Taking One for the Team: Examining the Effects of Childhood Cancer on the Parental Subsystem—Part 2

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Abstract

In this Part 2 of a three-part research paper, we further our interpretations from our hermeneutic study examining how having a child who has experienced cancer had an impact on the relationship between the parents. In Part 1, we identified the focus of the study and provided background to the topic. We also described the research question, method, and design before offering an interpretive analysis of couples whose relationships survived, thrived, or demised. In this article, we extend the interpretations under an overarching theme of “taking one for the team.” Here, we discuss issues of changes in focus and roles, and the notions of tag teaming, protection, intimacy, and grieving. We examine the phenomenon of putting relationships on hold, then finding reclamation later. In Part 3, we offer implications of these findings for other parents in similar situations and for health care professionals working with these families.

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