Janet Cohen has thought a lot about her death.
Ms Cohen, 66, has had to.
The Camden Head resident is living with a terminal illness.
"Living with cancer is like living with a constant reality of your own mortality," she said.
"It is like living under a cloud."
Late last year when a positive biopsy could not be obtained to qualify her for the next treatment she investigated assisting dying options.
She was approved for an assisted death in Basel, Switzerland in November 2018.
Assisted dying is illegal in NSW.
Victoria is the only state in Australia to have legalised it but there is pre-qualifying condition of residency for 12 months.
Ms Cohen managed to qualify for a treatment early this year but is determined to access an assisted death overseas if her health deteriorates and her quality of life significantly declines.
"I've had a great six years since diagnosis and have been extremely lucky with the treatment options available but I'm also aware that these treatment options are narrowing," she said.
"I don't know what is going to happen to me but I don't want to leave the end of my life to chance.
"If there is something I can do to empower myself to have the best death I can possibly have I will do that.
"Although I'm highly unlikely to see change in NSW before I die I hope that my story will help assisted dying to become a legitimate end of life option one day."
Ms Cohen was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 during a routine X-ray to find out why she wasn't recovering from a bout of the flu.
She was working as the manager of Sea Acres Rainforest Centre in Port Macquarie at the time. Fit and supposedly healthy.
There are Australians who do not die a good death, they die in extreme physical pain that cannot be resolved by palliation.Janet Cohen
"What was going through my mind was here I am a healthy, non-smoker, why is it happening," she said.
"Life is messy.
"We like to think we are in control of our lives and to a certain degree we are because we have the ability to make choices in our lives but ultimately we are not in control and stuff happens that we don't necessarily want to happen."'
She acknowledges suffering is part of life.
"If you go through life without being wounded in some way that would be unbelievable," she said.
But she says some of the suffering that some terminally ill people go through at the end of their life is "unnecessary, pointless and damaging for many years for their family and friends".
She is adamant assisted dying should be an option in NSW.
"There are Australians who do not die a good death, they die in extreme physical pain that cannot be resolved by palliation," she said.
"As far as I'm concerned it should not be an either/or in terms of improving palliative care or voluntary assisted dying.
"It should be part of the palliative care system, there should be a suite of options you should have access to if you are dying."
She rejects the notion that assisted dying legislation could lead to elder abuse or an increase in suicide.
Ms Cohen said legislation would have enough "checks and balances" to ensure it would only be an option for the terminally ill.
"It is absolutely clear there are so many checks and balances in the legislation that specify you have to have a terminal illness, a certain period of time to live and you have to be diagnosed and assessed by professionals."
Ms Cohen becomes visibly upset when asked what she would say to NSW MPs.
"My message to legislators is the longer they leave it the more Australians there are dying in unnecessary pain and in a very undignified way," she said.
"Parliament is clearly ignoring the views of voters on this issue."
She urges politicians to be brave and consider the views of voters.
"There are people out there in the community who are fighting the battle of our lives, not a skirmish in parliament" she said.
"This issue shouldn't be the realm of party politics."
In 2017 a cross-party bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying failed to pass the New South Wales' Upper House by a single vote.
The bill would have allowed terminally ill patients over the age of 25 to end their own lives with the help of doctors.
Members of parliament were given a conscience vote on the issue.
The Premier Gladys Berejiklian has ruled out any conscience votes this parliamentary term after the bitter debate over abortion law reform threatened to derail her leadership.
Dying with Dignity last week wrote to several state MPs asking them to revive the former NSW Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying and meet with terminally ill members of the community.
The advocacy group has been pushing for legislation allowing terminally ill people the choice of a medically assisted death.
The Port News contacted Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams for comment. She was unavailable.