The purpose of this descriptive research was to explicate the concept of health within illness by describing women's experiences with breast cancer The study is based on Newman's view of illness as expanding consciousness Twenty women, ages 38–60, with previously diagnosed (within 4–18 months) breast cancer, were asked to describe their expenence with breast cancer through two open-ended interviews Data collection and analyses were based on a qualitative research methodology which incorporates aspects of existential phenomenology and phenomenological nursology with a focus on person—environment interaction patterning Through thematic analyses and patterning of the person-environment analyses based on the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association Taxonomy I dimensions, themes consistent with health as expanding consciousness emerged