People who are terminally ill have been sharing the things they want to do in their final days, months and years and it’ll make you rethink your priorities in life.
Instead of expensive holidays or grand gestures, many simply want to enjoy the time they have left with loved ones or visit a sentimental spot one last time.
These men and women have been sharing their stories on Reddit, where dozens of other users have offered to help make their bucket list wishes come true, from a toy company donating gifts to a woman offering a free Airbnb rental.
Read some of their stories below or contribute to the thread if you can help here.
”Dad here, 50, with two kids in middle school. I’m on palliative chemo for metastatic stage 4, incurable [cancer]. Took my daughter to see the Lion King on broadway. That was wonderful. Trying to get to Japan with my son in Sept if I feel well enough. Also planning a road trip cross country - I feel a need to pass on that misery of a trip the same way my parents passed it on to me! Mostly quality time with my friends and family. It’s ok to die.”
“Stomach cancer here and just found a mass on my liver [...].I want to have mind-blowingly good sex. I want to have a mind-blowingly good culinary experience. I want my next few months to be comfortable. I want to play with kittens and puppies. I want to sail to San Francisco with my best friend. I don’t want any of my friends to know I’m dying (some already do).
“I want to go skydiving again. I want to go hang gliding [...] I want to feel safe and calm and less anxious. Did I mention have really good sex? And food? I want to die feeling safe. Knowing that my friends are happy (from afar). Knowing I’m not causing any damage on my way out.”
“Exactly one year ago to the day I was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 lung cancer (non-smoker), that has moved to my lymph nodes, spine and clavicle. It’s unlikely I’ll see Christmas. I’m 42.
“Don’t feel bad for me though, I have had an amazing life. I have a beautiful wife that loves me, two little girls that make me laugh, a house, a cat, a dog, and family and friends that really care. I had the career I wanted as a child and I live in an area that has great healthcare. There are SO many people with cancer, but are alone, or not in areas they can get good support. I am very lucky.
“My bucket list is really only to help others with my remaining time. If I can remind someone to call their family, or forgive something, then that is enough for my list. Give some spare change to a cancer foundation. I am alive right now due to research breakthroughs made by donations. Every day I have is another day with my family.”
“I have stage 4 colon cancer. I was in the marine corps infantry for two combat tours where I happened to get blown up a few times. My bucket list reads as such: see as many birthdays as possible. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Stay strong and never fucking give up. Hold onto your life and keep death guessing.
“Dying may be ok. But it’s gonna happen when I’m ready. Fuck cancer. I’m just gonna spend all of my time with the people that I love. I’ll sleep with my two dogs until the day I die.”
“I have stage 4 adrenocortical carcinoma and have had nine rounds of chemo, seven surgeries, two rounds of a clinical trial drug. I’m currently undergoing palliative radiation to five metastatic lung lesions.
“My husband and I went on our honeymoon to the Caymans in 1994. We have always wanted to go back and take our kids but it’s wicked expensive and has proved to be logistically difficult to schedule with work, school, treatment and life in general. We’re working on it.
“We are going to try and catch the total eclipse in August. That is a family camping trip planned with my brother and his family. Mostly I just like to do the regular everyday things. I made my two best friends from high school quilts and I’ve given away some other things I’ve made that I think will mean something to people who got them.”
“I’m 28 and female. A month ago I was given an estimate from the doctors of 1-4 months left without treatment, 2-8 months with treatment. Stage 4 breast cancer with metastases to my bones, lung, right femur, and most importantly - spinal cord and spinal fluid (among other areas I’m forgetting right now).
“It’d be nice to go on a train ride in a cabin and see some amazing landscapes out the windows. Most of what was on my bucket list was just travel-related or camping with my family. A lot of stuff I can’t really do because my mobility is so severely limited.
“But for now, my main goal is to get things in order so that my son can have some semblance of who I was as he grows up. I’m going to start writing his birthday cards for when I’m not here, some videos and maybe recordings of me talking and reading some books.”
“I’m six years into a glioblastoma diagnosis [...]. My son was two months old when I was diagnosed, so my ‘bucket list’ has always been full of things that I really couldn’t make happen. Live long enough so that he could have his own memories of me was the biggest one on my list, but nothing I could do besides hope the cancer would wait a little while before it started to grow again.
“I’ve got to cross a bunch of things off the list over the past six years though, some things that I didn’t necessarily know were on the list. I’ve brought him to kindergarten on his first day, I’ve taken him to Disneyland a couple times and have had a blast, I watch his games and practices for his sports teams now. I’ve had him walk up to me and say ‘daddy, you’re my best friend’.
“I have always really wanted to go someplace that is dark enough to see the Milky Way at night, if my future starts to look shorter at some point I’ll make sure to do that, but maybe I should do it now when things are relatively good.”
“I was diagnosed a month ago with stage 4 stomach cancer. After a short hospital stay, my discharge papers read: ‘He has overall poor prognosis and understands that he has short life span. He could potentially die in the next year due to complications from cancer.’
“I have few desires that would qualify for a bucket list. Would love to rekindle my marriage. We separated for the second (and most likely, final) time five months ago, against my desire. I’d also love to visit the beach of my youth, Long Beach Island, NJ, once more.”