Context and aim: Family as the basic social structure is relevant for caring in pediatric cancers because it supports almost all the treatment in the Cameroonian context. During a work in 2018, published in February 2019 on the behaviours of carers when a child is about to die of pediatric cancer, we were struck by the sentence of a saddened mother, “I didn’t expect to talk about this, since the child died, the word family does not mean anything for me anymore”. Thus, this article is interested by the future of families that lost a child of cancer and is based on a qualitative research. With family as focus, the main questions are knowing how families face cancers treatments and how about their future after the death of children in the Cameroonian context.
Material and method: Data collection is based on a literature review and semi-structured interviews with nuclear families, single-parent families and extended families, who are bereaved of pediatric cancer. Semantic analysis permits data's interpretation through the model of deviant orientation of Parsons T., related to alienation and extended to rebelliousness or withdrawal that have a relative look with the spontaneous order of methodological individualism and functional substitutes of functionalism.
Results: Therefore, this methodological device shows that emergence of nuclear families in Africa is related to poverty and westernization of some African cultural trends, which has an effect on the emblematic “African solidarity”. The financial dwindling of extended families, due to the high costs of pediatric cancers treatments in the exclusive charge of patients’ families, is leading to the transition from mechanical to organic solidarities. Hence, the nuclearization of certain extended families and individualization of some behaviors. In a context where the recourse to psychology only refers to foolish people, this isolation in turn entails a significant emotional investment, mainly among people who keep the patients, as mothers who are pillars of their families. This emotional overflow continues even after the death of the child, so that even the current relationship particularly in the nuclear or monoparental families where mothers are pillars, is at stake.
Conclusion: On the hole, knowledge and understanding of the cultural and psychosocial determinants able to deconstruct families after children's death, is an asset to look for a better future for patients and families during cancers treatments.