NARRATIVES TO LIVE BY: STORIES OF A CANCER SURVIVOR AND HER CARE-TAKERS
Vargas, Maria I
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ABSTRACT Storytelling is an essential part of life. Much of what humankind has known has been through storytelling. This performance thesis focuses on the narratives of a cancer survivor and her caretakers. In-depth interviews were conducted to determine how, through narrating their stories, participants could possibly develop awareness of the experience of healing. I gave my participants a voice through a public performance, which took place on April 1st, 2016 in the Hazel Kelly Wilson VIP Room of the Jack B. Kelly Student Center at West Texas A&M University. This performance thesis, presented five different narratives: The Worst Phone Call Ever, The Heavenly Call, The Battle for Life, A Message from God, and God's Existence—My Biggest Take-Away. Through these narratives, the participants shared their experience, and the process of how each coped with cancer. Three stages of the process of the illness were analyzed: The Genesis, The Fight, and Survival of the illness. Feelings of healing were observed, and mentioned from participants. The theory of Narrative Medicine by Rita Charon provided the theoretical basis for the study.