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.