45. Breath Becomes Air | Paul Kalanithi | PodNu Podcasts & Book Insights

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Only 0.12 in 10,000 people in the world will develop lung cancer before the age of 36, and Paul Kalanithi was one of them. When you have the chance to read this book, it is heartbreaking to know that he is no longer with us.

I have been preparing for this book for a long time, because I have never before had the courage to read a book that teaches you how to face death.

We all know that we are going to die someday, and we don’t know when that day will come. It is human nature to be nostalgic for life and to fear death, and this applies to doctors as well. Doctors are not always able to watch life and death from the sidelines. When life and death happen to them, their role becomes twofold. One side is the doctor, the other side is the patient. How is someone meant to deal with this helpless and heart-wrenching dual role as doctor and patient? Kalanithi realized that what a doctor can do for a patient is not to bring the patient back to life, nor to allow the patient to return to their previous life before illness, but to shelter and care for the patients and their families. Let them face the disease, rekindle their faith and hope, and have the courage to face the future and figure out where they will go from there.

When life and death are imminent, we realize how precious time is. This realization can make us question what makes our lives worth living? What do we value more? And what are our values? Are we alive just as the existence of an organism's metabolism? Perhaps we can only truly recognize ourselves when we are infinitely close to death...

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