Just Desserts Book Discussion Group talks about
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
For April’s meeting, we read Dr. Kalanithi’s memoir, which was published posthumously in 2016.
Dr. Kalanithi was an American neurosurgeon and first time writer. The book is about his life and battling stage IV metastatic lung cancer. Paul graduated with degrees in English literature, biology, history, and medicine. He graduated from Yale Medical School.
In the memoir, he discusses meeting his wife, who is also a physician. The topic of residency and the many hours of taking care of patients, surgery and declaring a specialty were also touched on.
The irony of the situation was that Paul postponed his life in order to live as a doctor with all the pulls on his time. When he found out that he had advanced lung cancer, and treatment was no longer working, he had to learn how to die. Instead of asking the question “why me”, he learned to ask “why not me?” Paul also would ask the question what makes a life truly well lived.
We had a very lively discussion about life, death, last wishes, and how to honor loved ones. It is a hard subject to bring up with your loved ones. How wonderful to feel so loved and protected, that your own loved ones would want to deal with your desires for end of life decisions.
That way, you could both live in the moment and spend your remaining time making memories and just living!
Our book for May is 1984 by George Orwell!