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« When Breath Becomes Air -- Why It Succeeds | Main | If Patients Feel Guilty »

February 02, 2016


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Debbie Pronitis

Loved his book. I expected it to be depressing, but it turned out to be so hope-filled. The author never lost his ability to live life, despite having such a devastating diagnosis. I admired his choice to have a child. Life goes on!

Bill Kleine

It's so easy to look back and rethink; it is beautiful to look forward and see promise. A friend's surgeon took out a healthy appendix, missing his colon cancer until it was all over his liver. He told his wife, Mary, we're all human, please don't blame him. Tom looked forward to each day. I can't wait to start this book. I put it off with until I read Debbie's "hope-filled" assessment. She convinced me to start.

Wendy S. Harpham, M.D.

Debbie, Thanks for sharing your experience with the book. Obviously, it influenced others, like Bill.

And Bill, Wow, thanks for sharing that.
with hope, Wendy

Deb Konrad

Letting go of blame was enpowering for me as it allowed me to work with the oncologist who actually had an idea of how to treat my cancer. The first 2 oncologists seemed incapable of thinking outside the box and descisions they made did me more harm than good, but dwelling on it served me no purpose, I was too sick and lacked the energy anyway...much better to direct my limited energy reserves towards following my new oncologists instructions and treatment plan.

Jeanne M Hannah

I read Dr. Paul Kalanithi's book in one sitting. I agree with what Abraham Verghese says in the Foreword. Kalanithi's writing is stunning. It is hopeful. In this book he makes clear that despite his knowledge of what was ahead, he would live each day to the fullest, continue to seek purpose and meaning in life, that he would continue to care for and about his wife's future. Making the joint decision to have a child was an amazing and beautiful choice--one that enhanced the meaning and love of his last days.

Wendy S. Harpham, M.D.

Thanks, Jeanne. I'm now re-reading it, slowly, savoring the language, as well as the ideas.

Jeanne M Hannah

Wendy, I too plan to re-read this wonderful book. Dr. Lucy Kalanthi's description of her husband's final hours in the Epilogue took my breath away. When the issue of a ventilator arose that could only prolong his life and the watchful sorrow of his family, Lucy said to his doctors: "He doesn't want a Hail Mary. If he doesn't have a chance at meaningful life, he wants to take the mask off and hold Cady." When she returned from this hallway consult, Paul looked at her and said: "I'm ready." Paul was able to die with dignity surrounded by family, to exchange I love yous, gratitude, goodbyes, with the soft reminiscences of his loved ones paving his way to a gentle death. This example is one that bears witness and respect--it is an example for all.

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