This essay is a sincere and honest account by Bhumsuk Keam, a professor and an 18-year oncology specialist at Seoul National University Hospital, of his encounters with cancer patients and people around them.
- Book Intro
Patients' last records, as made by an oncologist at Seoul National University Hospital
Our decisions reflect our attitude toward life and death.
This essay is a sincere and honest recount by Bhumsuk Keam, a professor and an 18-year oncology specialist at Seoul National University Hospital, of his encounters with cancer patients and people around them.
He witnessed the different ways patients battling cancer choose to spend their remaining time. Some calmly sort out their lives and find happiness in small things; others stubbornly try to delay death time after time, and some overcome cancer and adopt a completely different view of life. The same goes for the families of cancer patients. A son who respects his father's wish to donate his own brain after his death; a brother and sister who can't let go of their mother even when she is unconscious and suffering from broken ribs after CPR; the daughter who ignores her abusive father; and the man who chooses to marry even though he knows his fiancée has cancer. Looking back on the decisions of the patients, carers, and medical staff, the author asks himself, "Were our best choice we claimed really the best?" The author says he learned a lot by watching the last moments of patients and their families, and reflecting on his own attitude toward life and death. These accounts were written during his spare time in order to keep a record of the life lessons he learned so that he would not forget. Parts 1 and 2 of the book feature stories of patients the author met as they deal with scheduled deaths and, for their family, the rest of their lives. Parts 3 and 4 provide a glimpse of the concerns and thoughts of being a doctor who treats cancer patients.
These stories reflect our lives. The attitude of life and death they show asks us the same question: How do you prepare for an inevitable death? How should you live the rest of your life?"
- About the Author
The author is an oncology specialist at Seoul National University Cancer Hospital. After graduating from Seoul National University's medical school, he majored in internal medicine at Seoul National University Hospital and completed his transfer course at Seoul National University Hospital's Hemato-Oncology Department. He is currently a clinical professor of hematology at Seoul National University Hospital and is a member of several institutions, including the American Society of Clinical Cancer, the European Society of Oncology, and the Korean Society of Cancer Therapy. He received the 3rd Boryeong Doctor Essay Award and became an essayist through "Essay Literature". The books include "The Backstory of Chemotherapy," "What Is Chemotherapy?" and "The Wise Hospital Life of Cancer Patients."
- Bestseller Rank
No. 23 on Kyobo Best-seller List for February 2021