You Are My Sunshine: Writing and Testimonio as Coping When Mamá Is Diagnosed with Breast Cancer




Mata, Adriana Macias

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This study explores how Mexican American families shift in their dynamic following a breast cancer diagnosis of the matriarch. An exploratory, descriptive, and qualitative study examines the process of three different women, including myself, whose mothers were diagnosed with the disease, and certain patterns and differences will be noted as I examine each of their experiences. Discussions will be transcribed and translated for content analysis. The findings present insight into different perspectives related to how Mexican American families operate and center on the health and strength of the matriarch. There is a problem in how limited the cultural research is on this topic as most studies point toward the health care field and how those professionals can better assist this population. For this reason, the focus of this study is on these families and their experience in carrying the weight of this diagnoses. My methodological approach employs qualitative interviews as well as my own autohistoria-teoria as a way to understand my own journey in relation to others. I rely on a Chicana feminist lens by which to understand myself and others through this research study. This work is critical to understanding not only the culture of Mexican American families but also the culture of those battling cancer as a disease.


The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.


anzaldúa, breast cancer, chicana, mexican american, women



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies