Woah, We’re Halfway There…

This morning on my way in to work I heard Bon Jovi’s classic hit, “Livin’ On A Prayer” and caught myself singing along loudly and joyfully.

“Woah, we’re halfway there…
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear,
Woah, we’re livin’ on a prayer!”

(You totally just sang that, didn’t you?)

Yesterday was my 15th radiation treatment. That means, baby, we are halfway there. Halfway done.

I’m starting to get a rash on the left, upper part of my chest–right under my collarbone. I am assured this is pretty normal and that other than being a little pink, my skin looks really good. I’ve started using Cortizone on my rashy part because it itches and that is not really very fun. I can also take Tylenol to help with that, so last night I took a Tylenol PM.

I’m tired a lot, but I haven’t been sleeping well at night. We have quite a bit going on, and my anxiety likes to put all the things on a continues looping parade in my brain every night. I should probably talk to one of my many doctors about that. Tylenol PM should probably  not be a long-term care plan for my sleep.

Since we are on the topic of halfway, when this week ends I will be halfway through the school year. My 8th graders are taking exams this week to finish up first semester. I think we are all looking to a fresh start after the first of the year.

I’m also halfway through my first school year as a grad student. I have one class done, and am looking forward to my next class starting in January.

So we are halfway in a lot of the things going on in our lives. We are also, quite literally, livin’ on a prayer. Ok, more than just one…many. We are livin’ on YOUR prayers.

I don’t say a whole lot about my faith here–mostly because I don’t really know how. It also fluctuates so much that it’s hard to pin it down in mere words. By the time I hit “publish” my feelings have probably shifted. This year has put my faith through the grinder in a way that it hasn’t in a long time.

I have decided over and over again in my life to just be done with church and God and faith stuff because it seemed dumb and too hard to keep up when I was mad or hurt. This year I didn’t do that even though 2018 has thrown a lot at us to make us question all the things. From my cancer to what our Charlie is going through to what friends and leaders in our faith have done and gone through. It’s been a lot.

And yet we still show up Sunday after Sunday.

I still pray constantly–even with tears streaming down my face (and sometimes swear words coming out of my mouth).

But most importantly, through all the shit storm this past year has thrown at us, it has also provided unceasing support from people in our lives. The cards that have poured in have sustained us–each one sent with prayers of strength. 

Each hug given, a prayer has been whispered in our ear.

Each text and message filled with prayers.

When we felt like we couldn’t go on, when I felt like I could not possibly show up to another day of this life, when my whole world, my family, and my friends felt like they were tearing apart at the seams…prayers would show up.

I don’t think these prayers changed the outcome of my chemotherapy or my friends’ troubles or Charlie’s struggles. I don’t think prayer works that way. I don’t think you get to ask God to take cancer away and he decided to do it or not. I don’t think that he said, “nope” when we asked him to take away Cortney’s dad’s cancer, but “sure” to mine. Honestly, I don’t believe God is in cancer at all.

What I do believe is that God is in the prayers. And I believe those prayers sustained us. They really gave us peace and strength. And I believe that having peace and strength is a big part of at least being able to deal with what comes.

That is what we have been doing: dealing with what comes.

Livin’ on a prayer (or many).

And now we’re halfway there.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Well done for making it this far, girl. This year has been rough for me too but prayers have carried me too.