The Halfway Mark


Midway through yesterday morning’s radiation treatment, when the machine was about halfway through the daily path is makes around my body, I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

At that moment of my 16.5th treatment, I was officially halfway done with this phase of my little battle with breast cancer.

The moment wasn’t lost on me – it’s been a long three and half weeks.  More so emotionally than physically, but my body is starting to bear some of the tell tale marks of my therapy.  An itchy, bumpy red rash is now spreading across the quadrant of my torso that is being treated – it’s almost uncanny how neatly it’s staying confined with the boundaries of the five pinpoint tattoos that mark the radiation field.  The most uncomfortable part of my breast now gets treated every night with those wonderful nursing pads filled with freezable gel.  A bit of fatigue has begun to kick in, so I’m enjoying taking mid afternoon naps a few days each week.  Honestly, I don’t think the fatigue is anything more than most moms feel every day of our lives, but I’m giving myself permission to sneak in a siesta!

I can’t tell you what a comfort it has been during the past few weeks to be walking this path as a faith filled Catholic mom!  Sustained by daily Eucharist and with the knowledge that friends and family around the country are lifting me up in prayer every day, I feel more spiritually refreshed than I have been in years.  My own private intercessory prayer life is busy too – some days I don’t have time to fit my entire list in during treatments times, so I’m more cognizant of making time for quiet prayer throughout the course of my day.

There’s something about being halfway done with a goal that makes you feel so good.  As a slow runner/jogger who’s done three marathons in my life, I’ve equated that midway point in a race or any challenge as the point of no return – if you’ve made it that far, there’s no turning back now!  I see new women arrive at the Cancer Center for treatment and I want to go up to them and hug them and tell them that it passes by quickly and relatively painlessly, and that – believe it or not – much good can come from embracing what is happening to your body and soul.  I am blessed that my situation is so much less difficult than 99% of my fellow patients, a point that I never cease to remind myself of every day.

This point of being halfway to the finish line makes me want to take a look at other difficult changes that need to be made in my life and to try to determine how I can break them into 33 segments of small change that will lead to lasting renewal.

But for now, 16.5 had become one of my lucky numbers.


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of 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 for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. Well, that was inspiring and uplifting and humbling. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for reminding us that it is possible to face great struggles with unbelievable grace. I will be praying for you. Peace.

  2. Thank you dear Lisa, for this moving and inspirational slice of your life! You are affecting so many people with your courageous and very prayerful fight against cancer! We are with you SISTER FRIEND!!

    God bless and love,

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