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PURPOSE: To explore the essential meaning of how sensory disturbances caused by Oxaliplatin influence self-understanding and freedom to live an everyday life among survivors after colorectal cancer.

METHODS: Data was generated by means of a semi-structured individual interview with eight survivors after colorectal cancer who continued to experience chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy at least one year after completing chemotherapy with Oxaliplatin. Data analysis was guided by existential phenomenology and descriptive life-world research.

RESULTS: The essential meaning was structured by four constituents. 1) An unpleasant fluctuating sensation which is impossible to ignore, 2) Breaking through of noise and pain despite struggling to keep them at bay, 3) Continuously feeling ill despite being cured, and 4) Bodily constraints that impact self-understanding and limit enjoyment of life.

CONCLUSION: The survivors used distraction to keep the sensory disturbances at bay but were forced to adapt to a new self-understanding as sufferers after chemotherapy despite being cured of their cancer disease. This way of being-in-the-world was understood by survivors, their families and healthcare professionals as a necessary price to pay to be alive. However, marked as sufferer after chemotherapy, the participants' everyday style of experience and life revealed as an ill health condition, which limited their ability to accomplish everyday activities as before and their freedom to realize their potential-the "I can".

Original languageEnglish
Article number2049437
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Antineoplastic Agents/adverse effects
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases/chemically induced
  • Problem Solving
  • Survivors
  • everyday life
  • Colorectal cancer
  • descriptive life-world research
  • existential phenomenology
  • cancer survivorship
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • long-term side effects
  • embodiment
  • quality of life


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