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Lived experience of survivors of leukemia or malignant lymphoma

  • L Persson
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
Publishing year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 303-313
Publication/Series: Cancer Nursing
Volume: 27
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Abstract english

Individuals (n = 18) in remission from acute leukemia or highly malignant lymphoma were asked to narrate their lived experience of falling ill, of being under treatment, and life following this event. The transcribed texts were analyzed from a phenomenological-hermeneutic perspective, expanded by their medical and social history as related in interviews. The analysis revealed 3 themes: (I) Believed in life, fought for it and came through stronger; (II) Life went on, adapted and found a balance in the new life; (III) Life was over, felt out of control and lost belief in life. Participants in the first 2 groups viewed their quality of life as improved and stated that the struggle had been meaningful and that the experience had made them grow, as a person, related to the experience of gaining new insight or strength. The third group of survivors viewed their quality of life as worse. They found no mea,ning in their experience and evaluated the situation with bitterness. Thus the core of living through having acute leukemia or highly malignant lymphoma seemed to be to find meaning with it and the profound crisis it meant to them. To help people retell their experiences may be one way of processing this life-threatening disease and treatment and may be one way to developing a sense of meaning and to regain balance in life.


  • Nursing
  • malignant lymphoma
  • lived experience
  • acute leukemia
  • cancer survivors
  • nursing
  • quality of life


  • ISSN: 1538-9804
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions