Living with Stage 4 Lung Cancer – August 2021 Update

A lot has happened since my last cancer update in May.

I am feeling great after my whole brain and spine radiation that I endured in April and May and am feeling normal with the exception of a few balance issues.

Like I usually do when I post a cancer update, I’m including pictures of living my best life.

Sunrise at Smith Mountain Lake, VA
June 2021 Sunrise

I have a brain and spine MRI along with a chest and abdomen CT scan every two months. My June MRIs showed improvement from the radiation which was wonderful to hear and my CT scan showed me to be stable.

In July I had a crazy thing happen. July 19, my cousin and I were driving to Newport News to spend the night with my aunt and uncle because I had a follow-up appointment for the prolotherapy treatment that I had in June.

Two women and a dog on a boat at Smith Mountain Lake, VA

While driving, I somehow ended up on 95 North and wouldn’t believe Susan or Mr. SP that I was going the wrong way. Susan had to call 911 and I ended up in a Fairfax hospital.

I had a seizure, and because I did, I can’t drive until January 20. It’s ok because I have great friends who take me anywhere I need to go.

5 ladies posing for a picture
Wonderful friends

Last Friday, I had another round of tests and the results were all good. What a blessing and a huge relief!

Two women and a dog on a boat at Smith Mountain Lake, VA
My Favorite Niece

What’s Next? In six weeks I will have another brain and spine MRI.

Destiny, my daughter of the heart and former student. I also taught her mom!

In three months I will have another chest and abdomen CT. I was delighted to hear three months instead of the usual two!

Family relaxing on a lakeside patio
My cousin and his family visiting. Sherman loved all of the attention he received.

I feel so blessed and grateful and will continue to enjoy every second of every single day!

Child and dog on a boat at Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Charlotte and Sherman


  1. Paula, I am so happy for you that you are feeling better now and that you are enjoying doing things you love with the people that mean so much to you . Praying for continued healing for you. I am sure that Sherman is loving all the attention that he is receiving from everyone. Take care and thanks for giving us an update.

  2. So happy for the great news. Plus thank you for your example of navigating this curveball in life. Also, still praying for your mother. Have a good rest of the week.

  3. This is excellent news! You are beautiful, Paula! Your peach fuzz baldness is actually a choice hairstyle one of my nieces is wearing right now! I’ll continue praying for your strength and continued health. Your Smith Mtn Lake property is stunning. So glad you’re getting to enjoy it this year before we may all go into lockdown again (hopefully not).

  4. I love you ❤️ And I’m glad your doing great I would like to really bring the kiddos to see you soon.

  5. Paula, I am so glad that you are feeling better. We continue to pray for you and your family. I love your pictures and especially the ones with Sherman in them!

    1. Paula great news glad to see you enjoying every moment always in my prayers, beautiful sunrise.
      Have a great weekend.

  6. Please know that I pray for you as you soldier on. So happy for you that reports are good and you are feeling well!

  7. I was really happy to see this post. Glad your summer has been full of good things and people you love. Prayers that you will keep on enjoying your best life!! 😊

  8. Paula, May each day be as promising and beautiful as the sunrise over the lake! So nice to hear your good news. Many blessings and prayers continue for both you and your mom. Sherry B

  9. As I’m sitting here reading your post my heart is overwhelmed by your courage and determination. I haven’t met you in ‘person’ but that doesn’t matter one jot. I hold you in my heart and prayers Paula. Thank you for sharing your story, I am learning and deeply encouraged by it. God bless you, Mr. SP and Sherman.

  10. Great News Paula! You have an amazing attitude that will keep you focusing on life!
    Praying for you every single day!

  11. paula what a gift you give everyone who reads your story. you remind us to live in the present and surround ourselves with people who love us all while rocking a bikini!
    love to all of you!

  12. Paula, how wonderful to hear good news! You are the definition of strength and inspiration, and I will continue to hold you in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. Dear Paula,
    I’m so glad to read this good news. I’m sorry about the driving, but glad you have so many friends to help out. Praying for you!

    1. This is such great news. You’re truly an inspiration to us all.

      You are beyond brave and I’m happy you’re enjoying every second.

      Continued prayers and you look beautiful!

  14. I am so happy for you, Paula! I look forward to your health updates and the pictures of you living your best life. Thank you for sharing yourself, your life, and your family.
    You and your family are in my prayers daily.

  15. I am thrilled to read this good news, Paula! I constantly pray for continued strength and healing for you! And I love your joy de vivre!

  16. I’ve been carrying you on my heart and in my prayers since before I met you…and I will pray that you continue to have great test results and live your best life to create priceless memories for years to come, sweet friend. As for driving—just think of the opportunities to share life and conversation that this now gives you! It’s just more friend time on the horizon. Thank you, always for sharing.❤️

  17. What wonderful news! You are one of the strongest women I know. You’ve never once let this put you in a dark hole. You are a fighter and love how you continue to live and love life! You’ve got this!

