“That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious, unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” Holly Butcher wrote in an emotional post on Facebook.
Butcher, 27, lost her battle with cancer this week. Her words are drawing attention on social media, garnering more than 8,000 shares, 11,000 likes, and 2,000 comments.
Butcher, from Brisbane, Australia, covers a range of life topics in her letter, including coming to grips with her mortality. She talks about wanting to start a family, grow old, and enjoy life. “I want that so bad it hurts,” she wrote.
Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises.
Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best.
Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.
Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?
Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not.
Work to live, don’t live to work.
Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.
Eat the cake. Zero guilt.
Say no to things you really don’t want to do.
Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay.
Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.
The core message of her post is to not worry about material things or dwell on looks. “I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it,” she wrote, “and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.”
That extends to all facets of life, says Butcher, whether it be how much money you have in the bank or what kind of work you do. “I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise — Be grateful you are physically able to,” she wrote. “Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.”
Butcher was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, an extremely rare form of cancer. The disease typically affects the leg bones and pelvis. The incidence of a diagnosis is one out of a million cases in the U.S. each year. Children diagnosed with the disease typically have a higher survival rate. Those who are older, like Butcher, stand only about a 50 percent chance of a longer life.
In her parting lines, Butcher asks that anyone reading consider donating blood. “If you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood,” she wrote. “It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.”
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