Stories of dying and death as told by family members’ of Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) who have died from cancer
Barling, J & Davis, K 2016, 'Stories of dying and death as told by family members’ of Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) who have died from cancer', Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine, vol. 6, no. 5.
Research of AYAs with cancer has developed significantly over the last 20 years. The research has demonstrated that AYAs with cancer are a forgotten population, who require closer study in order to understand their unique issues. This paper examines family members’ experiences of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) during the dying stage of their cancer trajectory. The results are drawn from a larger study titled ‘From Go to Woe; Family Members’ Stories of Adolescents and Young People Living with and Dying from Cancer, which storied the family members’ experience of the diagnosis, treatment, dying and death of an AYA family member, utilizing Armstrong-Coster’s (2004) four stages of the cancer trajectory. The principal researcher’s motivation to understand and story these experiences was related to her own isolation and lack of information when her 16 year old son Anthony, was diagnosed with and eventually died of cancer at 17 years of age.
The significance of this study is the contribution made to the identification of issues that can inform health policy/ guidelines. The findings have the potential to increase understanding of, and prepare family members and AYAs with cancer, for the experience of the death and dying stage of the cancer trajectory.