Brittany Maynard, who has terminal brain cancer, became a face of a growing "death with dignity" movement after going public with her decision to end her life. The 29-year-old and her husband chose to move from California to Oregon because of the state's assisted suicide law, which allows terminally ill adults to take life-ending medication.
In an emotional video released via the advocacy group , Maynard reflects on her decision, and says her death may not come exactly on November 1 like she had planned. "So if November 2 comes along and I've passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I made," she says. "And if November 2 comes along and I'm still alive, I know that we'll just still be moving forward as a family, like, out of love for each other and that that decision will come later."
She says she feels herself getting sicker every week, but she may not feel bad enough to end her life yet. But she fears that she may wait too long, and the tumor would take away her ability to make decisions.
In a , Maynard wrote she finished her "bucket list" last week after visiting the Grand Canyon, but then suffered the worst seizure of her life the next day. Her seizures, she says in the video, make her unable to speak, and once even made her forget her husband's name. Maynard, who has gained weight from the medications she is taking, says it's hurtful to hear she doesn't look as sick as she says she is. "I'm not full of self-hate or loathing, it's just that my body has changed so quickly," she says. "You really kind of stop recognizing yourself in a way and that's really personal."
As her life comes to a close, Maynard is taking time to reflect on what she wants. "If all my dreams came true, I would somehow survive this, but I most likely won't," she tearfully says. But she wants her mother, who will lose her only child, to recover from this and not fall into depression. She also wants her husband to move on, meet someone else, and start a family. And overall, she wants all Americans to have access to a dignified death. "I want to see a world where everyone has access to death with dignity, as I have had," . "My journey is easier because of this choice."
This story originally appeared on .
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