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患癌脑外科医生著书:让人生有意义
Cancer-struck neurosurgeon taught us how to face mortality

 
死亡是生命的一部分,包括人类在内的所有生物都终有一死,但人的生命却据有其独特的意义与目的。那些一直在追寻人生意义,已圆满地完成人生之目标,并对其人生终结进行过全面认真思考的人可以坦然面对自己的死亡,为生命画上尊严而完美的句号。

All organisms – including human beings— die, and death is a part of life. But human life has meaning and purpose. Those who have been pursuing the meaning of life, who have done what they came to do in life, and who have seriously considered the prospect of your own death, can calmly face their mortality and embrace death with dignity and integrity. 

 
年仅37岁死于肺癌的年轻作家、脑神经外科医生Paul Kalanithi终其一生都在追寻人生的意义。他那极其勇敢,深刻而精彩的人生令人许多人深受感动,鼓舞。他去世后所出版的回忆录《当呼吸化为空气》激励人们探索自己的人生意义,追寻更有意义的生活目标。

Paul Kalanithi, a young writer and neurosurgeon who died of lung cancer at 37, embarked on a lifelong journey to pursue the meaning of life. With an unthinkable courage, his profoundly beautiful life has deeply touched so many people. His memoir “When breath becomes air” published posthumously has inspired us to explore the meaning of our own life and pursue a meaningful purpose. 


Kalanithi的一生虽然短暂,但他在短短一生中所取得的成就是很多常人都无所及的。他拥有多个名校学历,包括斯坦福大学的英语文学学位、剑桥大学的哲学硕士学位以及耶鲁大学的医学博士学位。除了在斯坦福医院担任脑神经外科首席住院医师,Kalanithi还是一位优秀的作家,在被确诊罹患肺癌后,他以生动感人的笔触描述了与死神同行的人生旅程。

Kalanithi has achieved much more in his short life than most people do in twice of that time. He has earned a slew of prestigious degrees – from English literature at Stanford to an MPhil at Cambridge to Medicine at Yale. Apart from being a chief residence in neurological surgery at Stanford Hospital, he was also a great writer, who wrote eloquently and movingly about facing mortality after being diagnosed with lung cancer. 


Kalanithi在其36岁时进入住院医最后一年的住院培训期。由于其成就卓越,许多单位纷纷向他抛出橄榄枝并许以高职高薪,其中包括斯坦福大学教授首席人选,临床诊所主任,终身制教授以及六倍以上年薪等。但是IV期肺癌的诊断书却让所有这些机会都化为泡影,而Kalanithi花费近10年心血打造的医学职业生涯也随之崩溃。

Kalanithi entered the last year of residence training at the age of 36. With dazzling achievements, he had reached the mountaintop where the promise land emerged: a top candidate for professorship at Stanford, head of clinical service, tenure track professorship, and a six-fold increase in salary. But the diagnoses of stage IV lung cancer have taken every opportunity away and crashed his medical career that he had built for almost a decade.


Kalanithi获悉其诊断结果的方式与众不同,颇让人心酸。作为一名脑外科医生,他曾经审查过大量显示癌细胞已广泛扩散并被认为已手术无效的断层扫描报告,但是这一次现实在他面前的被确诊罹患晚期IV期肺癌的扫描报告对他来说却更具悲剧意义及恐怖色彩,因为这一报告并非来自他的某一患者,而是来自他本人。在审查这些扫描报告时,他身着病号服,而不是医生的白大褂。

The diagnoses came to Kalanithi in a unique and dramatic way. As a neurosurgeon, he had examined scores of scans indicating widely disseminated cancer that rarely a procedure was deemed useful. But the images of the scan in front of him that led to the diagnosis of terminal stage IV cancer could be far more terrifying and devastating to him, as he was flipping through them in a patient gown, instead of a doctor’s scrubs. These images were not from any of his patients but from himself. 


每个人的生命旅程都不尽相同,但是所有旅程都将迈向同一个终点——死亡。尽管医学不断发展进步,但被确诊为癌症绝症仍无异于被判死刑,没有人能逃脱这一病魔的吞噬。绝症诊断书可能也会让我们所有人对自己未来的命运心生担忧。如果我被确诊患癌并接受死刑审判该怎么办?我该如何面对这黑暗恐怖的现实,坚持走完自己的余生?

Every human life’s journey is different but all journeys have one thing in common – our mortality. Despite the advances in medical science, diagnosis of terminal cancer is still a death sentence, and the terrible disease spares no one. Each diagnosis may make us all to commiserate our own eternity. What if I am diagnosed with cancer and handed down that sentence? How should I live my remaining life and cope with this dark, terrifying reality?


在被确诊患癌后,Kalanithi坚持完成了住院医培训,并坚持不懈地记载了自己在从医生到患者,从生到死的人生转换历程中与死神同行的经历。他用乐观态度面对人生悲剧。在他被确诊患癌后,他和妻子还作出了一个勇敢而又艰难的决定,生了一个可爱的女儿。当时Kalanithi的妻子曾问他,“有了孩子会不会让你在离开尘世时更加痛苦?”而他则回答称,“这难道不是让人生更为精彩吗?人生并不是为了逃避痛苦,而是要活得有意义,有追求。”

After his diagnosis, Kalanithi continued his medical training, and wrote relentlessly about his experience of facing death as he traversed a journey of transition -- from a doctor to a patient and from life to death. He coped with the tragedy in the joy of philosophy. He became the father to a baby girl – a brave and a tough decision he made with his wife after his diagnosis. “Would having a child make it more painful when you leave this world?” his wife asked. “Wouldn’t be that amazing?” he answered. “Life is not about avoiding pain, but about living it with a meaning and purpose.”


Kalanithi短暂而精彩的一生以及其所著书作让人们深受触动,并激励我们所有人追寻人生的真谛。在他与死神对抗——感悟死亡,与死亡搏斗直至坦然接受死亡的过程中,他也在努力帮助我们所有人了解死亡,认识死亡,并学会以高尚而有意义的方式去面对无可避免的死亡。

Kalanithi’s amazing short life and his book has profoundly impacted people and inspired us all to seek the ultimate truth about life.  As he confronted death – examined it, wrestled with it and accepted it, he was trying to help all of us understand it and face the inevitable – in a virtuous and meaningful way.
 
 
 
 

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