Lifelessons from, ‘When Breath becomes air’

This is a memoir written by Paul karanathi at the time when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, suffice to note, Paul was a man of many hats and had a Degree in literature from Stanford University so his writing was on point.

Because of the stroke making me inactive, I love reading because reading is liberating.

Many times in life we are running around, doing things but we never prepare for these times, Paul karanathi had a soaring career in Neurosurgery and at the time most universities would have loved to employ him, very few people of Paul’s age can get that type of cancer,in my case it is a few that can get stroke at a young age. Whereas I go by the moniker old man, perhaps life was being cynical and said,”welcome to old age” . In all illnesses, the patient is always the pseudo expert in the illness like Paul did, whereas he was a doctor, this time he was the patient and would be asked to look at the scans at one point he wanted a certain drug as an agent for chemotherapy despite the strong advice. I have been there and sometimes wanted to get drugs that can reduce the sparsticity (stiffness) of the body despite the Principal physiotherapist not agreeing to it. Its simple illness can lead to alot of things and you want to walk/talk the next day so any suggestions of a drug helping are not taken lightly.

Life is what you make it, upon the diagnosis and acceptance,he planned on how to live on he planned his life with Lucy and even suggested that she should remarry, this is a great takeaway sometimes you don’t have to burden the world with your life situation,no person is going to come and cry on your behalf, the least thing you need is self-pity because it has never helped anyone. Paul became aware that he had limited time and began writing his memoirs. Similarly with impaired speech, I realized that I could write and resumed blogging call it my new speak,lots of readers have praised my courage but my cynical self says, being strong is the only thing to do.

I gathered alot of courage from Paul.He even resumed neurosurgery after the illness until he was weak and couldn’t anymore. Paul even had courage up to his last breath. All lives are important but when some end it is tragic, Paul’s story is beautiful and gives meaning of life in illness.

11 Comments

  1. Time and again we need to take a “life reflection pill” .This will make us more appreciative and never take life for granted.
    Thanx for sharing this Roland

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience, Roland. It has given me a lot to think about.

    Indeed, as Emily Dickinson puts it, ‘There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away.’ I share your love for books and their liberating capacity.

    Your story and Paul’s are beautiful, laced with courage and strength.

    Happy New Year, Roland.

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