Possible directions of meaning in oncological disease: an experience of liminality, meaning making and existential planning

Authors

  • Stefano Benini Università di Bologna

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1825-8670/11656

Keywords:

oncological disease, liminality, meaning making, autopoiesis, planning oneself-in-the-disease

Abstract

The oncological disease experience is counted as a wound in the body and mind attributable to a traumatic experience that fragments and disorients the person’s biography. The neoplasia leaves marks and scars in both somatic and existential level. The illness experience suggests to patient to look for meaning that cannot be unheard. The literature associating the concept of liminality in oncological disease to understand the process of meaning making. The definition of new horizons of meaning, generated by crossing the limen, opens up a new self-awareness and worldview. The autopoietic dimension present in oncological disease reveals new scenarios of generativity and existential planning in the direction of self-realization in the cipher of the possible. The contribution presents the story of Anastasia, a 41-years-old nurse. A few months after her new marriage and close to a professional promotion, she receives the diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma: a very aggressive, low-incidence, neoplasia, without specific therapeutic lines and with a negative prognosis. Anastasia’s words, thoughts and emotions, collected in the course of some testimonies in a university classroom, are analyzed and deciphered within the pedagogical paradigm, refering to the perspective of pedagogical problematicism and phenomenological pedagogy.

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Published

2021-03-31

How to Cite

Benini, S. (2021). Possible directions of meaning in oncological disease: an experience of liminality, meaning making and existential planning. Encyclopaideia, 25(59), 57-70. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1825-8670/11656

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