Winded: A Memoir in Four Stages (Paperback)
When Dawn Newton, an adjunct professor and mother of three, gets a terminal lung cancer diagnosis, the path forward appears rutted. The Great Recession has left her exhausted and juggling multiple jobs. Then she learns of her cancer's mutation. She can take a pill each day to live longer.
Fifteen months into survival, she feels overwhelmed by the effort of staying alive. She longs to embrace moments and display gratitude yet can't find words to articulate her needs. Regardless of any control she exerts over her body's frailties, her emotional life asserts its own disruptive trajectory. Even as she labors to anchor herself to the love of family, she faces a blasphemous question: "If no cure is available, and death lurks around the next corner, is more time really worth it?"
In Winded, Newton describes life with terminal disease, exploring dark crevices of the psyche as she tries to assess the value of a life. The final lessons she imparts to her family may not be about resilience but about illuminating vulnerability and embracing the imperfect.