BOOK REVIEW: When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi


What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away?

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This book is so heavy and profound in so many ways. Paul teaches us that in the face of death, one must choose what matters most in life. In his frail and weak state, Paul chooses to fight for his life.

It may have caused a lot of doubts but Paul enlightened each and everyone that the values and the important things continuously changes. I felt how painful it was for him to lose his identity. The once strong body that he has is now failing him to the point that the mere act of lifting his leg was too tiring for him. I think this is one of the hardest things to accept when you have a terminal or serious illness. — It’s the constant thought that you will never be able to go back to who you are, what you do and how others will perceive you. Your body will fail you, your mind will trick you. Everything will change.

He also mentioned how long and excruciating it is for doctors to deal with the fact that they hold responsibility for judgement calls. You know the famous spiderman line, With great power comes great responsibility? That is exactly the burden each doctor carries. Most of us are in awe of doctors. Some of us puts them in a pedestal. Why? because they have the power, skills and knowledge that can alter someone’s life. But that is also the burden that they carry everyday. It is the same power that saves lives, the same power that ends one, and never intentional.

With this revelation, I loved how he explained his personal commitment to treat each patient as individuals, not just charts. He made it to a point to know the patient, understand his life, his mind, his values and his identity. Why? So he knows how just how important it is for him to do the right thing, the right diagnosis, the right treatment, etc. — ‘In taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes be crushed by its weight’. It’s beautiful.

  • It’s very easy to be number one. Find the guy who is number one and score one point higher than he does.
  • Books became my closest confidants, finely ground lenses providing new views of the world.
  • Brains give rise to our ability to form relationships and make life meaningful.
  • Direct experience of life and death questions was essential to generating substantial moral opinions about them.
  • How could I ever learn to make and live with such judgement calls? I still had a lot of practical medicine to learn, but wold knowledge alone be enough? with life and death hanging in the balance? Surely intelligence wasn’t enough. Moral clarity is needed as well.
  • Some days, this is how it felt when I was in the hospital: trapped in an endless jungle summer, wet with sweat, the rain of tears of families of the dying pouring down.
  • Drowning, even in blood, one adapts, learns to float, to swim, even to enjoy life, bonding with the nurses and doctors who are clinging to the same raft, caught in the same tide.
  • A spoonful at a time. Openness to human relationality does not mean revealing grand truths from the apse, it means meeting patient’s where they are in the narthex or nave, and bringing them as far as you can.
  • The cost of my dedication to succeed is high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible, in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.
  • Good intentions were not enough, not when so much depended on my skills, when the difference between tragedy and triumph was defined by one or two millimetres.
  • Death comes for all of us. Most lives are lived with passivity toward death – it’s something that happens to you and those around you.
  • Even if you are perfect, the world isn’t. The secret is to know that the deck is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgement will slip and yet still struggle to win for your patients. You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.
  • Severe illness wasn’t life-altering, it was life-shattering. It felt less like an epiphany – a piercing burst of light, illuminating what really matters – and more like someone had just firebombed the path forward. Now I would have to work around it.
  • The pain of knowing and not knowing the future, the difficulty in planning, the necessity of being there for each other.
  • If the weight of mortality does not grow lighter, does it at least get more familiar?
  •  The defining characteristic of the organism is striving.
  • The tricky part of illness is that, as you go through it, your values are constantly changing. You try to figure out what matters to you, and then you keep figuring it out. Death may be a one-time thing but living with a terminal illness is a process.
  • You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.

Overall, this book is a really good read. It’s scary and honest. 

Have you read this book? I really liked this one. Could you recommend a similar book? If you like this post, can you please like, comment and subscribe to my blog? ❤ I’ll appreciate it. Thank you! 

BOOK REVIEW : Like a Memory by Abby Glines


GOODREADS: One memory. One special summer. Bliss York didn’t live a normal teenage life. It had all been taken from her the fall that she was fifteen years old and she was given the diagnosis no one ever wants to hear. She had leukemia.Nate is taken back seven years to the girl he thought he’d love forever. The one who never answered his calls or returned his text. The one who shut him out completely with not even a goodbye and broke his heart. They’ve each become someone different. No longer the young teens with stars in their eyes. But does that matter when your heart still says that’s the one.

