One of the most devastating moments that one can face while sitting in the doctor’s office is when the doctor utters the dreadful words “I’m sorry, but you have cancer.” What follows is predictable, heavy treatments, chemo, surgery, radiation, horrible side-effects and wondering if you’re gonna pull through until next morning.
But, when Norma was diagnosed at 90 years of age that she suffers from cancer, none of the above happened. This brave grandma, who had her share with cancer after losing her beloved husband to the disease, knew exactly what she had to do and how to react when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer only few days after her husband’s death. She decided to punch cancer in the face.
After delivering the news, her doctor started listing her options on treatment, but instead of choosing one, she said “I’m 90 years old. I’m hitting the road!”
She discussed her decision with the entire family, making it VERY clear she was not interested in any medical treatment.
“As doctors, we see what cancer treatment looks like every day,” said one of Norma’s doctors. “ICU, nursing homes, awful side effects and honestly, there is no guarantee she will survive the initial surgery to remove the mass. [She is] doing exactly what I would do in this situation.”
The doctor didn’t stop her to think and make her change her mind. On the contrary, he was very supportive of her decision and wished her the best.
Even though her family doubted her decision, they eventually decided to give her full support and join her in the journey.
Norma and her family have traveled around the U.S. in a mobile RV home for the past few months. They even went beyond the States to visit other countries, including China. The family has visited multiple national parks, New Orleans, the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, and have joined the festivities in a Native American ceremony. Norma also fulfilled a life-long dream of riding in a hot air balloon!
During her journey, she didn’t experience any pain or discomfort and felt like her cancer had gone into remission.
Sadly, on September 30th, 2016, this exciting journey came to an end when Norma passed away. Her funeral was on October 7 where her family and supporters mourned the loss of this inspiring woman. She is an excellent role model for living to the fullest every day no matter the circumstances. So far, the only thing that is left unfulfilled on her bucketlist is her wish to travel on the moon.
“Keep praying every day,” she said, “and God will take care of you, even when it feels like you can’t take care of yourself.”
She also advised others to reflect about happy memories from the past, to talk about the good times.
“Storytelling is really, really helpful,” she said.
“I’m pleased to know that I can be an inspiration to so many,” she added after discovering her Facebook page has more than 70,000 followers.
“Just keep on going every day, that’s about it.”