Paula Davis Hitch beat breast cancer. Twice.
Staying strong and positive, Hitch defied her diagnosis and is currently enjoying life to the fullest in her adopted town of Lebanon.
Hitch is originally from nearby Hermitage, where she attended DuPont High School - and where her 84-year-old mother still resides.
She moved to Lebanon with her husband, Ed Hitch, to be closer to their son and his family.
"Wilson County has all you need," she said. "Shopping at The Mill, Outlet Mall and on the square is great. The Capitol Theatre has great old movies and live shows. We love our neighborhood and all the friends we have met in this area ... If the 'Big City' is on the agenda, Nashville is a stone's throw away."
The couple is parents to adult children, John, 33, and Elena, 26. Hitch's occupation is "granddaughter sitter," she said, adding that another sweet grandbaby is due in May.
However, there was a time when Hitch was concerned about her future.
She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in May 1999. Hitch had three surgeries and biopsies before it was confirmed.
"My world changed in a split second. Our kids were young, and I had to keep a positive attitude," she said.
Treatment included two lumpectomies, mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and prescribed Tamoxifen for five years. "Later research determined that this drug might have led to the second, more aggressive cancer," she explained.
Hitch was diagnosed a second time in 2008. It was Stage 3 aggressive, and she had nine surgeries this time.
"It was a very, very long year," she said. "My family and friends really came through for both occurrences. My husband has stood by me no matter what the situation."
Hitch's advice to anyone going through an illness such as hers is: Do not turn down help and comfort, and don't worry about losing body parts that you might think are important to you - others don't care if your health is at stake.
"Hair is overrated. It comes back," she said. "Really bad at first, but it does come back."
Nowadays her favorite hobbies, outside of babysitting, are gardening, decorating, going to wine tastings and Titans games and spending her husband's money, Hitch added with a laugh.
She listed her mom, Marilyn Monroe, her family and fabulous girlfriends as the women she most admires.