Anita's story

My name is Anita Brown, I am 46 years old and I live with my husband in Hampshire.

On April 1st 2016 I was told I had a bladder tumour.

Not only was it cancer, it was a neuroendocrine small-cell tumour.

Rare, fast-growing and aggressive.

By the time it was found it was already in my lymph nodes, liver and bones. I have never been so scared in my life.

My prognosis was bad…terminal. Who knew if I would live to see Christmas 2016? Without chemo I was told I probably had two months left to live.

I cannot begin to tell you how it felt having to look death in the face.

Having to face up to the fact that I won’t make old age. All my hopes and dreams shattered in an instant. Emotional? You bet it was. How do you cope with a terminal diagnosis?

I was 45, I wasn't meant to be thinking of death yet.

My family were devastated, I was devastated. How do you tell your 23-year-old son that you won’t be here for his wedding, you won’t meet your grandchildren.  And that he will have to grow older by himself. 

No Mum to look out for him and help him make the right decisions in life. No more “muma hugs”.

As a home carer I had seen clients with cancer. I had cared for them in the days and weeks leading up to their deaths.

I’d seen what cancer can do. How it can leave people bed-ridden.

The day would come when they would have a syringe driver fitted. Enabling constant pain relief and signifying that their journey was nearly over.

I don’t know how they coped. I don’t know how I would cope.

Then the days would come where we weren’t needed so much. They would be ‘sleeping’. I now know that sedatives would be given to ease their anxiety over death.

This terrifies me.

I don’t want to be sedated. I don’t want to have to leave earth like that.

Why don’t we have a choice over our deaths?

Why can’t we be in control of our deaths?

If we are going to die a horrible, painful death, why don’t we have the RIGHT to make our passing easy for our sake, and for our families?

We’re building the world’s biggest record of support for legalising assisted dying.

Have you been affected by this issue?

Anita decided to share her experience because she believes the law should change.

We know there are many more stories like hers.

If you want to come forward and speak out, please let us know using the form below. We know stories are very personal, so rest assured that we will not publicise anything until we have spoken to you.

Dignity in Dying website