Emerging Horizons, Part Seven. Mike's Story: Lessons Learned





This seventh and final instalment of the Emerging Horizons series brings all the experiences of the participants in the film together with my own (ML) as the digital storytelling (DST) facilitator to discuss three of the many lessons learned from this research project (please see the introductory editorial to the series, Crafting Meaning, Cultivating Understanding, to access the film). The article summarizes the interpretations of the film in both written and digital story form, explores the value of the “artist of our days” mindset that DST can cultivate in Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer survivors, and leans on hermeneutic philosophy to emphasize the importance of conversation when viewing digital stories. I conclude with a personal exhortation to be vigilant in looking for the “setups and payoffs” in my own life so that, as a DST facilitator working in healthcare settings, I can continue to help others story, and re-story, the meaningful moments of their health experiences.

Author Biographies

Dr. Michael J Lang, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary

Dr. Mike Lang is a health researcher, filmmaker, and Level 3 facilitator with Common Language Digital Storytelling. He has directed and produced five feature-length documentaries and three web series about the human health experience, in addition to publishing academic research articles and facilitating the creation of over 800 digital stories with a diverse cross-section of patients, family caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Mike’s professional and research focus is on using digital storytelling and documentary filmmaking in education, advocacy, research, and a therapeutic capacity within healthcare and wellness contexts. Connect with him on all socials @mikelangstories or via www.mikelangstories.com or commonlanguagedst.org.

Dr. Catherine M Laing, University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing

Catherine M Laing is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs. She was Michael's PhD supervisor and has conducted her own prior studies in the area of digital storytelling in oncology.