Book Review: Dream New Dreams by Jai Pausch

I recently read Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss by Jai Paush. This memoir recounts the experiences of a caregiver while her young husband struggles through and eventually dies from pancreatic cancer. Adding to the story is that her deceased husband (Randy Pausch) is the best selling author of The Last Lecture, a memoir written prior to his death encouraging readers to live their dreams. Jai provides a very frank and honest look at the struggles of a cancer patient’s caregiver both throughout treatment and after their death. Throughout the book, Jai shares the lessons she learned throughout her young family’s ordeal.

As I read this book, I traveled back to my own father’s struggle with cancer and was able to relate to many experiences Jai shared. As she shared from her heart the experiences she was dealing with–supporting her husband physically and emotionally, balancing care for her husband and care for her young children, trying to care for herself–I came to realize how stressful life becomes for the primary caregiver. In my family’s case, the primary caregiver was my mother as all my siblings were grown and out of the house. I recalled many similar feelings and experiences expressed by my mom.

In the end, Jai talks about how she was able to work through her grief after Randy’s death and begin to dream new dreams for her new life. She states:

Starting over is something we all do at various times throughout our lives for many different reasons…I’m also beginning a new phase of my life and choosing not to be trapped by my past. I need to reinvent myself, adapt to the new circumstances I find myself in, and most important, grow. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned has been to dream new dreams.

I would recommend this book. I found it to be an encouraging tale as a family member of cancer patient. I wish I had read it early in my father’s struggle with cancer, I would have found ways to better help my mother who served as the primary caregiver. Jai’s message is powerful and uplifting.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book give-away. I was not required to write a review, let alone a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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