I’m halfway there!

I am halfway through chemotherapy treatments in my fight against breast cancer and I think that’s reason to celebrate. (Or at least a good excuse for a mini-celebration with donuts my friend brought over!)

I believe I am winning this battle. I have every reason to be hopeful based on what my oncologist has said. And each week as I cross another chemo treatment off my calendar, I see myself a little closer to the finish line.

The chemo I am receiving now isn’t as physically hard on me as the drug they first started me on. I’m grateful for that and I know I am lucky because my body has handled the treatments about as well as one could hope for. But even still, chemo is tough. It beats you down and feels unrelenting at times. It changes you.

And those changes mean that on the tough days, I look in the mirror and hardly recognize the reflection looking back at me.

A friend who brought dinner for my family had been unprepared for the physical changes. She walked in my house, singing out a "hello." But as I emerged from my room and she took in the "new me" she stopped in her tracks. She recovered in mere moments and began chatting again, however her face told a story her words did not.

I’ve been thinking about changes a lot lately. I recently celebrated a birthday and it was hard not to contemplate how different my life is from 12 months ago.

Michele Brunoro's birthday

But I don’t want to dwell on what I feel I have lost. I know many others in this fight have lost so much more. So I’m trying to focus on all that I have. And truthfully, I have been blessed in so many ways. Perhaps cancer has made me appreciate them more.

A few of the things that I am grateful for:

          The promise in a sunrise and the quiet of a sunset.

          Parents who taught me the value of family and unconditional love – and who would take my place in the chemo chair each week if only they could.

          My three kids, who are my greatest joy.

          Family and friends who make me feel like I am never alone.

          To have the career I dreamed about since I was an elementary-aged kid walking around with a pen in my hand, pretending it was a microphone, and " interviewing" people.

          To live in what I truly believe is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

          A faith that gives me hope

Maybe you are battling cancer or someone you know is. Maybe you are facing another kind of health challenge. Or maybe you’ve just had a bad day, a bad week, a bad month.

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it is unfair. I see too many people on this cancer journey who are suffering and I wonder why they face this road.

I have no answers – but I hope that even on your dark days you will see slivers of light and small blessings worth celebrating.

Michele Brunoro will be providing ongoing updates during her medical leave on her blog, The 3,800 Club.

Michele Brunoro beach celebration