When Jan Ryder found out she had incurable brain cancer last year she asked her neurologist, "Will you help me in the end, please, before it gets ugly?"
Even then, three weeks into what would be a six-month journey, the 77-year-old Thirlmere resident wanted to know she wouldn't have to suffer.
Yet, according to her daughter, Shayne Higson, there was nothing the doctors could do to help her mother when the time came.
As a result, Mrs Higson is now speaking out in support of giving terminally ill patients the right to request assistance to die.
"I can't understand why, in a humane society, we can't allow terminally ill patients to avoid the suffering that we know they will face.
"Mum always had the expectation that the doctors would not let her suffer in the end and that she would have a peaceful death.
"This is not what happened though," she said.
As the months passed, Mrs Higson said she watched as her mother's quality of life steadily deteriorated, helpless to do anything to stop it.
Mrs Ryder's ability to walk was the first thing to go, followed by her ability to communicate properly.
"She was unable to write, unable to read, unable to talk on the phone and towards the end, even listening to the radio or watching TV caused great discomfort.
"She was sleeping more and more each day and she had headaches and constant nausea," Mrs Higson said.
Even with almost total immobility however, Mrs Higson said her mother still wanted to live.
"Mum went through a huge amount of suffering, but even then she still wanted to go on," she said.
Mrs Higson described her as a joyous, caring person, who loved life and was beloved by all.
In particular, she said her mother wanted to be around as long as possible so she could watch her five grandchildren grow up.
"It was only when things got really, really bad that she wanted to end it. For her to want [that], I know it must have been unbearable."
According to Mrs Higson, the point where her mother's suffering became unbearable came on November 12, 2012, about three weeks before she died.
It was then that Mrs Ryder's problems became so great and so many that no amount of medication could adequately control them all.
"She would plead with me every time I went into her room, 'Why are they torturing me? Why are they doing this to me?"' Mrs Higson said.
"It was the hardest thing, to see her suffering and pleading to be put out of that misery, but not being able to do anything about it was the worst thing in the world."
Mrs Higson said her inability to help her mother was a burden she would carry for the rest of her life.
"Each day she would ask, 'When will it end? Just give me something to end it.' But I couldn't.
"I promised her I wouldn't let her suffer in the end, but I couldn't prevent that suffering, I didn't have the guts.
"Nobody should have to be in that position where they must choose, 'Do I or don't I help my loved one."'
Mrs Higson said she couldn't understand why politicians were so hesitant to back the Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill, when polling suggested around 80 per cent of Australians supported it.
"This [suffering] is happening to people every day.
"I just think if they delay it, or keep arguing, more and more people will be facing horrible deaths without any choice."
Mrs Higson said it worried her when she heard people talking about whether terminally ill patients were psychologically capable of making such decisions.
"I mean, of course someone is going to appear to be depressed or have no hope, if there is no hope," she said.
"But it's an insult to the wonderful brains inside these terminally ill patients to say they don't have the capacity to say what is the right decision."