The discovered story: The evolution of truth in cancer narratives

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations


Cancer narratives reveal and create truths about living with cancer. In this personal essay about telling the story of his father's death from complications of chemotherapy, the author reflects how his father's story became his story. The narrative the author shared with others served to frame a criticism of medical oncologists' reluctance to discuss death. A criticism his father, who appreciated the reticence, would reject. The truth of the author's father's story is that he expected the unpleasantness he experienced toward the end of his life to be necessary if he were to live longer. The truth of the author's story, as an academic leukemia specialist, is that the unrealistic expectations created by many cancer stories interfere with providing good end of life care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)vi-x
JournalLiterature and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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