During our last session with our Neurology Preceptor, Dr. Alfredo Tan, he mentioned a book titled When Breath Becomes Air. He said it was written by Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon – just like himself – who was diagnosed to have Lung Cancer and in that book he narrated how he went through it as a doctor and as a patient.
“It was a good read on finding the meaning of life,” he said.
Since then, whenever I drop by in bookstores, I would ask if there’s an available copy of this book. But I always end up empty-handed. Until one time, maybe a few days before clerkship, I saw it displayed along the pile of books at NBS Robinson’s Manila. I remember how short I was with my money, but since I don’t want to let the chance slip by, I decided to grab a copy then and there. I counted my cash, hoping it would somehow amount to 500php
(Gladly, it did! It was at 495php btw) until what was left of me were some coins enough to get to my place.
I initially planned to read it before clerkship starts, hoping it would give me a new perspective on medicine. But the clerkship preparation demanded quite a lot of time and I didn’t get to read it right away.
“I’ll just read it once I have the time”, I said.