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Authors

  1. Drevdahl, Denise J. PhD, RN
  2. Dorcy, Kathleen Shannon PhD, RN

Abstract

Receiving a cancer diagnosis marks a life transition that evokes feelings of chaos. Additional transitions occur when patients with relapsed cancer must decide to pursue conventional care or participate in experimental clinical trials. Individuals with hematologic malignancies (n = 25) and their caregivers (n = 20) were interviewed about their decisions to have an experimental stem cell transplant. Noting that they had "no other choice," participants expressed no regret posttransplant. "Doing something" perhaps helped address the chaos of cancer. This aggressive response to advanced cancer also represented a social imperative that negated the options of living with the cancer or entering palliative care.