  • Her face could stop traffic and that was without any makeup. She was as natural as I remembered. Nothing fake about her. Her smile had once made everything perfect in my world.
  • You make being here worth it.
  • She was hard to ignore.
  • There was no easy relationships. Marriage was the hardest of them all.
  • Life wasn’t easy. Love wasn’t easy. Not the real thing anyway. The real thing hurt like hell and gave you the best moments of your life.
  • I want to experience how complicated and hard times feel knowing I’m facing them with you.
  • I wanted all this with her. The works. Every complicated beautiful moment of it.

I felt like the author couldn’t move on from what happened in the past. I mean, it’s supposed to be a stand alone, with a story to hold it together. I just felt that the whole book was exactly like the title, a memory. It focused more on what the characters had before. It wasn’t successful in building a momentum for the readers, like myself to feel their love for each other. It felt forced. Like, if the characters told each other I love you, it’s because they said it, not because that’s how I felt throughout the book. I don’t know if I’m making any sense.

Although, kudos to the twist. I saw the baby coming. But what caught me off guard was the reason behind what triggered Octavia to do such thing. And again, I want a best friend like Eli. ❤

BOOK REVIEW : SLAMMED by COLLEEN HOOVER


What is actually worse? Losing your dad and moving to another place, or losing your mom from a fight against cancer? There is no way you could choose right. But both happened to Layken. 

Layken lost her dad, having died of heart attack. They had to move because her family simply cannot afford to live there anymore. When they moved to Michigan, she met a boy and fell in love. Only to find out later, that he was his English Professor. As she tries to resist the brooding sexy professor, she also has to deal with the fact that her mother is terminally ill with Cancer. Will teaches her how to continue living and that poetry, expression through the use of words can simply be therapeutic.

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  1. You know a band has true talent when their imperfections define perfection.
  2. The slightest touch and simplest gestures have such an illicit effect on my senses
  3. The way these poets were able to lure you into a whole new world, viewing things from a vantage point you have never seen before.
  4. The door between us feels like barricade.
  5. But when he feelings are there, it can lift you up and take you anywhere.
  6. I wish I could find a way to let go of the hold he has on me.
  7. I’m not a fan of inconsistency.
  8. And exactly one million, fifty one thousand and two hundred minutes from now, I’m going to propose to you, and ask that you share all the rest of the rest the minutes of your life with me.
  9. I’ll paint you a world one day. A world where smiles don’t fade. A world where laughter is played in the background.
  10. It’s amazing how many tears one person can have.
  11. It was life. Life happens. Shit happens. And it happens a lot. To a lot of people.
  12. The only thing any of us have in common is the inevitable.
  13. You’ll never be ready for it, Lake. You never will. (Death)
  14. Push your boundaries, Lake. That’s what they’re there for.
  15. Everyone assumes they have at least one more day.
  16. She was so full of life. So full and enthralled with a life that tried so hard to knock her down,
  17. He kisses me like he’s making up for an entire month of stolen kisses.
  18. That’s impossible Mom. You don’t know how to do terrible.
  19. It broke my heart that you needed him more than you needed me. (Mom)
  20. Decide what to be and go be it.
  21. Put emphasis on life.
  22. Sometimes life gets in the way. It gets all up in your damn way.
  23. Don’t take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.
  24. Never judge others. Unexpected events can change a person. You never know what a person is experiencing in their own life.\
  25. Question everything.People make spontaneous decisions based off of their hearts all the time.
  26. His fingertips feel like electric pulses penetrating my skin.

Interesting things: ‘I would rather’ game.

Layken’s mother taught her that before engaging into any relationship, she must ask these three questions which I am sharing with you now: Does he treat you with respect at all times? If he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, wold you still want to marry him? Does he inspire you to want to be a better person?

Has anyone of you ever read For One More Day of Mitch Albom? I remember that one of his points there was, ”When you lose your parents, it’s like you’re alone. and you will have to go through every battle alone”.
And that is exactly how it is. For me, I mean. My Mom, my mom is my rock.

It just pains me how Layken was dragged down to the blackhole when his father died. But the death of her mother? It just pushed her down back to the shit under the blackhole or farther, even. I could never imagine my life without my parents. And that’s the truth. And I don’t ever want to.

But there are also happy parts in this sad little story. There was a love interest, just like any other novel. The twist? Student – teacher relationship. I also admire how Will values his role in his little brother’s life. I respect him for putting his brother as his first priority.

Overall, I liked the story. It’s a good read too.