It’s never easy to hear that you’ve got a cancerous growth somewhere in your body, and it is especially harder to hear for those in the older generations. Even with the advancements in medical treatments over that last 40 years, it is likely that any remaining time will be spent undergoing uncomfortable and invasive treatments that may do nothing but delay the inevitable. When Norma, a 90-year-old woman from the southern United States, first learned that she had a growth on her uterus, she was stunned. Doctors told her the growth was most likely malignant, and they started to outline her options, including chemotherapy and radiation treatments. But Norma had a different idea in mind.
The nonagenarian took her turn to stun the doctors. She informed them that she wouldn’t be undergoing any treatment whatsoever, and that she would be traveling on the open road for the rest of the time she had. She wanted to experience the wonders of life before she lost the chance. Her husband had recently passed away as well, and their 67 years of marriage led Norma to the decision. She didn’t want to spend the remainder of her life hooked to machines in any number of treatment facilities, so she decided to honor her husband’s memory and dedicate a road trip to their love.
Even though her doctors took the news as a surprise, they were nonetheless completely supportive of the woman’s choice. Many doctors understand the sort experience a cancer patient might expect, and her doctors believed her decision would prove to be the right one, even if it shortened her life a bit. She would be much better off with a year on the road than two years in a hospital bed.
Norma isn’t making the trip on her own, either. When she made the decision to leave, her two children came together and purchased an RV for their mother. They happily agreed to accompany her on her trip, which may be the last family vacation they get to experience with their dear mother. Once they prepared for the trip, there was no turning back. Norma was committed to exploring the world as much as she could.
Those who wish to follow Norma’s story can check out the Facebook page dedicated to her trip, Driving Miss Norma. They post photos and updates of the journey as they go along, which allows their followers to get an idea of what sort of fun they are having. One of the most interesting stops along the journey was the Kennedy Space Center. Her two children described their mother as an avid fan of anything related to space, and she constantly spoke of wanting to visit the moon. The Kennedy Space Center was surely a wonderful experience for the 90-year-old.
It has been roughly six months since Norma and her children hit the road, and they are still going strong. They’ve watched massive fireworks displays over the theme parks of Florida, they sampled mimosas for brunch, they visited numerous pristine beaches and parks, and the list keeps going. One of the first things they did on the journey was take a ride in a hot air balloon, something else Norma had never done but was always fascinated by. She probably never thought she’d get to experience floating high above Florida, but she now has the precious memory from January.
The bravery it takes to reach out and take the world head on is something that many people lack. Norma is a beacon for the philosophy of individuality and freedom, and her children are warriors for helping their mother live out her life in the way she wanted, and not the way her body dictated due to disease. May others learn from her example.