An exploration of the lived experiences of individuals with relapsed multiple myeloma.
AffiliationHaemaology Day Ward, Waterford Regional Hospital, Waterford, Ireland.
Attitude to Health
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CitationEur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2011 Mar;20(2):267-75. doi:, 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2010.01234.x. Epub 2010 Oct 18.
JournalEuropean journal of cancer care
AbstractThe experience of living with relapsed Multiple Myeloma (myeloma) for eight patients accessing treatment within a haematology unit in a large London hospital is explored in this study. Myeloma is recognised as incurable and is sometimes described as an 'incurable chronic disease' with a main treatment option of chemotherapy. Hermeneutic phenomenology was the methodology used in conducting the study and data were collected through open-ended, unstructured interviews. Findings suggest that living with relapsed myeloma in the context of a chronic illness causes an ever-shifting perspective between illness and wellness consequently maintaining a state of uncertainty. The patients in this study placed importance on the emotional aspect of their experience. Hope, intuitive knowing and a fighting spirit were expressed as required positive elements that enabled living with relapsed myeloma. These assisted in maintaining normality, coping with bad news and adjusting to the illness. Pervading through the themes was the need to control uncertainty. Having strong support from significant others provided something to live for and the necessary social support required to promote a new orientation to life.
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