A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope

A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope

Tom Brokaw

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0812982088

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR • From Tom Brokaw, the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, comes a powerful memoir of a year of dramatic change—a year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life.

Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as bestselling author. But in the summer of 2013, when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news: He had multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that star has a dimmer switch.”

Brokaw takes us through all the seasons and stages of this surprising year, the emotions, discoveries, setbacks, and struggles—times of denial, acceptance, turning points, and courage. After his diagnosis, Brokaw began to keep a journal, approaching this new stage of his life in a familiar role: as a journalist, determined to learn as much as he could about his condition, to report the story, and help others facing similar battles. That journal became the basis of this wonderfully written memoir, the story of a man coming to terms with his own mortality, contemplating what means the most to him now, and reflecting on what has meant the most to him throughout his life.

Brokaw also pauses to look back on some of the important moments in his career: memories of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the morning of September 11, 2001, in New York City, and more. Through it all, Brokaw writes in the warm, intimate, natural voice of one of America’s most beloved journalists, giving us Brokaw on Brokaw, and bringing us with him as he navigates pain, procedures, drug regimens, and physical rehabilitation. Brokaw also writes about the importance of patients taking an active role in their own treatment, and of the vital role of caretakers and coordinated care.

Generous, informative, and deeply human, A Lucky Life Interrupted offers a message of understanding and empowerment, resolve and reality, hope for the future and gratitude for a well-lived life.

Praise for A Lucky Life Interrupted

“It’s impossible not to be inspired by Brokaw’s story, and his willingness to share it.”Los Angeles Times

“A powerful memoir of battling cancer and facing mortality . . . Through the prism of his own illness, Brokaw looks at the larger picture of aging in America.”Booklist (starred review)

“Moving, informative and deeply personal.”—The Daily Beast

“The former NBC News anchor has applied the fact-finding skills and straightforward candor that were his stock in trade during his reporting days to A Lucky Life Interrupted.”USA Today

“Brokaw doesn’t paste a smiley face on his story. Again and again, the book returns to stories of loss but also of grace, luck and the beauty of having another swing at bat.”The Washington Post

“Engaging . . . [with] the kind of insight that is typical of Mr. Brokaw’s approach to life and now to illness.”The Wall Street Journal

“Powerful and courageous . . . [Brokaw] looks ahead to the future with hope.”Bookreporter

“Wryly good-natured . . . a wise and oddly comforting look at the toughest news of all.”Kirkus Reviews

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for presidential briefings, broadcasting from Desert Storm and Belgrade, Manila and Beijing, Moscow and Prague. So when the news began to leak in April 2005 that Peter might have lung cancer it seemed surreal. Peter? A very heavy smoker once but not for a while. Peter, who liked to call you “lad” and host evenings at Carnegie Hall, seemed somehow above lung cancer. Less than four months later he was gone. I still have a hard time processing the swiftness and violence with which his cancer

other side. On my feet I grabbed the cane and counted five steps to a nearby dresser and then ten more to the bathroom door. Every move had a choreography and a destination. When it seemed more than Meredith could handle, one night our son-in-law Charles came over and slept on the living room sofa as a voluntary attendant. We’re close to his parents so it was not surprising the next morning when his mother called to make sure Charles, an accomplished lawyer and wonderful father in his late

Krakauer, who first raised the issues, saying they probably saved his life because he was forced to concentrate on his health, including a serious cardiac condition. Greg, the son of Lutheran missionaries, was the classic victim of that ancient Greek disease hubris. He now recognizes that and wants only to return to building schools and educating young Afghan women, leaving the foundation and fund-raising in the hands of others. He was grateful for the direct questions and the opportunity to

beloved home of my late colleague Tim Russert, the legendary Meet the Press host and Buffalo’s leading cheerleader. When I mentioned that he said, “Oh, I know. The two worst things for Buffalo were losing Tim and wide right in ninety-one,” the year the bad-luck Buffalo Bills lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants on a missed field goal from twenty-nine yards out with just eight seconds left in the game. Dr. Majka and I developed a bond from that moment on, also sharing a passion for pheasant

we have the time and the eye for appreciating their physical, intellectual, and personality changes. I don’t want to give up my front-row seat for one of life’s most rewarding experiences, the coming of age of Claire and Meredith, Vivian and Charlotte, and their prince, Archer. In the meantime, Meredith: How do I break the news to her? We have been married for fifty-one years. I don’t want to tell her on the telephone. I’ll have to live with this for forty-eight hours and then deal with it when

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