“I’m Being Swallowed Up by This Illness, So Much Pain Deep Inside”

Claire a 40 Year-old Woman with Cancer


  • Karen Murphy Weston Hospicecare




Case study, chaplain, multi-disciplinary team, oesophageal cancer, ritual, spiritual care, spiritual distress


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.

Author Biography

Karen Murphy, Weston Hospicecare

Karen Murphy is full-time chaplain at Weston HospiceCare, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset UK. She is an ordained Methodist Minister and is currently President of the Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains, representing hospice chaplaincy nationally and internationally, as well as supporting AHPCC members in their chaplaincy work.


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How to Cite

Murphy, K. (2018). “I’m Being Swallowed Up by This Illness, So Much Pain Deep Inside”: Claire a 40 Year-old Woman with Cancer. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 5(2), 209–223. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.34299