Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, Vol 5, No 2 (2017)

“I’m Being Swallowed Up by This Illness, So Much Pain Deep Inside”: Claire a 40 Year-old Woman with Cancer

Karen Murphy
Issued Date: 12 Apr 2018


This case study describes a chaplain’s relatively short intervention with a young female patient. Several themes of learning emerged from the encounters. The chaplain worked closely with a member of the multi-disciplinary team throughout her meetings with the patient, which developed a new way of working with the wider team. The study also explores the deeper themes of how the chaplain and other team members survive working with death constantly, as well as giving significant insight into how relevant spiritual care is to the patient’s wellbeing as she approached death.

Download Media

HTML (Price: £17.50 ) PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/hscc.34299


Couldrick, A. (1993) “‘Do You Mean that Mummy is Going to Die?’ Caring for Bereaved Children”. Professional Nurse (December): 186–89.

Dehlin, L., and L. Mårtensson (2009) “Adolescents’ Experiences of a Parent’s Serious Illness and Death”. Palliative and Supportive Care 7(1): 13–25.

Fearnley, R. (2010) “Death of a Parent and the Children’s Experience: Don’t Ignore the Elephant in the Room”. Journal of Interprofessional Care 24(44): 450–59.

Goodhead, A., P. Speck and L. E. Selman (2016) “‘I Think You Just Learnt as You Went Along’ – Community Clergy’s Experiences of and Attitudes towards Caring for Dying People: A Pilot Study”. Palliative Medicine 30(7): 674–83. Available at: (accessed 14 July 2017).

Gordon, T., E. Kelly and D. Mitchell, eds. (2011) Spiritual Care for Healthcare Professionals: Reflecting on Clinical Practice. London and New York: Radcliffe Publishing.

Helseth, S., and N. Ulfsaet (2003) “Having a Parent with Cancer: Coping and Quality of Life of Children During Serious Illness in the Family”. Cancer Nursing 26(5): 355–62.

Kennedy, V. L., and M. Lloyd-Williams (2009) “How Children Cope When a Parent Has Advanced Cancer”. Psycho-Oncology 18(8): 886–92.

Kleiber, C., and L. A. Montgomery (1995) “Information Needs of the Siblings of Critically Ill Children”. Child Health Care 24(1): 47–60.

Murphy, K., and B. Whorton (2017) Chaplaincy in Hospice and Palliative Care. London: Jessica Kingsley Press.

Paterson, M. (2013) “Sustained From the Inside: Attending to the Vision”. Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy 15(1): 43–47.

Stirling, I. (2011) “Spiritual Pain”. Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy 14(2): 22–29.

Swinton, J., and H. Mowat (2006) Practical Theology and Qualitative Research. London: SCM Press.

Withell, B. B. (2009) “The Prebereavement Psychological Needs of AIDS-Affected Adolescents in Uganda”. International Journal of Palliative Nursing 15(3): 128–33.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy