This Is Cancer In The End

Essay 519 • Feb 13th 2023

This series is a documentation of my husband Chris Davis’ final days as he suffered from the atrocities of a body riddled with Stage IV Bladder Cancer. With Chris’ consent and plea to change the system which failed him, I photographed the progression of his last month.

I made these images with the intention of showing the harsh reality of terminal illness and to highlight the need for more compassionate end-of-life laws. Upon learning of his prognosis, which would end in a painful death, Chris asked to access California’s End of Life Option Act. He told me he didn’t want to die as a lifeless shell like his grandmother did, that he wanted respite from the excruciating pain. Chris was denied the option to die peacefully and he died on June 19, 2019 suffering immensely, exactly how he feared - with tubes tethering him to a hospice bed.

After Chris’ death I dedicated myself to keeping my promise and helping Compassion and Choices amend the End of Life Option Act with SB380.

SB380, which went into effect January 1, 2022, eliminates some of the barriers which prevented Chris from accessing the law.


Amanda Villegas is a Los Angeles-based photographer. Raised with an artistic and theatrical background, she has always gravitated towards mediums that were rooted in emotion. After losing her husband, Amanda dedicated herself to photography, finding imagery to be the artform that best allowed her to express her grief and connect with people authentically.

Amanda is a recent graduate of Art Center College of Design, where she studied photography and imaging. Today, as a visual storyteller, Amanda grounds herself in the moment, finding an empathetic approach to documenting reality.

Through her imagery, she is able to illuminate societal issues, bringing visibility and awareness through emotional narratives. Amanda approaches sensitive material in a way that is intuitive and collaborative in nature. She loves to break the rules, manipulating light, reflection, and textiles, creating a transparent veil between the viewer and the subject. Amanda’s work as a photographer needs to be evocative: real, raw, no bs, no sugarcoating.
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