The Death Letter Project
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Ann Truscott | Sales Assistant / Home Duties

I have lived with terminal cancer for five years. The original cancer was in my breast, after a ten year remission it reappeared in my bones, the past year in my brain. You cannot cure stage four cancer, you can hope to buy more time and thanks to five years of constant chemotherapy I have. My oncologist later confided in me that she didn’t expect me to survive six months. 

Strangely enough, as someone who lives with death as a reality rather than an abstract I haven't given it much thought. If I allow a tiny tendril of my brain to go there I quickly pull it back, plenty of time to think about that later…but what if there’s not…no, it will keep…my head is well and truly buried in the sand and it’s happy there.

I want to know what happens next in my family and friends lives and I hate the thought that I won't...I hate missing out.

I have always acknowledged the fact that one out of one people die but this is not fair, it’s simply just not fair. I know I need to make plans, I need to leave instructions and wishes to make it easier for my family. Cremation or burial, neither are appealing, a third choice? 

Cancer wasn't in my script, life is a crap shoot and I got crapped on. Death has become a taboo subject, we tiptoe around it. I envy the openness of my grandparent’s day although I don't think I would want to be laid out in the front room.

Am I angry? Absolutely, but if you ever met me you would never know it...must keep smiling, I would hate to upset anyone...that's the way I roll xxx

Editor's note: On Thursday 23 November 2017,  Ann passed away, surrounded by her beloved family. Ann's letter was one of the first received for this project, written in February 2015. I'm absolutely honoured to have had the pleasure of meeting Ann, and to have had her contribute to this project. Sending love and blessings to Ann's cherished family and friends - including her two beloved Staffies and chickens XX

The Death Letter Project welcomes your comments and feedback. Please feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page or alternatively submit a message below.

  • Beautiful and courageous. - Dorothea Ratcliffe (Facebook)
  • Dear Ann, thinking of you and Tony with such fun happy memories, lots of love to you all ❤️❤️❤️👸🏼🐶 - Sue Faughlin (Facebook)
  • ❤❤❤❤ thinking of you Ann. - Bernie Osborne (Facebook)
  • You are divine - Jo Anderson (Facebook)
  • Love and light to you Ann Truscott xxxx - Cheri Elder Sims (Facebook)
  • My friend , I think about you almost daily and I send love across the ocean and land between us. I imagine my love as a rolling stone gathering speed and mass as it goes. Love you. - Brenda Cantar (Facebook)
  • Thank you Ann for sharing Thanks Tina. - Susan Marie (Facebook)
  • So courageous Ann.... wishing you love and strength. XX - Michelle O'Connor (Facebook)
  • Ann what a beautiful letter the more we discuss the more we have! My darling husband succumbed to his terminal cancer after he died I found in his diary the comment after his death sentence the specialist gave him had come and gone he had written 'beat you you bastards!' - De Arne (Facebook)
  • Beautiful, raw words and delightful hand-writing. - Rachel Boyce (Facebook)
  • Ann, There isn't a day I don't think of you .....we were diagnosed the first time almost 17yrs ago. You are strength, grace, humor, beauty all in one my friend. - Polly Krinsky (Facebook)