Presenting the long-awaited, yet-to-be-tested Being Cancer Book Club. Our first month’s selection is “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. The book is based on a lecture given at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh where he was a professor of computer science. Randy had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, had ‘failed’ treatment and was given just a few months to live. The book is a series of reflections that are focused more on how to live than on how to die.
I thought that we would divide our book selections into four parts. On each Monday I will write a post on the previous week’s reading. Readers can then offer “Comments” on the readings also.
You can order a copy of the book from Amazon by using the link on this page or on the “Book Club” page. A recorded CD version of the book is available there also.
Reading Assignment – Part I entitled “The Last Lecture” and Part II entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” . Approximately 50+ pages.
Discussion Questions – Initially Randy’s wife is opposed to his spending time on this speaking/writing project. How did you identify with this conflict between the needs of the sick person versus the needs of loved ones? To what extent do you think this conflict reflected gender orientations? How do you deal with self-fulfillment issues when you have a deadly disease?
“Kids – more than anything else – need to know their parents love them. Their parents don’t have to be alive for that to happen.” How does this theme resonate for you in dealing with illness and family? He worries that his young children will not remember him. What thoughts have you had about the legacy of memory that you might leave your children or grandchildren?
Randy tells about how he was raised as a child. How did your own upbringing impact on how you handled your diagnosis and subsequent struggle with disease and treatment?
The second section deals with how Randy strove to achieve childhood dreams. How has that worked out for you? How did cancer affect your pursuit of your dreams?
Finally how does this book club format work for you? Any suggestions for improvement? for future books?
I look forward to your comments next Monday