On waiting, hauntings and surviving: Chronicling life with cancer through solicited diaries

Broom, Alex; Kenny, Katherine; Kirby, Emma
May 2018
Sociological Review;May2018, Vol. 66 Issue 3, p682
Academic Journal
The ‘typical’ trajectory of a person with cancer has been from diagnosis, through treatment, and towards cure (life) or the end of life (death). Yet, cancer survivorship as a social practice is no longer contained by such neat categorisations. Much of the lived experience of cancer now centres on: living with, rather than beyond, disease; the perpetuity of treatment rather than the spectre of disease; and, making sense of incurability. Using a solicited diary methodology, in this article the authors seek to chronicle life with cancer for those living in the in-between – the often-overlooked lives of incurable survivors. In the analysis of survivors’ diaries, the authors argue for an emphasis on the phenomenology of waiting and sociological exploration of how clinical prognostications affectively haunt the present. This, they posit, will further sociological understandings of the lived experience of affliction and care, especially within relations of chronicity and perpetuity, in this case focusing on advanced cancer and the steadily changing oncological milieu.


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