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  • Author: Tone Seppola-Edvardsen x
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Ignoring Symptoms

The Process of Normalising Sensory Experiences after Cancer

Tone Seppola-Edvardsen and Mette Bech Risør

Abstract

This article explores the process of interpreting bodily sensations after completed cancer treatment. We base our analysis on repeated interviews over a period of 12 months with eight participants who had different cancer diagnoses. By using the concepts of ‘sensation schemas’ and ‘sensation scripts’, we explore how sensation schemas of cancer dominated in the first period, while schemas of late effects and reduced tolerance for daily life activities gradually became more important as time went by. Scripts, or actions taken to reduce unpleasant sensations, gradually turned from seeking medical advice and check-ups to ignoring and waiting for it to go away. Later, adapting daily life to the new health situation became prominent, such as balancing rest and activity to avoid becoming exhausted.