Brittany Maynard, the woman who has chosen Nov. 1 as the day she will die, recently spoke to People and wrote a blog post expressing appreciation for the support she has received over the past few weeks.
After her wedding in 2013, the 29-year-old began experiencing debilitating headaches.
While vacationing with her husband in January, Brittany was diagnosed with grade II Astrocytoma, a severe brain tumor.
After the diagnosis, doctors said her cancer had progressed to Glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of brain cancer. The average life expectancy is only 14 months.
When doctors told Brittany her death would likely be slow and painful as the tumor continued to grow, she opted to choose her own ending.
On November 1 — only two days after her husband’s birthday — surrounded by her husband, mother and best friend, Brittany will end her life using medication prescribed by her doctor.
She recently told People she will pull apart 100 capsules of the sedative secobarbital, dissolve them in water, and drink it.
“I don’t want to die but I am dying,” Maynard tells PEOPLE in a new interview. “My [cancer] is going to kill me, and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. So to be able to die with my family with me, to have control over my own mind, which I would stand to lose – to go with dignity is less terrifying.”
Maynard will not speak again publicly as she “heads into her final weeks,” her representative said on Monday. She also posted an update on her blog earlier this month:
“The response from you all has surpassed our wildest expectations. On behalf of my family, thank you for the outpouring of love and support.
This journey has been challenging, to say the least. We’ve uprooted our lives. I take prescription drugs to reduce the swelling in my brain, that have caused my entire body to swell instead. Dan and I have given up our dreams of having a family. My mother is soon to lose her only child. We can all agree that no parent should bury their child.
I didn’t launch this campaign because I wanted attention; in fact, it’s hard for me to process it all. I did this because 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.
I am so lucky to have known the love of an amazing husband (my husband Dan is a hero), a loving, caring mother, and an incredible group of friends and extended family. As my time draws closer, I hope you will all take up my request to carry on this work, and support them as they carry on my legacy. I’m so grateful to you all.”