Cancer Treatment? Forget it! 90 year old takes epic road trip instead
Norma defies the idea that age and sickness can keep you from your dreams
90 was looking like a bad year for Miss Norma. First, her husband, the love of her life, passed away and then she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. When the doctor delivered her the bad news, and then started listing off the various treatment options, she basically said, screw it! She was going to pursue her lifelong dream of traveling across the United States instead.
She’s known only as MissNorma by her facebook account (like every wild woman knows, remaining a little bit mysterious is important), and she is showing us all that sometimes alternative medicine, and a heavy dose of achieving one’s life dreams, can be a potent treatment.
Grab a seat in the RV, it’s adventure time:
So instead of scheduling chemo treatment, Miss Norma mapped out a road-trip itinerary: Disney World and Mt. Rushmore of course made the cut. She called up her son and his wife to join in on the fun and packed an extra bag for her poodle Ringo. She hightailed it out of Northern Michigan six months ago with her trusty gang and hasn’t looked back since, covering ground in a hot air balloon, winnebago and boat.
Stir up the arnold palmers (that’s a lemonade with iced tea for all of you young folk out there) and hop strap yourself in next to Ringo, it’s time to go on an adventure!
But before we get carried away, it’s important to know that Miss Norma’s style of treatment is nowhere near the norm. Around the world, an estimated 12.7 million people get diagnosed with cancer each year. For many people, the discovery comes too late--around 30-40% of cancers could be prevented had they been detected earlier. Receiving treatment can be a painful process,
There are dozens of alternative treatments for terminal diseases like cancer. The National Cancer Institute breaks cancer treatments down into four categories:
- Standard: treatments prescribed by a health official such as chemotherapy.
- Complementary: used along with standard treatment. Acupuncture in addition to chemotherapy is an example.
- Alternative: not standard medical treatment, no anticancer drugs. Special diets are common.
- Integrative: a combination of all three
Safe to say that Miss Norma has picked number three: alternative treatment, and why not? When you’re 90 you can basically do whatever you want. But Miss Norma’s decision carries an important, if cliched, message (sometimes cliches are the deepest truths):seize the day. Many of us delay what we want to do with our lives. We blame our age, finances, work situation,family or whatever for our inability to travel and explore.
Miss Norma is a symbol to us all that not even the most daunting obstacles can stand in your way if you’re determined:
To try all the desserts on the menu
… and all the drinks on the beer list too!
Going to Disney World
Getting her first pedicure with her son
Going for a new look
Snuggling with a stuffed animal
Blowing things up and going wild!
Fulfilling a life-long dream (Miss Norma ALWAYS wanted to ride in a hot air balloon)
Knowing that many, many people love, care and will support her as she goes after her dreams
Life can throw some difficult and painful curveballs. Miss Norma shows that reclaiming your dreams and reaffirming that you are a living, breathing human being can always be accomplished. But sometimes it helps to be in the back of a winnebago or soaring high in a hot air balloon.