“35 years may not seem long, but damn it was good!”

By Samantha Lauriello
Updated: April 18, 2019

After being diagnosed with a rare, incurable cancer, Bailey Jean Matheson decided to forgo chemotherapy and take what was left of her time on Earth into her own hands. That included writing her own obituary, which is now going viral. 

“35 years may not seem long, but damn it was good!” Matheson wrote. She went on to say how much she appreciated her parents supporting her decision not to go through chemo. "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.

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According to TODAY, Matheson, who lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer of the smooth muscle tissue, in January 2017. She had been experiencing stomach pain that doctors couldn't explain, and it wasn't until she found a lump in her abdomen that she was diagnosed. 

Doctors hoped to remove the tumor after a round of radiation, but the treatment failed to shrink it, and it was decided the surgery was too risky. Matheson could have tried chemo, but it likely wouldn't have saved her life, her doctors believed. She was ultimately given two years to live, and she decided to live them to the fullest. 

She traveled to 13 countries, including Ireland, England, Norway, Mexico, France, Morocco, Greece, and Spain. She also went to two live shows by her favorite band, Coldplay. 

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Matheson passed away on April 5. In her self-written obituary, she thanked her friends for being like the siblings she never had, as she was an only child. "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 also wrote about her boyfriend, Brent Andrews, who she met just three months before her cancer diagnosis on a dating app. "You had no idea what you were getting yourself into when you swiped right that day," she joked. "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."

Matheson's close friend, Julie Carrigan, said in an interview with TODAY, "She said, 'I don’t want it to sound like a normal, boring obituary. I want it to be a message to everybody I loved.'"

She closed her obituary with a piece of advice for all the loved ones, medical team members, and pets she left behind: “Don’t take the small stuff so seriously and live a little.” 

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