“Stepping Stones” back into a normal life

A continuation of my last post on the great article on the University of Texas in Austin website.  The article also talks about Dr. Barbara Jones, a cancer survivor and an assistant professor in the School of Social Work who is working on improving the path for childhood cancer survivors.

She spent years as a pediatric oncology social worker who provided counseling and help with communications and acted as an advocate for families. Now, she is a researcher who is working on improving the care of children with cancer and their families. She is researching how to get a better understanding of the long-term needs of childhood cancer survivors.

Dr. Jones’ research included African-American and Latino childhood cancer survivors and their definition of illness. Jones conducted a study of Latino young adult cancer survivors and found that their experience and definition of a cancer survivor is different from other ethnic groups.

She reported that they exhibit a strong theme of gratitude…gratitude for the support they received from family and/or care providers. In addition, they really don’t see themselves as survivors. They think the younger kids who received the cancer diagnosis very early on are the real survivors.

A lot has to be learned about the emotional effects of childhood cancer survivors. With good people like Dr. Jones, I know that we can improve psychosocial care for childhood cancer survivors.

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