Might some readers find it depressing? It's a small book, but it's powerful. A very high 4 stars. Searching for the best experts in the field of oncology, Kalanithi begins treatment with a doctor named Emma Hayward. When Breath Becomes Air details Dr. Kalanithi's life as a neurosurgeon and his fight against advanced lung cancer. When he arrives home with Lucy, both of them know what is happening. You know it was going to be sad, how could a man dying of lung cancer before the age of forty be anything but." Customer Reviews - When Breath Becomes Air… When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a naïve medical student "possessed", as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and … During his time at Yale, Kalanithi meets his wife, Lucy, and sees the patient-doctor relationship as an example of life, death, and morality coming together. Facing an impending loss without a foundation of faith to fall back on, I find myself asking, “What is the meaning of life if we’re all just going to die?”. Paul Sudhir Arul Kalanithi (April 1, 1977 – March 9, 2015) was an Indian-American neurosurgeon and writer. He is accepted to a master's program in English literature at Stanford, and one afternoon—pushed by his desire to understand the meaning of life— discovers the calling to practice medicine for the first time. Even though the book is incredibly sad, it is ultimately life affirming and worth the emotional investment. Lucy explains that When Breath Becomes Air is in a sense unfinished, even though Paul worked on it tirelessly. He tried to live each day to the best of his ability, he helped many and he acknowledged the doctor patient relationship had a big disconnect with the reality of life, how their lives would change after being diagnosed with a serious illness. [1], In his last year of neurosurgical residency at Stanford University, Paul Kalanithi experiences negative changes in his health. I can't express enough my admiration for this book, for Paul Kalanithi himself. In the second section he explains how he decided to become a n. A very high 4 stars. My own wife died of lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis). Visiting friends in New York, Kalanithi is almost certain that he has cancer and says it out loud for the first time to his friend Mike. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanathi is a work of non-fiction. So in many ways this was a profoundly beautiful read by a remarkable man. I had to wait a little bit to pull myself together before writing a review of this exquisite book, even though I am tremendously late to the party on this one. "[11] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly stated that the book was "so original—and so devastating. … Welcome back. I heard about Paul Kalanithi's book, When Breath Becomes Air, long before I actually read it. In the second section he explains how he decided to become a neurosurgeon -- he wavered between being a writer and a doctor but decided that he wanted to do something tangible that engaged him in the real world -- although he had planned to become a writer later in life. In 2007, Paul graduated cum-laude from the Yale School of Medicine, winning the Lewis H. Nahum Prize for outstanding research and membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. [2], Kalanithi's life takes an unexpected turn when, after weeks of health problems, it is confirmed that he has lung cancer. (Abraham Verghese). A few weeks later, the symptoms come back, stronger than before. But I think most will find it rewarding and touching and well worth the risk of the emotions it might elicit. We’d love your help. Even in his short life he achieved noteworthy recognition as a scholar, a surgeon, a … I came to know him most intimately when he'd ceased to be." After medical school, Lucy Kalanithi starts internal medicine residency at UCSF and Paul Kalanithi begins a neurosurgical residency at Stanford. Returning home, upon landing in San Francisco, Kalanithi receives a call from his doctor telling him that his lungs "look blurry." My notes are informal and often contain quotes from the book as well as my own thoughts. To see what your friends thought of this book, I'm about half-way through at this point and find myself re-reading passages as I'm going along. Never has a book turned me into a sad sobbing mess so quickly. In this touching memoir, Paul Kalanithi, a doctor, deals with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Saved me time. He was able to share a little piece of the truth. The When Breath Becomes Air Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community … After two years of classroom learning, Kalanithi experiences his first birth and death in his OB-GYN clinical rotation, when a set of twins could not be carried to term. It's quite an odd book and an overall rating might be the sum of the parts, but is not going to reflect the writing or content of those parts. Thank you for your review. [3], As Kalanithi underwent cancer treatment, he shared his reflections on illness and medicine, authoring essays in The New York Times,[4] The Paris Review,[5] and Stanford Medicine,[6] and participating in interviews for media outlets and public forums. I read this almost two months ago and realized I never reviewed it. *** Two related Farnam Street Posts: … The book's idea that the mind is the result of the brain doing its work awakes a curiosity in Kalanithi for neuroscience. "To begin with -- or, maybe, to end with --I got to know Paul only after his death. Did anybody find this book poetic? When Breath Becomes Air is in many ways a love letter from Paul to his infant daughter Cady: “When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of … Sharing this interesting New York Times interview with Dr. Lucy Kalanithi. It was for me, anyway. I read this book in about 3 hours. Though he finds it hard at first, Kalanithi grows used to the rigor of neurosurgery and, in his fourth year, joins the neuroscience lab of a professor affectionately called “V.” In the sixth year of residency, Kalanithi returns to his hospital duties and having reached professional recognition, he feels he has finally found his place in the world. January 19th 2016 When Breath Becomes Air is so good and so sad. My own wife died of lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis). Outside of the hospital I was her caregiver for a year and a half. When I finished the book, I just couldn't review it. He earned an M.Phil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine from the University of Cambridge before attending medical school. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Very good book to read. And of course it should not be. With both graduation and a baby due in June, he takes another CT scan after months since the last. He died at the age … Unlike Paul and Lucy we adopted. He discovers a big tumor in his right lung and without getting scared, he and Lucy research what other options are available. in English Literature and a B.A. When Breath Becomes Air is so good and so sad. [3] At the age of 10, his family moved to Kingman, Arizona where he spent most of his youth. I think you should read this book because that talented, inspiring man has incredibly important things to say derived from his own experiences, and it's important to listen and learn from them. But I simply did not find this book compelling or insightful enough. Sitting in his car, he begins to cry. Paul has spent a … Paul Kalanithi is thirty six and so close to finishing his training as a neurosurgeon when he finds out he has stage IV lung cancer. Mess so quickly stronger than before “ it ” too, not just his great. To write my thoughts about this stunning memoir that has left me gasping for Air live each day the! 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