Cancer takes an incredible toll on the body. It isn’t just what the disease does to you, but the treatment takes an incredible toll as well. Chemotherapy and radiation can wipe you out completely, leaving you physically exhausted. These treatment methods can make you sick to your stomach, cause you to lose your appetite, and can cause sores all over your body. When a person says that they are battling cancer, they aren’t joking. Cancer feels like a battle every single day.
Janet Bitterman is an 85-year-old woman from Coal Township, Pennsylvania. She was diagnosed with colon cancer, and for a year, she fought hard. She had to go through extensive chemotherapy, which took a significant toll on her already frail body. During her treatment, she lost her appetite, her sense of smell, and she lost a lot of weight. As horrible as she felt, she refused to give up. There was something that she was really looking forward to.
A Motorcycle Ride
Janet had the motivation to get better. She wanted to take a motorcycle ride with her grandson. She made herself a promise that when she got the news that when she finally finished chemo, she was going to get on the back of her grandson’s motorcycle so that she could take a ride. Janet told everyone she talked to about her dreams. It wasn’t long before it was a running joke with her doctors and nurses. According to Janet’s daughter, Brenda Yoder, taking that ride was the motivation that she needed to get through chemo.
A Wasted Year
Janet says that the year she was battling cancer felt like a waste. She couldn’t do anything out of the house because she was just too sick and always tired. She could barely even do anything inside the house except for lay down and save her strength. She feels that all the time she spent getting treatments and resting was a colossal waste of her time. Each day, when she wanted to go out but couldn’t, she dreamed about the day that she would get on the back of her grandson’s motorcycle, on the open road, and feel the wind on her face. She says that it was what kept her going when all she wanted to do was give up. She showed up for every treatment with a smile because she knew that it was leading somewhere.
The grandson who was going to take Janice for the ride of her life is Gary Steinhart. He has been into motorcycles for all of his adult life. When the weather starts to warm up, he is on his bike. He often told his grandmother about his love for motorcycles. He often told her about the freedom that he felt when he was riding, and it was this freedom that she wanted to feel while she was going through chemo. Janice told Gary how much she wanted to get better so that she could experience the freedom that Gary felt while riding.
Making a Deal
When Janice told Gary how much she wished she could feel the same freedom as he did, Gary made a deal with his grandmother. He told her that when she beat cancer, he would take her for a ride. He said that he would let her feel the wind of her face and the freedom on the open road. The only thing that she had to do was beat cancer.
Holding Up Her End
With a deal in place, Janice was ready to fight with everything that she had. She was determined to beat cancer so that she could have more time on this Earth, and so that she could take the ride with her grandson. When her doctors and nurses asked her where her strength was coming from, she told them. Everyone laughed at first. The idea of an 85-year-old woman on the back of the bike is pretty funny.
The Last Day Of Chemo
It was a very long and painful road, but finally, it was Janice’s last day of chemo. She was finally done living by the limitations that chemo put her under. She knew that after chemo, she would start getting stronger. She says that it wasn’t long before she started getting her pep back. Finally, it was time for Janice to make sure that Gary was ready to hold up his end of the bargain. She was prepared to ride.
Taking a Ride
When the day came for Janice to take her ride, she was incredibly excited. She couldn’t wait to get out on the open road. Gary strapped a helmet on Janice, and she got on the back of his bike. For an hour, Janice was able to feel the wind on her face. While the pair was riding, the rest of her family was following close behind. All of Janice’s loved ones wanted to see her enjoy herself.
Gary says that his grandmother is an inspiration to people with cancer. If you fight, you can get through the cancer treatments, and hopefully, go into remission. Gary says that he couldn’t imagine his life without Janice. He also said that she is really awesome. Janice is proof that you are willing to fight, anything is possible. This 85-year-old woman takes a motorcycle ride with her grandson after completing chemotherapy, and she had the time of her life.