chapter  THREE
11 Pages

Living with a life-threatening tumour: in search of meaning and creativity

ByDorothee Steffens

This chapter provides an account of a young woman's ongoing struggle to come to terms with the premature confrontation with her mortality: her search for meaning in what seems meaningless and incomprehensible, to find hope in the face of hopelessness, to risk living instead of just surviving. This painful process involves explorations on many levels, conscious as well as unconscious. The central issue, however, is the need to make sense of the profound changes in her internal as well as her external world. The chapter examines the case study of Beth's who had suffered from brain tumor. As the tumour was so big, she required a second operation eight weeks later, and a third one fourteen months later. Thinking and talking about the images revealed how identified Beth had become with the tumour. It filled her being like a tyrannical baby with a voracious appetite.