“Masked”: The Lives of Adolescents Undergoing Chemotherapy
Martinez, Rudolf Cymorr Kirby P.
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<div id="yui_3_14_1_1_1509715990493_467" class="publication-abstract" data-reactid="86"> <div id="yui_3_14_1_1_1509715990493_466" class="nova-e-text nova-e-text--size-m nova-e-text--family-sans-serif nova-e-text--spacing-auto" data-reactid="88"><span id="yui_3_14_1_1_1509715990493_465" class="foldable-text" data-reactid="89">Worldwide, cancer still ranks as the second leading cause of death among children. In Asia alone, it continues to be a leading cause of childhood mortality. Though treatment such as chemotherapy have played a major role in combating cancer, local researches that dwell to understand their lives as they undergo the therapy are sparse. To further understand the lives of adolescents undergoing chemotherapy, this paper was conceptualized to present a glimpse of the adolescent's life and answer the question “What it is like to be an adolescent undergoing chemotherapy”. Further, this paper is part of a larger study exploring the journey and the experience of adolescents during the course of their chemotherapy. Following the philosophical underpinning of phenomenology, five adolescents were selected as participants of the study based on preset criteria. The experiences of the participant were gathered and validated via the following methods: 1) Interview, 2) Storytelling, 3) Participant Observation, 4) Art, and 5) Group Discussion. Subsequently, three levels of reflective analysis were done on the narratives of the participants following the process specifically developed by the researcher grounded in the philosophy of interpretive phenomenology. Through the process of reflective analysis, three (3) themes surfaced: (1) Behind the Mask: Who am I Now?, (2) Forbidden but not Forgotten, and (3) New Me: Metamorphosis of Self. These themes reflected their affirmation that their lives have been “masked” by their disease and its treatment. “Masked” with its many layers of meaning represented the essence and the core description of their experience. Revelations and insights from these research findings suggested that to treat adolescents undergoing chemotherapy as “special” may sometimes be counterproductive as they feel it is opposed to their desire to be seen as normal as possible, which enhances their sense of control and autonomy.</span></div> </div> <div class="nova-c-card nova-c-card--spacing-m nova-c-card--elevation-1-above" data-reactid="92"> <div class="nova-c-card__body nova-c-card__body--spacing-inherit" data-reactid="93"> <div class="nova-o-media-object nova-o-media-object--gutter-xxl nova-o-media-object--vertical-align-middle" data-reactid="94"> <div class="nova-o-media-object__item nova-o-media-object__item--width-auto" data-reactid="95"> <div class="nova-o-media-object nova-o-media-object--gutter-xs nova-o-media-object--vertical-align-middle publication-like-promo-holder__recommend-pending" data-reactid="96"> <div class="nova-o-media-object__item nova-o-media-object__item--width-auto" data-reactid="97"> <div class="ico-recommend-empty" data-reactid="98"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>
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