer.”; (3) “I don’t know if I would change it.”; and (4) “As long as you need me I’m yours.”. All participants recognized that there were both negative and positive aspects to life after a pediatric cancer experience.
Overall, this study provides knowledge on how undergoing pediatric cancer changes survivors, subsequently affecting them and their primary support persons for their lives. Their stories can provide strength and comfort for individuals undergoing, or caring for an individual undergoing a pediatric cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Molinaro, Monica L., "What Lies Past Remission: The Perceived Late Effects of Pediatric Cancer" (2016). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1824.