Woman leaves behind open letter after 'big victory' against cancer

Heather McManamy never lost her joy for life even as cancer took its toll on her body.

The wife and mother of one died recently, but she left a letter behind that serves as a reminder for how great life can be, even when it stacks the deck against you.

The letter, which can be read in full here, has an occasional swear word littered throughout (just means that she's smart), but here are some gems that are worth sharing.

The heartwarming and sometimes hysterical letter begins with "the bad news is, apparently, I’m dead. Good news, if you’re reading this, is that you are most definitely not (unless they have wifi in the afterlife)."

She emphasizes that she doesn't want her daughter to be told her mother is in heaven because it will make the young child feel as if her mother left the family by choice. Regarding that specifically, she says, "I am not in heaven. I'm here. But no longer in the crappy body that turned against me. My energy, my love, my laughter, those incredible memories, it's all here with you."

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"And don't say I lost to cancer," she requests. "Because cancer may have taken almost everything from me, but it never took my love or my hope or my joy. It wasn't a 'battle'; it was just life, which is often brutally random and unfair, and that's simply how it goes sometimes," she says. "I didn't lose. The way I lived for years with cancer is something I consider a pretty big victory. Please remember that."

The letter then details the author's love and admiration for her husband, Jeff, who posted the letter for the world to see. "Go Google Physicist's Eulogy and know that it is a scientific fact I will always be with you both in some way," she tells him. "You're my world and I loved every second we had together more than words."

She ends the letter by saying, "Please do me a favor and take a few minutes each day to acknowledge the fragile adventure that is this crazy life. Don't ever forget: Every day matters."

Click here to read the letter, which has been shared more than 8,000 times, in its entirety.

McManamy signed a book deal before she died. "Cards for Brianna: A Lifetime of Lessons and Love from a Dying Mother to Her Daughter" will be published in early 2016.