Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic lung cancer at the age of thirty-six, just nearing his ten-year mark as a neurosurgeon in training.His diagnosis changed everything, including the future that he and his wife, Lucy, had envisioned.
When Breath Becomes Air is Kalanithi's account of his transition from being a young medical student fixated on answering the profound question about what makes one's life meaningful in spite of the certainty of death, to a trained neurosurgeon in charge of one's source of identity—the human brain, and ultimately to a man welcomed to fatherhood as well as to the realization of his mortality.
What makes life worthwhile when death is but an inevitability? How will you move forward when the future you have imagined crumbles into an impasse? Why bring new life into the world when your own is slipping right between your fingers? These are only some of the thought-provoking questions Kalanithi presents in this masterfully written memoir.