The rare form of cancer did not stop her from living her life to the fullest in the limited amount of time she was given. She chose to forego chemotherapy and live her life naturally until she could.
We go through life thinking that it is long and we have all the time in the world to do everything we want to do. When someone asks us about travel plans or about writing a book, we say "tomorrow," assuming that there is all the time in the world to do all that we want. However, we never know when life will hit us and those days and opportunities will be taken away from us. If that happens, it is important to keep hope and have the best time possible. And a 35-year-old woman, who recently passed away because of a rare form of cancer, did just that.
Bailey Jean Matheson of Canada passed away on April 5 after being diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma in 2017. This form of cancer affects smooth muscle tissue and the general treatment plan would have included chemotherapy. However, Bailey did not want to live the rest of her life like this. Instead, she lived the rest of her life the way she believed it should be. She was given a year to live after the diagnosis, according to CTV News.
She wrote her own obituary, which was published in the Chronicle Herald. "Thirty-five years may not seem long, but damn it was good!" she wrote, before adding, "Don't take the small stuff so seriously and live a little."
The single child thanked her parents Wendy Foxwell and Sandy John Alexander Matheson and her boyfriend Brent Andrews and his family. She also thanked her pets, friends and extended family.
She thanked her parents for supporting her decisions throughout her life. "I always remember my mom saying losing a child would be the hardest loss a parent could go through. My parents gave me the greatest gift of supporting my decisions with not going through chemo and just letting me live the rest of my life the way I believed it should be. I know how hard that must have been watching me stop treatment and letting nature take its course. I love you both even more for this," she wrote. Her obituary is reminiscent of the book and film by the same name P.S. I Love You, where a man, who died of cancer, had written and sent letters to his wife before he passed away to help her cope.
This obit too is a sweet note to all those who mattered to this woman and hopefully will lift their spirits for having known someone as positive as her.
"To my friends, being an only child I've always cherished my friendships more than anything because I've never had siblings of my own. I never thought I could love my friends more than I did but going through this and having your unconditional love and support you have made something that is normally so hard, more bearable and peaceful," she added.
She met her boyfriend on a dating app only a few months before the diagnosis and she thanked him for being there despite it.
"To my Brent, you came into my life just three months before my diagnosis. You had no idea what you were getting yourself into when you swiped right that day. I couldn't have asked for a better man to be by my side for all the adventures, appointments, laughs, cries and breakdowns. You are an amazing person and anyone in your life is so fortunate to know you. I love you beyond words," she told him.
She ran her own beauty business and her friends said that she was full of life. She took a trip to Chicago with 13 of her friends in October 2017 after the diagnosis where they got the same heart-shaped tattoo that she had drawn. She also made sure to travel as much as possible to tick things off her bucket list.
“She was full of life,” her friend Julie Carrigan told CTVNews. “She was the most caring, giving person. Everyone that met her fell in love with her. She always put everybody before herself.”
“She made it so that we could talk to her about the cancer and that there would be a time she wouldn’t be here,” Carrigan added.
The woman didn't want her friends and family to worry about planning and paying for a memorial, celebration of life in July, including choosing the type of urn.
She truly wanted to live a good life and signed off her obit with advice that is applicable for everyone - "Don't take the small stuff so seriously and live a little."