The intention of doing daily blog posts on the progress of our interviews didn’t quite go as planned…we were just too busy running around the campus at MD Anderson, catching-up with patients, meetings, planning, re-scheduling interviews, doing research staff training, etc etc. But we did manage to get some photos taken of our little research group, secretly (or not so secretly anymore) operating under the pseudonym La Résistance. Hence the black berets!
On Friday 14th December, Kirsten and Birgitta did three participant interviews back-to-back over the phone. Sadly the last one had to be aborted due to a really bad line. We hope to complete this interview soon. All in all, we talked to seven women – three of them were face-to-face meetings, the remainders took place over the phone. Each of these participants have made a lasting impression on us with their individual stories of strength and weakness, humour and coping, similarities and differences, courage and determination. More than anything, they have conveyed their overwhelming desire to help other women with breast cancer by telling their stories.
We left Texas feeling elated and grateful, having met so many wonderful people and achieved so much in a short space of time at one of the world’s top cancer treatment centres (though Dr Lode spent five weeks preparing the ground!). Now it’s time to transcribe the interviews and chew over the data.
We’ll be back in Houston in a year’s time (December 2013) to speak to the same women, and find out how their lives have been since taking part in the expressive writing task.