Reading Journal 1 (1)

Chelsea Persaud Patricia Lauren ICBS 309 W01 Reading Journaal 1 After reading Strategic Suffering in the Illness Narratives of Mexican Cancer Patients by Linda Hunt , I would think that the article's theme would be that strength grows from weakness. That no matter what you are going through, you will grow and recover from that downfall. After these patients had suffered through cancer and gender identity they went through a lot mentally and physically and from there the only way you can go is up. For Isabela, she not only went through cancer and ended up having to deal with the aftermath, she found a way for her illness to play a role in the escape route from abuse from her husband. It may not have been abuse that we are known of but he did take advantage of her body and she couldn't really have a say because that's what's expected of her in her culture. To conform to her husband and give him what he wants. But now that she has her cancer working alongside her, she was able to say no the sexual interaction with her husband and is no longer having a baby each year. "In constructing a narrative about the cause and effects of her illness, Isabela has seized the opportunity for reconstructing her identity in a way that normalizes and legitimizes her rejection of her husband's advances. In so doing, she has turned her suffering into a form of social empowerment." (Peter J. Brown, Svea Closser, 2016, p. 244) I am hispanic myself and I've seen first hand how manipulating a man can be when married so i found it very interesting how she didn't just let the effects of cancer bring her down but how she made use of it to set her free in a sense. And it was
a very good excuse to say no to her husband because he cant question it since he doesn't, can't and will never feel the exact pain she went through and is still feeling. Next, Roberto went through something a little more differently, he didn't use his illness to get out of an abuse taken by his significant other, instead he unconsciously used this illness to take a workload off his shoulders. He spent so much time at work, struggling and suffering to support his family that when he became extremely ill, he felt as if he was letting his family down and that he would much rather die than spend the money to get a surgery done. He felt as if he became an inadequate son when in reality he was a more than adequate son and did a lot more for his family then others might have. Even though he may have lost his strength and stamina due to his cancer treatment, his illness narrative redefines his role in the household (Peter J. Brown, Svea Closser, 2016, p. 245-246) He still does roles for his family but it also accompanied by the help with his family members now while still keeping the label of a "good son" even though he may be achieving a less physical work then how he was before, they are not belittling him because of it, they are supporting him, comforting him, and helping him. This article was really interesting to read because you got an idea of how people recover from cancer and the treatment that comes with it, because cancer is something that no one really knows how one may feel when the news is broken to them. Just the thought of knowing that you have cancer isolates you from other people. You may start to feel different knowing you have an illness that may come with intensive care to treat it. I think the study could have improved if we got a sense of how they were like when they were first diagnosed with cancer, we may have seen the end result and saw how things got better for them, but I think analyzing the process of how they were when they first got diagnosed to after they were finally treated, we can see what things change; personality, mood, socialness. Cancer can affect a lot of things and make people feel
differently due to this, but seeing the way people can either grow in the process or stay at the bottom shows how much cancer can affect a person emotionally not only physically. One question I have is what do the family members think of someone they love having cancer and getting the necessary treatment for it. We got a glimpse of what Robertos mother thinks of it; we got an outside perspective. But in Isabelas case, we only got her own perspective on her cancer journey. I think it would be interesting if we got a perspective from her husband and got some quotes from him just to see how not only it affected the cancer patient but how it closely affects the ones around them as well.
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