Cancer sucks. It can be a devastating illness that often leaves the patient in a cycle of surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy for treatment. It can also be very painful for families to watch their loved ones suffer.
But a woman named Norma from Northern Michigan who was diagnosed with cancer about six months ago is not letting her illness stop her from living life to the fullest. Her story is currently making waves and inspiring people on the Internet.
The Road Trip of a Lifetime
Norma had been married to her husband Leo for about 67 years. During the same time in 2015 when Leo was dying, Norma was also experiencing her own "medical maze."
Blood was detected in her urine during a routine exam, and so she was sent for an ultrasound. On the day her husband was admitted to the hospital, doctors revealed Norma had a large mass in her uterus. Two days after Leo's death, Norma was officially diagnosed with uterine cancer.
The doctors gave the family treatment options, but according to Norma's daughter-in-law, an exhausted Norma looked the young doctor dead in the eye and said, "I'm 90 years old, I'm hitting the road."
Norma's son Tim and his wife Ramie are full-time RVers. The pair figured that Norma wouldn't be able to live alone without Leo, and so they invited her to join them on the road.
Six months later, the three of them, plus their pet poodle Ringo, are enjoying the trip of a lifetime. They are documenting their journey across the United States on the Facebook page Driving Miss Norma.
Miss Norma's Escapades
Ramie said Norma has been surprising the family with Norma's streak of adventure. She said the lovely, quiet and humble woman is a set of fresh eyes for an indefinite road trip.
And so far, the family has been in one exciting adventure. After leaving their hometown in August, Norma, Tim, Ramie and Ringo have driven to Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. They then traveled to Yellowstone National Park and onto the Rocky Mountains.
They collected seashells on Sanibel Island.
They drank beer in the great outdoors, and they're letting Norma eat all the cake they could get their hands on.
They went whale-watching in Florida. They boogied down in New Orleans. They experienced the amazing views at the Grand Canyon. They've run around Disneyworld.
They also went to the Kennedy Space Center where they got the chance to see a rocket garden.
But Norma's ultimate favorite activity was riding a hot air balloon in Central Florida, which was a gift from Tim and Ramie for Christmas.
Ramie told ABC News that Norma is feeling better than ever.
"She's getting healthier, I think, from eating well and being outside a lot," said Ramie. "She's breathing fresh air and getting to see new things all the time."
The trio hopes that Norma's story becomes an inspiration to other families, helping them start conversations about end-of-life plans. Ramie said everybody has different ideas about how they want the end of their life to work, and so it is very important to have this conversation.
When asked about the secret to being so sprightly, Norma told GoodNewsNetwork: "Keep praying every day and God will take care of you, even when it feels like you can't care for yourself."