The Role of Self-Management Practices as Mechanisms for Re-Establishing Normality in Cancer Survivors

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Abstract

This article explores the relationship between cancer survivors’ use of self-management practices and their search for normality. Using Frank’s illness narratives and other theoretical literature on normality in chronic illness, it draws on findings from a qualitative study to explore different ways cancer survivors use self-management practices to re-establish normality in their lives post-cancer. The findings suggest that “normality” represents different things to cancer survivors. We suggest that normality in survivorship is not a static concept but is fluid, and at certain times, cancer survivors may display some or all of these different versions of normality. The findings show that self-management practices can help cancer survivors experiment with different health and lifestyle processes to help support their “normal” daily lifestyle activities, quality of life, and well-being.

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