Miss Myrtle’s End of Life Decision

Miss Myrtle’s End of Life Decision

Dear Family, Friends and Twitter Resistance Family,
Am an intensely private person, but the events of the past 5 years have made me revisit that fact. The World has changed forever, and we have changed with it.
Cancer has played a big part of my life for the past 20 years. Tree major cancer surgeries over that time period, each for a different cancer, have finally worn me down.
Am a fighter, not a quitter but my final surgery last November solved one problem, but created many more serious ones. Add to that while the 35 rounds of radiation a year ago solved no problems, it too created more serious ones.
Cancer research and surgery have blinkers on – they focus on narrow areas they are familiar with
Why has there been no research on the effects of chemo and radiation on menopausal and post-menopausal women??!!! But I digress.
Am so very lucky to live in a Country and a city where the Medical Assistance in Dying Program is an option

The Cancer on the Presidency has contributed to my bad health, and am willing to bet that it has affected you adversely too.
I have lived a long and interesting life. Have faced battles since being born as a premature baby. Am a fighter – Not a quitter, but have finally met a challenge I cannot win.
There is no way to sugar-coat this. Was in hospital for major cancer surgery, then Palliative Care at home. While the surgery killed my tumor, it also created more serious problem. I had an anal rectal carcinoma, and now have a stoma – colonoscopy bag.
My initial gut reaction (pun intended) when the surgeon made his case to have surgery, was no. The young arrogant surgeon laid it out this way: “ No surgery, 6months to a year to live. With surgery, complete cure and 10years to live.”
I initially said no, because my last major cancer surgery and chemotherapy regime resulted in an acquired brain injury in 2014. The brain injury went undiagnosed for a number of years, and turned my life upside down.
I kept falling and breaking things at different times. Broke my collarbone, wrist, fractured the kneecap, then a medial malleolus fracture of the ankle. Was in a full leg walking cast for 6 months.
Was wobbly on my feet, sometimes slurred my words, forgot to go to meetings, forgot what was said at meetings, forgot to pay bills, forgot appointments and forgot parts of speeches I’d been giving for years. Forgot to pay rent and was eventually evicted. Slept in my car and office. My behaviour was bizarre. I almost single-handedly turned a successful project into a failure.
Colleagues began whispering that I was on drugs or alcohol. I was eventually fired. It was only when a friend of mine forced me to tell her what wrong- she was sure something was was. City Councillor Adriane Carr immediately intervened. She introduced me to the Deputy Director of Social Development for the City of Vancouver. Jennifer Standeven held my hand and fast-tracked me for government financial and other support. She found a wonderful condo mixed-market apartment in the Olympic Village. I could walk almost everywhere and am close to buses and Sky Train and the Canada Line. In 150 steps, am on the seawall. The market value of my suite is over $2,500 per month. I pay $343 per month. Jennifer literally saved my life, and we are now good friends.
A year later, was finally diagnosed with the brain injury. Was fast-tracked for the GF Strong Acquired Brain Injury program. AS an out-patient went three times a week. For the next year, learned how to walk, talk, be steady on my feet and so much more. GF Strong is the gold-standard for rehab in North America. Mine was an invisible wound. When I’d walk into the rehab, people were whizzing around in their wheelchairs, shouting “Hi, have a good one!”. People with no arms, no legs, both, a Pakistani woman whose face was destroyed with acid. They all inspired me to stop feeling sorry for myself – and kick my own butt (while I still had one).
I have finally found the fight I could NOT win. I would rather go with all of my mental faculties in tact, than face a long, drawn out painful death, where I would end up hating everyone.
I am proud to say that I am donating my body to University of British Columbia Medical School for teaching and research. Truly hope that All of You Will Consider doing the same thing. The need is so great, not just for organs but for bodies.
That being said, as my extended family, I send you the biggest hugs and Much Love,
Miss Myrtle (aka Pat Bayes – our secret),

Published by


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72 thoughts on “Miss Myrtle’s End of Life Decision”

  1. Goodbye dear friend. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My heart is breaking while I applaud your courage and intelligence. May we all find such grace. Love, love, love. Bev Bullock in New York City.


