Wednesday, April 12, 2017

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi was the second book I read in Punta Cana on the beach. It's not your typical  "beach read," but it had moved up on my to read stack over the winter.

Paul Kalanithi was a 36-year-old neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. At first he was in denial because how many 36-year-old, non-smoking men get lung cancer? After reality set in, Paul moved from doctor to patient, but he still practiced while he could.

This is the story of how one person faced his impending death at what would be considered a very young age. He chose to go on living his life until the end. He and his wife even decided to have a baby after his diagnosis. His daughter, Lucy, brought much joy to the last six months of his life.

This book is beautifully written. Before Paul chose the medical field for his career, he planned to do something with his English Literature degree. Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone, and a professor at Stanford University Medical School, wrote a very eloquent prologue to the book in which he commended Dr. Kalanithi for his writing.

I highly recommend this book - five stars.

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