Published in 2016

Though the end of your life may be near, it doesn't mean you have to stop living.

After being diagnosed in her early thirties with terminal breast cancer, Heather McManamy felt like her life was crumbling. Her "normal" vanished. It was replaced with multiple surgeries and dozens of chemo treatments that could briefly extend her life, but would not prevent her inevitable death. With an effervescent spirit and a new perspective, Heather began to live each day as if it were her last. She learned to soak in the moment, appreciate the beauty around her, and celebrate her blessings. She also pondered her daughter's future journey without her mother―and gracefully prepared for it.

Heather began to write greeting cards to Brianna. Cards for her first day of school, her sixteenth birthday, and her wedding day. Cards for when things were going right and when they were going wrong. Cards for when Brianna would need her mother―whether in five years or fifty years―and Heather wouldn't be able to be there for her. Cards for Brianna is the story of one mother's powerful love for her young daughter and her experiences of living with stage IV cancer. Laced with laughter and charm, this book is a reminder to never take a single day for granted.

"Cards for Brianna: A Mom’s Messages of Living, Laughing and Loving as Time is Running Out” was published by both Sourcebooks and Hallmark, and it is in audio form. It has also been published in China, Korea, and Italy.


  • Library Journal
    Her intent is not to shock readers, but the filters are off... [McManamy] left behind an appreciation of life that some never get to experience.
    Library Journal
  • Susan Straub
    This young mother offers all of us clear but poignant words of wisdom and humor as she passes through metastatic breast cancer Sometimes the information is as brutally honest as the chemicals put into her body. It's her matter-of-fact tone, encouraging us all to laugh, think and cry, that makes this an encouraging book.
    Susan Straub
    Creator and director of The Read to Me Program and co-author of Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos
  • Kathy Kinney
    I will be forever grateful that Heather McManamy took the time on the journey to the end of her life to share her hope and wisdom. Her book Cards for Brianna: A Mom's Messages of Living, Laughing, and Loving as Time Is Running Out, is so much more than the title reveals. It's a loving guide to people in all stages of life's adventure, a joyful reminder of the most important things to lean on – kindness, bravery, laughter and love. This book would be a wonderful gift for yourself or anyone you love.
    Kathy Kinney
    Actress and co-author of Queen of Your Own Life