Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 15: Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Lung cancer advocate and former caregiver. “Lung cancer happened to Paul, but it’s something we did together.”

PROFILES IN LUNG CANCER
Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2015

 

Day 15: Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Lung cancer advocate and former caregiver
“Lung cancer happened to Paul, but it’s something we did together.”
Twitter handle:@rocketgirlmd

Who are you?

I am Paul Kalanithi’s widow, I’m a doctor, and I’m Cady’s mom. 

My husband was Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and writer who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2013 and who passed away this year at age 37. Paul and I met and married in medical school at Yale and moved to California together 8 years ago to start our residencies. When he was diagnosed, our top priority (apart from the best medical care) was to clarify what was truly important to us and help him seek meaningful time. That included going back to work and, for him, writing (including the essay “How Long Have I Got Left?” in the NYT and working on a memoir). We’d always thought we’d have a child together at the end of residency and when he got sick, it was about that time. We decided we were still going to do it, despite Paul’s illness. So, I am also Cady’s mom! [Cady was born in 2014, 14 months after Paul was diagnosed with lung cancer, and 8 months before Paul passed away.] She brought us incredible joy.
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2 comments:

Maizie said...

I read this yesterday and I encourage everyone to read Paul Kalinithi's essays on his website. Beautiful.

Thanks for posting this.

Tori Tomalia said...

I agree, Paul's writing is incredibly moving.