A dying mother-of-four wrote a 20-point plan of instructions for her family and friends in how to lead happy lives, as she battled terminal cancer.
Annmarie James-Thomas was described by her husband as having an ‘indomitable spirit’ and a ‘never-say-die’ attitude after he revealed the plan on what would have been her 45th birthday, following her death from cervical cancer two months before.
The plan, which clearly shows the 44 year-old’s positive attitude to life, included the advice: ‘What you put out comes back all the time – no matter what’ and ‘Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.’
It was handwritten by Mrs James-Thomas and found on a piece of notepaper by her husband after she died in March.
Mrs James-Thomas was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and travelled to America in search of alternatives to traditional medical treatment, before she returned to a specialist hospital in Cardiff to treat her tumour. She started writing the life plan for her husband and four sons, aged between 22 and 13, earlier this year when she realised she didn’t have long left to live.
Her husband Geraint, 47, said: “There was no way Annmarie would ever want her cancer to take over her life and that is what conventional medicine would have done.
“She had watched cancer take both her father and mine and she was determined not to go the same way, where the treatment was not much better than the disease itself.”
He added that he always thought his wife would be able to bounce back because of her positive attitude to life.
The couple, of Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, initially kept the diagnosis from their sons, Zack, 22, Harrison, 18, Harvey, 16, and Roddy, 13 as they searched for alternative treatment.
Mrs James-Thomas refused to be beaten by the disease, and wrote a book called Humour with a Tumour before her death. She spoke of the support she had received from her husband and said being diagnosed with cancer, while scary, “doesn’t have to define you.”
Before she died she wrote: “I like the person I am. I am thankful for my husband who is also on this journey. As one you can achieve most things, as two we can achieve anything.
“I am thankful for my children – how much they have enriched my life. I’m sure I would have been a different person without them.
“To be blessed with one child is truly amazing but to be chosen by four of the most beautiful spirits is a miracle and the best blessing anyone can hope for.”
The plan was revealed on Tuesday, which would have been her 45th birthday.
The 20 point plan is as follows:
- What you put out comes back all the time – no matter what.
- You define your own script. Don’t let others write your script for you.
- Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only if you give it power.
- When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
- Worrying is wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you.
- Whatever you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.
- If the only prayer you ever say is ‘Thank you’ then that will be enough.
- The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.
- Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.
- If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.
- Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie.
- Love yourself and then learn to extend that love to others in every encounter.
- Let passion drive your profession.
- Love doesn’t hurt. It feels really good.
- Every day brings a chance to start over.
- Doubt means “don’t”. Don’t answer. Don’t rush forward.
- When you don’t know what to do, be still. The answer will come.
- Trouble doesn’t last always.
- This too shall pass.
- I will act with the intent to be true to myself.