• Factors that may continue to impact a mother’s emotional wellbeing once her child’s treatment for cancer has completed and their implications for ongoing support

      Hill, Lynda; Gubi, Peter Madsen; University of Chester; The Joshua Tree Foundation
      This research explores factors that may continue to impact a mother’s emotional wellbeing once her child’s treatment for cancer has completed. Research indicates that, contrary to a general expectation of experiencing joy as treatment ends, some families experience very mixed emotions, with fear playing a large part, both leading up to treatment completion and, for some, continuing post-treatment. However, there is no literature that explores a mother’s emotional wellbeing after a number of years’ post-treatment. This research is a contribution towards addressing that deficit. Five mothers were interviewed using semi-structured questions to gather data relating to their specific lived experiences. These were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results indicate that although end of treatment was longed for, there continues to be much uncertainty and fear post-treatment, and this can continue years after treatment has ended. Mothers described changes within themselves (e.g. new attitudes to living) and a need to adapt to a ‘new normal’. There were elements of grief for the loss of family life with which they were once so familiar. There was also a strong sense of wanting to support others, so that their own experiences weren’t wasted. All participants recognised that further counselling support for themselves would be beneficial.