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Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life after Loss [NOOK Book]

Overview

A remarkably frank, deeply moving, and inspiring memoir by Jai Pausch, whose husband, Randy, wrote the bestseller The Last Lecture while battling pancreatic cancer.
 
"Jai is such a giver that she often forgets to take care of herself," Randy Pausch wrote about his wife. "Jai knows that she’ll have to give herself permission to make herself a priority."
     In Dream New ...
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Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life after Loss

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Overview

A remarkably frank, deeply moving, and inspiring memoir by Jai Pausch, whose husband, Randy, wrote the bestseller The Last Lecture while battling pancreatic cancer.
 
"Jai is such a giver that she often forgets to take care of herself," Randy Pausch wrote about his wife. "Jai knows that she’ll have to give herself permission to make herself a priority."
     In Dream New Dreams, Jai Pausch shares her own story for the first time: her emotional journey from wife and mother to full-time caregiver, shuttling between her three young children and Randy’s bedside as he sought treatment far from home; and then to widow and single parent, fighting to preserve a sense of stability for her family, while coping with her own grief and the challenges of running a household without a partner.
 Jai paints a vivid, honest portrait of a vital, challenging relationship between two strong people who faced a grim prognosis and the self-sacrificing decisions it often required. As she faced life without the husband she called her “magic man,” Jai learned to make herself a priority to create a new life of hope and happiness—as she puts it, to “feel a spark of my own magic beginning to flicker.”
     Dream New Dreams is a powerful story of grief, healing, and newfound independence. With advice artfully woven into an intimate, beautifully written narrative, Jai’s story will inspire not only the legions of readers who made The Last Lecture a bestseller, but also those who are embarking on a journey of loss and renewal themselves.
 
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A brave and beautiful book. Dream New Dreams grabbed my heart from the opening page and didn't let go until its uplifting end.  Jai Pausch is a stirring example of the power of life to triumph over any challenge. Bravo.”
--Bruce Feiler, bestselling author of Walking the Bible and The Council of Dads
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307888525
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 450,396
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

JAI PAUSCH became an impassioned advocate promoting pancreatic cancer research following the death of her husband. Previously, Jai led the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Web team as the director of electronic publications. She lives with her family in Virginia.
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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

1 Living the Dream 1

2 Shattered Dreams 12

3 Face the Problem 25

4 Shuttling Between My Husband and My Children 38

5 Help! I'm in Over My Head 58

6 The Toll of Caregiving 67

7 Cancer Blindsides Us Again 76

8 The Magic of the Last Lecture 85

9 Unique Challenges Caregivers Face 100

10 Decisions 122

11 Talking to Children About Cancer and Death 130

12 Grieving 140

13 The Year of Firsts 150

14 Untethering Our House from the Past 161

15 Single Parenting: My New Frontier 170

16 Taking Care of Me 180

17 Magic: Lost and Found 190

18 To Date or Not to Date 199

19 Giving Back: Pancreatic Cancer Advocate 208

20 Dreaming New Dreams 217

Resources 226

Acknowledgments 227

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Reading Group Guide

1. Which aspects of Jai’s story resonated with you the most? How did her observations compare to your own experiences with loss and grief?

2. With gratitude, Jai describes the support network of family and friends who helped her manage her family’s many day-to-day needs. What does her story tell us about the importance of community, and the humbling process of asking for help? Who are the strongest members of your support system?

3. One of the Pausches’ most difficult crossroads arose when Randy opted for treatment at Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center. This meant Jai had to become a long-distance mother, leaving her two sons and infant daughter in the care of others. (Were her struggles amplified by the fact that she is a woman?) Meredith: this was more about making a difficult choice between two compelling and competing sets of needs, and less because she was a woman. Can we recast?) Is there a difference between the way women and men experience the obligations of caregiving?

4. What does Jai’s story reveal about grief through the eyes of children? How did Dylan, Logan, and Chloe experience their father’s love and loss in unique, individual ways?

5. Jai describes her marriage as one that encouraged open lines of communication. How did she and Randy handle anger? What solutions did they come up with to resolve the loss of control they both felt after his diagnosis?

6. Randy was diagnosed with cancer j just three months after Jai gave birth to Chloe. What special struggles did this present for Jai, nurturing a new life while facing her husband’s mortality?

7. Jai mentions the fact that some might see Randy as too controlling in his approach to finances, his medical treatment, and her life as a widow. Yet she sees his detailed spreadsheets and instructions as signs of how worried he was about her well-being. What is the difference between concern and control? How did the Pausches adapt to the power struggles all married couples experience?

8. What was Dr. Reiss’s role in helping Jai find strength and clarity? Which people in your life have sustained you emotionally during difficult circumstances?

9. In the aftermath of Randy’s death, Jai experiences a range of sorrows and fears, but she also admits to finding new freedoms. How did she regain some of the magic   in her life? How was her healing enhanced when she became part of a network of caregivers and cancer-research advocates?

10. As Jai debates whether to date again (Dylan lobbies hard for a new dad) she struggles with the process. What do these scenes say about the experience of solitude versus partnership?  

11. Many of Jai's dreams for her family were never fulfilled, yet she has embraced  the future, traveling to Europe with her best friend, Tina and finding new love.  Discussing the book’s title, explore your own lifelong dreams and any new ones that replaced them.

12. Dream New Dreams inspires us to find hope, regardless of the challenges we face. What did Jai discover about moving forward after loss? What does she teach us about reimagining the future while cherishing the past?

