"He told us that I had a golf ball size tumor in my lung that had already metastasized to my brain," said O'Donnell.
She learned it was a terminal cancer -- and says she's well aware how she is most likely going to die.
"The fluid in my lung will fill up and I'll drown in my own fluids and they'll put a tube in, drain that and keep doing that until I die."
As a result, O'Donnell is living in excruciating pain. Most days she can't get out of bed.
However, she is taking on another battle by suing the state of California for the right to die on her own terms.
"I'm fighting for the option to die peacefully. What I'm asking for is a choice in the manner in which I die," she said.
Watch her story to find out more about O'Donnell's fight.
Copyright 2015 FOX 11 Los Angeles | Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube.