When doctors told 90-year-old Norma that she had a large, cancerous mass on her uterus just two days after her husband of 67 years had died, she decided she could either be down in the dumps or take the high road and choose happiness and adventure -- and hit the road is just what she did.
Instead of choosing one of the cancer-battling options doctors proposed, like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Norma told them, "I’m 90 years old. I’m hitting the road."
So Norma, her son, her daughter-in-law and the couple's poodle, Ringo, embarked on an RV trip across the U.S.
"As doctors we see what cancer treatment looks like every day," the doctor told Norma's family. "ICU, nursing homes, awful side effects and honestly, there is no guarantee she will survive the initial surgery to remove the mass. You are doing exactly what I would want to do in this situation."
So far, Norma has been on the road for six months and has traveled to Florida, Mississippi, South Dakota, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arizona. She's visited popular spots like Disney World, the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park.
"She continues to surprise us on this trip," Norma's daughter-in-law, Ramie, told ABC News. "She’s getting healthier, I think, from eating well and being outside a lot. She’s breathing fresh air and getting to see new things all the time."
Norma, Ramie and Norma's son, Tim, already lived full-time in the RV before they invited Norma to live with them and travel around the country.
The family documents their adventures on a Facebook page called Driving Miss Norma, where they post photos of Norma crossing things off her bucket list. The page, which has nearly 95,000 followers, lists the 90-year-olds interests as "rock hounding, basket making, knitting, reading, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, tea, beer, sweet wine and traveling."
“I’m pleased to know that I can be an inspiration to so many," Norma said.
According to Mashable, she has already made new friends, driven a boat, explored the beach and fulfilled her lifelong dream of riding in a hot air balloon.
For many years Norma and Leo would listen to Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" at lunch time in their humble home in...