13. Jai talks about the extra demands caregiving placed on her life and how her support network stepped up to help her and her family. What ways have you seen people in your life support a caregiver? What acts were well received and appreciated? Sometimes the best of intentions cause unintended harm. Have you witnessed or experienced situations were someone was trying to help, but ended up doing more harm than good hurt? 

14. Randy lived 23-months with pancreatic cancer---much longer than the majority of people with the disease.  As medical science finds ways to slow cancer's growth and patients battle diseases for longer periods of time, what are the implications for the loved ones who care for them and for our society in general?

15. Jai describes the process she went through to reinvent herself after becoming a widow with three small children. When have you had to make major life or career changes?  How did you decide which new direction to take with your life?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Every bit as honest and compelling as The Last Lecture, Jai Pausch tells her love story and journey as a caregiver of her late husband Randy Pausch. Her courage and love for her family are inspiring.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Good Yet Disappointing

    I anxiously awaited the arrival of Jai's book, as I wondered how the family was doing since Randy's passing. The book was good for an update; Jai seems to have lived a lifetime of travel and events in the past few years. It was also good to share what it is like to be a caregiver of someone with cancer for which there is no cure.

    I first learned of Randy Pausch when he was on Oprah with Dr Oz and on ABC news. I kept up with Randy's blog and was sad when he passed on July 25, 2008. He was so inspiring and I bought several of his books as gifts and told everyone I knew about him, the Last Lecture video and book. How ironic it was in 2010 when a family member of my own was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. I can only thank Randy in heaven for it was him that made my family aware of PANCAN, which ultimately gave my family excellent information that saved our family member's life - they are still alive 2.5 years after diagnosis.

    As far as disappointment, I personally believe some things should have been left between Jai and Randy and not published. A dead man really can't defend himself, can he?

    All in all it was an interesting read. Not the quality or inspiration of The Last Lecture, but rarely is a book like that written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    I loved Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, so I was looking forward to

    I loved Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, so I was looking forward to reading
    this one as well. Written by his wife this is the story of his diagnosis
    and death from her perspective as wife, mother, and caregiver. Jai
    Pausch comes across as a likeable, intelligent woman who, even before
    meeting Randy, went through a divorce and some tough times. Certainly
    she is no slouch. Because of Randy though she has financial means that
    most of us in her situation would not. She does not have to work
    full-time, although she is very busy with speaking engagements and is on
    the board for a pancreatic cancer institution. At times I felt myself
    getting frustrated with her complaints about how stretched she was when
    in fact, she had more resources than I would ever have in the same
    situation. That said, this is an excellent read and plenty of good insight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Worthwhile and insightful

    The author tells her family's story very well. Although there are many sad aspects to Jai's journey, for caregivers or for people who have someone suffering from pancreatic cancer, there is much to identify with in terms of compassion and the human experience.If you read The Last Lecture, it's so interesting to read about the perspectives of the patient/husband in contrast to the caregiver/wife.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    After seeing the you-tube video and reading the "The Last Lecture", as well as following Randy and Jai's journey, I had often wondered how the family was doing. Was so happy to see that Jai had written a book and pre-ordered it. It is a very well written and honest book about Jai's journey with Randy and her life since he has passed. Although parts of the book are obviously sad it is a great read and so nice to have caught up with how this family is doing.I am happy that Jai is Dreaming New Dreams!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Amazing!!!

    I would recommend this book to anyone who has been through something like this. It gives a real insight to what one person can go through when something such as this happens. It is not only hard for the person trying to survive the cancer. But it is also hard for their family.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    Dream New Dreams

    A very good book and touching• i
    I suggest that you either read The Last Lecture first or watch it on you two• A true story

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Cleanly written and a good book club book

    This was a good reference for many who grieve or have lost loved ones through cancer. The 'flow' of the book is written slightly sporadic and dragged out. It is interesting in reading of Jai Pausch's experience.
    Many people will be sure to benefit from it.
    Book clubs can feel safe in reading and discussing this book.
    I won this book and am appreciative of the opportunity to read and review it.
    Otherwise, I am sure I would never have purchased it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    A must read for caregivers, mothers, spouses of academics, and many others

    Wonderfully written, honest accounts of their last years together. I am hopeful that this will not be Jai's last book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2012

    I bought a copy for a friend who just lost her husband to prosta

    I bought a copy for a friend who just lost her husband to prostate cancer and a copy for myself to make sure I was sharing the right kind of reading for her. Jai shares a heart and soul experience which is informative to anyone who is the caretaker of someone with any kind of illness, not just cancer. She helps the caretaker understand that "It's not just me who feels this way". Others can learn much from the book to help understand what a caretaker lives through; sort of a 'walk a mile in my shoes'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    suggest reading

    Really agreat book with lots of information. I also took care of my husband with bone marrow cancer. Luckily he's been in remission for 3 1/2 years.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2012

    Have yet to read it

    Have yet to read it

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Excellent book

    What an insightful book. The book sends a renewal message for dealing with and overcoming great loss. Jai Pausch is a very courageous woman. Thank you.
    I

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2012

    For all survivors

    Losing a sibling to cancer isn't the same as losing a spouse, but I found a lot in here I could relate to. It's a great primer on losing, preparing to lose, or helping some one else who's lost someone, whether it be to cancer, stroke, car accident, etc.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

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    Posted May 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

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