Random Radiation Musings - Day 10 of 33


If you’re lucky, you missed my post over at Faith and Family Live! this week, where I shared that I was “Running on Empty” following my mid week radiation treatments.  For those needing a bit more background on my breast cancer journey, you can get caught up here.

Earlier in the week, I was a bit down in the dumps.  Spending time at the Cancer Center is not painful in any way, other than emotionally.  Every weekday morning, I drop Adam at school, head to 8:00 mass and then drive the ten minutes to my treatment.  By the time I arrived, I’ve had my morning coffee and breakfast, spent time with my family, done a few hours of work, and been fed spiritually at Mass.

I walk in the door feeling ready to take on the world.  The wonderful people who administer my treatments are fast becoming good friends.  They ask about my day, listen to my stories, and ask questions that make me realize that they are truly listening to what I’m saying rather than just making small talk.  They treat me with such unbelievable care and dignity – it’s a bit overwhelming at first for a modest person like me to walk into a room and have a variety of people see me in various stages of undress.  But somehow, the careful way in which these technicians remove my robe to ensure I’m properly lined up on the table and then gingerly make sure I’m appropriately draped prior to treatment exudes compassion.

After ten treatments, it’s becoming reflexive to position myself on the table, allow myself to be lined up, and then to close my eyes and pray while the radiation machine hovers around me, doing its work.  My prayers tend to be for those whose path I’ve crossed in the hallway and for the most recent intentions on my list, such as our friend Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s travels to Illinois for a retreat or for all of the SQPN moms who are due to have babies any time!  In some ways, it feels like a daily luxury to rest on that table so  quietly.  There is no pain involved and the only sound is the radiation machine’s gentle hum.  If treatments took any longer, I’d likely be falling asleep!

On Monday, after my 11th treatment, I will be one third of the way done with my progress toward a clean bill of health.  I can look at this journey and see the spiritual benefits it has reaped in my life:  daily mass is a wonderful habit I’ve wanted to build into my schedule for years and my intercessory prayer vocation has rarely felt more active.  Since I’m not having any side effects other than fatigue, there are seemingly no downsides to this seven week journey!

Though I was “running on empty” earlier this week, I’m happy to report that I’m now feeling less emotionally drained by this process.  It will likely continue to be very difficult to be confronted on a daily basis with the stories of so many people who are suffering physically and emotionally – but it’s a a joy to know that I can pray for each of them in my own little way.


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. Lisa,

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us down to the details of the compassion exuding from the technicians. I am glad that your energy level isn’t as depleted now. I feel so honored and blessed to have had your prayers for the retreat I gave in Illinois and really felt them. 🙂 God put you in my thoughts and prayers too. Isn’t He wonderful? He has it all figured out!

    Be assured of my prayers for this journey that you are facing with such courage and surrender. You are such an exemplary example to us all!

    God bless and big hugs,

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