This post was written by a student in Susan Schuyler’s Narrative, Rhetoric, and Identity class at Stanford University. Each student in this class will complete a research-based argument related to the course topic.
I have chosen to write about the different forms of self-identity assumed by cancer patients during and after treatment. So far, this topic seems to be a little complex, as I have little background in psychology. However, I am very interested in pursuing medicine as a career, and I feel as if this idea is a fascinating way to combine the topic of this class with my interest in medicine. I have read a few scholarly articles on the subject already, and it is clear that there is not an established set of rules for the types of identity a cancer patient assumes. This seems somewhat logical, because we as humans react to hardship in very different ways. Furthermore, varying personalities before a diagnosis of cancer could have a hand in making post-diagnosis identity hard to define. Despite the uncertainty, there is no doubt that this research is incredibly important in terms of shedding light on a possible optimal way in which cancer patients can be treated psychologically during and after chemotherapy.