“Stanford internist Lucy Kalanithi is the widow of neurosurgeon and writer Paul Kalanithi, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at age 36. In Lucy’s 2016 TEDMED Talk, she shares the perspective their family gained during Paul’s difficult transition from doctor to patient. Shortly after his diagnosis, Paul wrote about his transformation from doctor to patient, and explored what makes life worth living in the face of death in his poignant memoir When Breath Becomes Air. After Paul died in 2015, Lucy completed his memoir and wrote its powerful epilogue.” (Bio source: TEDMED)
“Being human doesn’t happen despite suffering, it happens within it. When we approach suffering together, when we choose not to hide from it, our lives don’t diminish, they expand. I’ve learned that cancer isn’t always a battle. Or if it is, maybe it’s a fight for something different than we thought. Our job isn’t to fight fate, but to help each other through, not as soldiers, but as shepherds. That’s how we make it okay, even when it’s not.” – Lucy Kalanithi, TEDMED Talk, 2016
May we all be lucky enough to have a doctor like Paul or Lucy Kalanithi shepherding us through illness and suffering.
Read my blog post, Thoughts On, When Breath Becomes Air.