Living with Stage Four Lung Cancer – October 2021 Update

Living with stage-four lung cancer is like riding a roller coaster; there are many ups, peppered with a few downs.

I continue to feel great following my whole brain and spine radiation treatments in April and May. My taste buds aren’t as sharp as they used to be and my balance is wonky at times but otherwise, I feel terrific.

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

Hiking in Smith Mountain Lake State Park, VA
Enjoying a weekend visit with dear friends from Arizona.

My late September brain and spine MRI showed that the leptomeningeal disease in my brain is growing again which means it is time to seek out a new treatment.

My oncologist recommended that I travel to Mass General in Boston to learn more about a clinical trial that looks to be promising.

Mass General quickly contacted me and an appointment was scheduled for Tuesday, October 5. We did our best to get flown in for this appointment, but it wasn’t possible with such short notice.

On Monday, October 4, we loaded Sherman into the car and drove 12 hours to Boston.

dog riding in a car on a dog bed

My appointment was at 2 pm, so we enjoyed walking Sherman in a park very close to our hotel and the hospital in the morning.

Woman and dog walking in a park in Boston

This wasn’t our first trip to Boston. You can read about our previous trip here and here.

The appointment was a good one. The clinical trial was explained to us and we were told that I would be contacted in a few days with news of how long it may be until a spot opens.

Two women who look alike but aren't related
Seeing my “twin” at Centerfest in Bedford, VA

On Wednesday we made the long drive back home. Stopping at a farm stand in New Jersey was a treat. We enjoyed walking Sherman there and came home with some goodies to enjoy.

Melick's Town Farm cherry pie and cider donuts

The plan for my care right now is to stay on my current medication until a spot in the trial becomes available. Please pray or send good vibes that this happens very soon!


  1. Paula, you are such an inspiration. Despite a very unfair situation you were dealt, you are still able to find the good. I am so glad that you are feeling terrific! I pray that a spot opens up immediately in the trial! You have got this!! Sending lots of prayers! ❤️❤️

  2. Praying for a spot to open quickly and that this trial will be effective in restoring you to perfect health.

  3. Paula, you are such a bright spot and inspiration. Thank you for sharing. Continued prayers for you and for a spot in the trial to open soon.

    1. Paula, I’m praying right now that a spot would open up quickly for you, and if it’s all right I’m going to pray what’s on my heart right now Lord God I thank you for Paula, thank you Lord for your infinite and unending love. I thank you that Paula was able to go to Boston and talk to them about this trial Lord we ask in your precious name that you would make a way and open doors so that she could become part of this trial as quickly as possible. We know that nothing is too hard for you and we ask Lord for this on her behalf for open doors and straight paths. I ask your blessings and a healing touch over her Lord. I just lift her to you right now and thank you Lord for the beautiful way in which she lives her life. Bless her dear Lord and her all her loved ones in your precious name amen

  4. Praying for you! Thank you for sharing your journey! God is good, praying that spot opens soon and that the treatment is a success! I am inspired by your sweet attitude and optimistic spirit!

  5. Sending positive vibes and lots of prayers that you get a spot in the trial soon Paula! Thanks for the updates, it helps us know how to pray ❤

  6. Paula –
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers, Praying that a spot is available quickly and that this is what will be the answer. You’re truly an inspiration! You are what hope and determination looks like.

  7. Praying specifically that a spot will open up for you, Paula. You are in my prayers continually. And I am so glad you are able to enjoy friends, Sherman and trips to the farms with yummy food. Take care of yourself, my dear friend. All my love…

  8. You look beautiful I have to say! I’m praying a spot opens up for you and praying for full recovery!🙏🏻

  9. Paula, you are amazing. Your beautiful smile and radiant attitude to live life to the fullest all while in treatment is inspiring. I have you in my prayers and hope that a spot opens soon my friend. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Your ability to share your story is just amazing. Praying for your spot and for you to continue living your very best life.

  11. I love your positivity regardless of the ups and downs. I will be praying that a spot opens soon for you! Praying earnestly for you.

  12. Praying that a spot opens up for you, Paula. And, soon. I love how accompany’s you nearly everywhere. I’m sure having him with you on journeys like this one provides a great deal of comfort. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Juliet! Sherman is just what I need during stressful times. He takes good care of both his mama and daddy.

    2. You have such a strong will for life…I see you battling this and know that you can and will get past this soon. Keep being a fighter! I know all to well it’s a rough road before, now and in the future but I know you will keep battling this monster! I wrote you a very long letter one day and when I hit send I lost every bit of it because my email was messed up. I was mad as a hornet because I spent a great deal of time on it. I just got the email working again and then I saw this post and decided to write a bit here. Not only are my prayers with you every single day but God is watching over you and you got this! It’s a long road so stay focused and fight like hell! You’ve got a great amount of followers supporting you and we thank you for letting us try to help in any way we can. We thank you for sharing this with us so we will lift you when you need it most. Just let us know if you are struggling and need words of praise or if you want to cuss us all out, I think we’re all ok with that too. Whatever you need! ♥️

  13. Paula, praying that a spot opens in the trial very soon. You are such a strong woman and an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  14. Praying for you Paula! You have such a positive attitude and I know a spot will open up for you in the trial soon. Sending love and strength your way.

  15. Praying that the call comes soon. You have been in my prayers over the last months and I will continue to lift you up. You are a strong and courageous woman and I am sure you are an inspiration to many women like me. 🥰

  16. I’m sorry you are going through this. I dont blog full time so I did not know about your illness. I am
    A big believer in praying and I will light a candle for you.. you are amazing lady. All my prayers Maria

  17. Paula, you are in my daily prayers. You are an unbelievable and inspirational being. Not because of this only, but because you are such a kind person and always present for others. I am sending you a big virtual hug my sweet friend. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  18. Dear Paula, you are an inspiration to us all. I’m praying God’s healing hand upon you and for miracles to abound in your life and body. I pray that you will filled with God’s faith and encouragement. Thankyou for sharing with us so we know how to pray for you. God Himself is giving you a “thumbs up”!!!

  19. Paula, what a privilege to lift you up in prayer. Your honesty makes that so very easy to do. It’s wonderful to see your energy and adventures as you tackle this. God bless you.

  20. Paula – many prayers, good vibes and good wishes to you. You are such a brave and strong inspiration to us all. Praying for an immediate opening for you in the clinical trial and for God to wrap his healing arms around you. You’re an amazing woman!


  21. Paula I think and pray for you often.Praying for a spot to open up and for science to continue to move treatments forward. Give Sherman a hug from Chloe and Elliott in Colorado.

  22. Adding my prayers to all the others a spot opens up for you soon, Paula! It’s always so inspiring to see you and Sherman out on special adventures no matter what the season. I hope you feel how much you are loved and treasured. Thank you for sharing your cancer journey with us. Sending you lots of love and hugs, CoCo

  23. I am so glad I saw your post and read it because will definitely put you in my prayers. This post had such significance for me because I went through this with my father. So I will be lifting you up in prayers even more! Be blessed, new friend!

    1. My father also died from lung cancer. It was a horrible death that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I am so sorry that you had to watch your dad die of this horrible disease. I so much appreciate your support and prayers!

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