  18. This post made me happy and I can’t stop smiling about your good news.I think you are a poster child for grace under pressure!!

  19. So happy that you are feeling better. I hope that things continue to stay in the positive direction. Yes, enjoy every minute of every day… Continuing with prayers.

  20. Paula—thank you for sharing your happy news. I’m so glad that you had good reports! I’m truly inspired by your determination to enjoy every single minute of every day. I, too, try to keep that as a life goal. Prayers will continue. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story.

  21. So glad you are doing well and fighting your best fight while living your best life! You’re blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family members to cheer you on! Maybe we’ll see you in VT this fall? Sending hugs!

  22. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are so strong. Thank you for showing us all of these gorgeous photos of your life and family – it’s a great reminder to me to focus more of my time and energy on the things that matter most. <3

  23. Thank you for sending this update. I am delighted you are doing well and I shall continue to include you in my prayers!
    Much love from Bente.

  24. Goof news and if I lived closer I would drive you around. Thans for letting your support know.

  25. I’m impressed with your outlook on life. You seem to be a very positive person. I tell myself it’s the moments that count. Because that’s really all any of us have. I hope you continue to get good news!

  26. Great news! I’m so glad to hear you are doing better Paula! I am sure you are relieved about the 3-month stretch!! You are such an inspiration and I admire your upbeat outlook. “…continue to enjoy every second of every single day.’ You are spreading so much hope and joy in the lives of many! You will remain in my prayers 🙂

  27. Wonderful news, Paula! I continue to pray for your health, and tha of your mother, you are so inspiring and I always look forward to your updates. Sherman is an added bonus! Big TX hugs!

  28. Thank you Jesus for this great news! So glad you are feeling well and as always, living your best life! Love all of the pictures, you have a beautiful head! 🙂 Your smile and bright eyes are all I see! May God continue to help you battle this disease!

  29. So glad to hear the wonderful news of all your tests … what a relief, I’m sure! You are so lucky to be surrounded by so many awesome family and friends!

  30. Happy to hear that everything is going well with your cancer treatments. Keep enjoying life. Having great friends is a blessing. I will continue to pray for you.

  31. Paula, I just found your blog & have read through your updates. You will be on my prayer list. You are beautiful & strong & encouraging to others! “Because she loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue her;
    I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name.” Psalm 91:14.

  32. So excited to hear your news! You’re a beautiful soul…..thank you for the update and the wonderful pictures.

  33. It’s a blessing to have such a great circle of friends to lean on when you need them!! Thank you so much for the update and I love that you are living your best every day, something we all need to learn to do!! Take care of yourself, love seeing the pictures of Sherman and you look great without the scarf, with the scarf and of course, with your wig!! I continue to keep all of you in my prayers for even better days ahead!!

  34. Paula, thank you for the update. It sounds great! Iknow it’s wonderful to hear some good news for a change. I’m so happy for you. It sounds like you are feeling better and doing things that you enjoy with people you love. That’s really great.
    I hope and pray that your mother is doing a lot better. Please know that I am praying for both of you.
    Hang in there and keep enjoying every day. Remember, the Lord is right there with you. He will see you through this. God bless you! Love ya!

  35. What wonderful news, Paula, that all your tests and scans were good!!!!! and I will continue to pray for your total healing and recovery! the Sunset photos were breathtaking!

  36. Paula, I am convinced you are like a Timex-you just keep on ticking.
    When I had cancer, I kept asking G0d not to let me die bald.
    How is your mother ? Praying for you both.

  37. Mrs Sweet Pea so good to see you and all your friends and family spending such good times together. You sure have a lot of people who love love and care about you and I am one of them. Sending prayers for you and your family.

  38. Paula eleven years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the same time, my niece -in-laws mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. While she has gone through much of what you are dealing with now, I’m happy to say that she is still fighting and living life to the fullest for her and her family. Much like you seem to be doing. So happy that your test results and scans were positive. Hang in there! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  39. Great news, Paula! Thank you for the update. As always, I’m in awe of your strength and positive attitude. It’s so wonderful to see you out there enjoying your life and being surrounded by people (and dogs) you love. Praying for continued healing!

  40. Hallelujah! I love getting good news from you! You are some kind of trooper! Enjoy your weekend, my friend.



  41. So proud to hear the good news. Thank you for allowing us to go through your journey with you. You are such an awesome young lady. Continuing to pray for you several times a day.

  42. Praying for continued healing for you, it is always so good to get good news and know your health is improving. You have a lovely soul and appreciate you sharing your journey with all of us.

  43. So happy to hear your good update! What an inspiration you are!! I love that you are living life to the fullest!! Not everyone does that- not even completely healthy people!! Thanks for sharing your story!

  44. Am I the only dude following you?? That cannot be.
    So happy for you that things are trending well…keep it up.

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