  2. Bless you Pat, I hope it is a peaceful, contented journey you have embarked on and you run into all family, pets and friends that left ahead of you


  3. Bless you Miss Myrtle Pat. Your words give me strength and your example gives me courage. My wish for you is peace and the knowledge that, even though I have never met you, I know I would love you and value your company.

    Sending you much love and prayers for your journey.

    Your voice will be missed by so many.


  4. I am a recent Twitter follower and just wanted to thank you for sharing this last post. You have made peace with your decision and I certainly respect you for it. I appreciate your dedication to the “resistance” and be assured the fight will continue.


  5. I understand and would do the same thing. You’re about to go on the trip of your life. May you find happiness and be free of pain. Huggs. xoxo


  6. There comes a time when the battle needs to end. Godspeed as you go into the hereafter. Thank you for your posts. Thank you for speaking out to give us all courage to resist and continue. From where we are to where you are going, I sincerely hope, you find peace. When you cross over, I’m sure God’s Angels, will in fact, speed you up on Eagles wings to Paradise. Hugs and safe travels, sweet lady!


  7. Sweet Lady, I honor your decision because my dad made the same one. He was very much in charge. Bless you with all I have. Peace


  8. My heart aches 😢 💔 😔 at your announcement but I understand and respect your decision. The whole of humanity will shrink in goodness when you transition. I believe in the resurrection of the just and I look forward to seeing you there! Good night precious one, see you in the morning!


  9. Dear Miss Myrtle ❤❤
    I have followed you for a few months and have enjoyed your “attitude” 😂 towards trump immensely!! I have been put in twitter jail…for no reason, so I’m unable to leave you a twitter message. You have made me piss my pants laughing and you have made me cry uncontrollably! I admire your strength to leave this world on your terms ❤
    Even though we have never met…you have quietly become very special to me!
    I will miss you greatly…may you forever be at peace! Thank you Miss Myrtle…I will never stop resisting 🌺🌺🌺


  10. God speed on your next venture in the universe & as Betty White once quipped, you’ll now know ‘the secret’.

    I know you will be bathed in love, peace, beauty & serenity as you enter the next phase of your existence. Death is not eternal…only love is eternal & our creator.

    Thank you for all your tweets & blogs…so breathe deeply, rest comfortably & love eternally…💜


  11. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face shine up you and give you peace. Much love Ms Myrtle. I know I’ll always hear you whispering in my ear


  12. Goodbye, sweet, sweet lady that I wish I could have known better! I applaud your choice and your IMMENSE COURAGE! Rest In Peace….


  13. You are an inspiration. I will miss you. I haven’t been acquainted fo very long but I admire you. Godspeed Miss Myrtle, I shall never forget you.


  14. A beautiful, heartfelt legacy. You’ve made a difference in this world. A positive dent on the planet. All of us will face your journey at some point, but I daresay few of us would leave the stage with such dignity and love. Godspeed. You will be on our minds tonight and tomorrow. I’m gonna pick out a star in the heavens tonight and blow you a kiss.


    1. Pat, you are an inspiration. Thank you for having the courage to speak truth to power. For not pulling punches, and punching upwards. I know you are a fighter: may you find the Strength to fight as long as you choose to, and then enjoy your well deserved rest.
      With love,


  15. You are making a focused and individual choice that is very difficult to do. It is even harder to get outsiders to understand why your decision is being made. Your bravery is inspiring.


  16. Miss Myrtle, my heart aches for the constant battles you have endured. You strike me as a very brave woman. I will not disrespect your choice. It is yours to make. One day I will have to do the same. I hope I can be brave too. May you be granted peace and rest from constant pain and struggle. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you for sharing with us. I lost my mom 6 weeks ago after a long illness. It was nice to read this with her in mind. Godspeed Myrtle. We will keep up the resistance for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Much respect Pat. You are doing what is right for you. Taking control of the narrative of your life is awesome and very brave. I wish you a pain free and wonderful journey to the other side ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  19. As someone with tubes (GPEG for venting stomach & J Tube for feeding, hydration, and meds) , and a host of complications, medical conditions, including TBI, I understand some of your struggles.

    We may be paddling different oars, but we are all in the same boat.

    Thank you for donating your body. My mom did just two years ago, and I will do the same. What an invaluable gift.

    May your journey be a peaceful one.


    Tamara Nguyen


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