When breath becomes air

Mon 11 June 2018 by Thejaswi Puthraya

What would you do if you are informed that you are dying (no timeline provided)? Would you continue working towards your dream? Or give up and spend the rest of the time cursing your fate?

Paul Kalanithi is close to completing his neurosurgeon residency at Stanford. He has worked hard all his life to get here but is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. As a doctor he knows his chances are bleak but his doctors (who were colleagues until the diagnosis) try to motivate him. The diagnosis exacerbates his family life (already strained due to the long hours at the hospital). He pulls through with a lot of positivity and support from family and friends. When the first round of treatment appears to be working, he gets back to medical practise. But he realises he is a shade of his past and it's only a matter of time before the impending eventuality.

While the book discusses morbidity, Paul the writer is lively and his writing spirited.