The 45-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and given three to five years to live. She spent two years going through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, as well as other treatments.
Unfortunately, doctors told her there isn’t much they can do to treat the cancer. They gave her a year or so to live.
In the face that terrible news, Hanna is focused on ending her life on her own terms.
“The last thing in the world I want to do is die, but it’s going to happen,” she told People. “This should be my decision and my decision only.”
If it should come to that, Hanna plans to “empty a prescription of powdered medication into a glass of water or juice and drink it while surrounded by Jerry [Olivas], 46, a welder, and her four grown children.”
After taking the medication, she will fall asleep after a few minutes and die within the hour.
Hanna, who lives in Nevada, will have to move to California if she chooses to end her life as assisted dying isn’t legal in her state.
Over the past few months, though, she has been lobbying her state’s government to guarantee end-of-life options for terminally ill patients. The legislation failed in an April vote, but is expected to be voted on again in January.
Hanna and Jerry dated in high school but broke up and each had four children of their own before reuniting in 2013.
Jerry proposed within months, telling People, “It came very natural. We just picked up where we left.”
In 2015, Hanna was pregnant, but lost the baby at 9 months. After bearing that loss, she was often fatigued and felt pain in her bones, but doctors wrote it off as depression. Ten months later, Hanna finally received the shocking diagnosis.
With the time she has left, Hanna has been checking things off her bucket list, including a big 45th birthday party and a trip to NYC.
Ideally, Hanna would like to take her last breaths while looking at the Pacific Ocean.
“The water is where I find the most peace,” she says. “The idea itself is terrifying, but my family won’t see me suffer and I won’t be in pain. I’ll be in peace. That’s all you can ask for.”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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