The woman, who still has a lot of love and support from her family members and husband, insists she’s not suicidal, but wants to die peacefully.
(CNN) — Brittany Maynard says she hasn’t decided yet when she’ll end her life, but it’s a decision she’s still determined to make.
“I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time right now,” Maynard says in a video released to CNN on Wednesday. “But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”
*Watch the entire video above*
Maynard says she has stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of terminal brain cancer. In April, she says, doctors gave her six months to live.
The 29-year-old Oregon woman’s story spread rapidly on social media after she revealed her plans to take medication to end her life. A video explaining her choice has garnered more than 8.8 million views on YouTube. And she’s become a prominent spokeswoman for the “death with dignity” movement, which advocates that terminally ill patients be allowed to receive medication that will let them die on their own terms. She’s also become a lightning rod for criticism from people who oppose that approach.
In her latest statement, a nearly six-minute video produced and released by end-of-life choice advocacy group Compassion & Choices, Maynard acknowledges that some have been skeptical about her story.
“When people criticize me for not waiting longer, or, you know, whatever they’ve decided is best for me, it hurts,” she says, “because really, I risk it every day, every day that I wake up.”
Compassion & Choices spokesman Sean Crowley declined CNN’s request to speak with Maynard’s doctors, saying they “prefer to remain anonymous for now because opponents of death with dignity sometimes harass doctors who write aid-in-dying prescriptions.”
Maynard says her health has been getting worse. She describes a recent “terrifying” day when she had two seizures and found herself unable to say her husband’s name.
“I think sometimes people look at me and they think. ‘Well you don’t look as sick as you say you are,’ which hurts to hear, because when I’m having a seizure and I can’t speak afterwards, I certainly feel as sick as I am,” she says, her voice cracking as she tears up.
When she first started speaking out about her decision, Maynard said she planned to take the medication she’d been prescribed in early November. In her latest video, she says she’s still waiting to see how her symptoms progress before deciding on a date.
But taking too long to make that choice is now one of her greatest fears, Maynard says in the video.
“The worst thing that could happen to me is that I wait too long because I’m trying to seize each day,” she says, “but I somehow have my autonomy taken away from me by my disease because of the nature of my cancer.”
READ MORE: Fox8.com
Article Courtesy of CNN and WJW Fox 8 News
Picture Courtesy of Brittany Maynard, CNN and WJW Fox 8 News
Terminally Ill Woman Holds Off on Her Death Plans After Fulfilling Bucket List was originally published on wzakcleveland.com