WATCH ABOVE: 29-year-old Brittany Maynard who suffers from a terminal brain cancer made headlines around the world when she announced in a video that she would be ending her own life on Nov. 1st. In a new video posted on Wednesday, the cancer patient said she hasn’t decided when she would end her life.
TORONTO – A terminally-ill 29-year-old U.S. woman who said she had plans to end her life Nov. 1 may delay her decision to die on that date.
In an emotional video released Wednesday, Brittany Maynard said she hasn’t decided when she’ll end her life but knows it’s a decision she is determined to make before she becomes too ill.
“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 now,” said Maynard in the six-minute clip. “But it will come because I see myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”
Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January and was told by doctors she had six months or less to live in April. Her story quickly spread on social media earlier this month after she revealed her plans to take medication to end her life.
READ MORE: Woman with brain cancer plans to end her life November 1
“When people criticize me for not waiting longer or whatever they have decided is best for me, it hurts because I risk it every day that I wake up,” said Maynard in the video. “And if November 2nd 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.”
The video, which was released by end-of-life choice advocacy group Compassion & Choices, was reportedly recorded Oct. 13 and 14 at Maynard’s home in Portland, Oregon.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Maynard made the decision to move with her family from California to Oregon to access the state’s Death with Dignity Act. The law gives Maynard the option to take life-ending medication if her dying process becomes unbearably painful, so she can pass away “gently and peacefully at home in the arms of her loves ones.”
‘It’s not my job to tell her how to live…or how to die’
Maynard, who married her husband Dan Diaz in 2013, said the most terrifying aspect of her disease occurred about a week ago when she had two seizures in a day.
“I remember looking at my husband’s face at one point and going, ‘I know this is my husband but I cannot say his name,” she said.
WATCH: In her original clip, Brittany Maynard explains her choice to end her life
Maynard said if all her dreams were to come true she would “somehow survive this” and that it pains her that she and her husband had to give up their dream of having a family.
“My husband is such a lovely man,” she said. “I want him to be happy and to have a family…There’s no part of me that wants to live the rest of his life just missing his wife. So I hope he moves on and becomes a father.”
Maynard said that having been an only child for her mother, she hopes she “recovers from this.”
“It’s not my job to tell her how to live and it’s not my job to tell her how to die,” said Maynard’s mom, Debbie Ziegler. “It’s my job to love her through it.”
‘You don’t look as sick as you say you are’
In the video, Maynard addressed the “dramatic change” in her appearance and said in the past three months she has gained over 25 pounds due to prescription medication. She said she hates being photographed and “doesn’t like being filmed and looking at myself in the mirror.”
READ MORE: Majority of Canadians support assisted dying
“I am not full of hate or loathing, it’s just my body has changed so quickly that I stopped recognizing myself in a way and that’s very personal,” she said. “I think sometimes people look at me and say, ‘Well you don’t look as sick as you say that you are,’ which hurts to hear because when I am having a seizure and cannot speak afterwards, I certainly feel as sick as I am.”
Maynard said she chose to share her story in hopes that all Americans are given the option to “die with dignity.”
“I didn’t launch this campaign because I wanted attention,” said Maynard in a recent blog post. “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.”
– with a file from Adam Frisk, Global News