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Senior Woman with Uterine Cancer Took End-of-Life Road Trip

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

A 90-year old woman made headlines after she decided to not undergo cancer treatment. Instead of treating her uterine cancer, she chose to spend her remaining days with her loved ones on an extensive road trip across the United States. Her family began a Facebook page entitled “Driving Miss Norma,” which now has more than 66,000 followers. In addition to offering photographs and information chronicling her journey, Norma hopes that the page will also serve to inspire families and Oklahoma caregivers to open up to end-of-life discussions. 

Norma’s Adventure

Norma’s story began two days after losing her husband Leo following 67 years of wedded bliss. She received the unsettling news that she had a uterine mass that was likely cancer. The disease develops in the lining of the uterus with symptoms that include unusual vaginal bleeding. The cancer commonly responds to surgery and chemotherapy. However, given her age and weighing a slight 101 pounds, Norma informed her physician that rather than subject herself to the grueling treatment or hiring an Oklahoma home care provider, she had other plans. She wanted to hit the road. 

Her young doctor applauded her courage and shared that at her age, Norma might not have survived the surgery to remove the tumor. He also felt that if he was in her shoes, he probably would have made the same decision. 

After her diagnosis, Norma, her faithful canine companion Ringo, son Tim and daughter-in-law Ramie boarded their motor home in Michigan and began their journey. The family traveled to South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico before heading back east to make stops in Louisiana and Florida. 

Uterine Cancer Statistics

Healthcare specialists from the University of Utah report that in 2016, more than 60,000 women in the country will get the news that they have uterine cancer. This type of malignancy remains the fourth most common type of cancer for women. Statisticians also estimate that more that the disease will claim more than 10,000 lives. Uterine cancer remains the sixth most common cause of fatality, but under the right circumstances it can be treated.

When seniors are diagnosed with terminal illnesses, it’s important for families to come together to discuss financial, medical and end-of-life plans. In many cases, families benefit from hiring a trusted Oklahoma respite care provider such as Home Care Assistance. Our respite services allow families to tackle other challenges pertaining to their loved one’s health and wellbeing while our reliable caregivers ensure your loved one’s safety and comfort at home. Call 405-285-4191 today to learn more about our services and how your loved one can benefit from them.