It’s been 266 weeks since my bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. That’s roughly 1,865 days or 44,760 hours or 2,685,600 minutes that I spent wondering if I would ever get my life back. If I would every be able to climb something, or push myself up again. If I would ever sleep comfortably or be able to look in the mirror again without cringing. If I would ever be able to shower or swim without constant pain and weakness.

I’m not completely healed from my most recent surgery, yet, but today I can do the following things that I haven’t been able to do in all those increments of time:

  1. Stretch when I wake up in the morning.
  2. Touch the doorframe with both hands each time I walk into a room.
  3. Brush my teeth without a break.
  4. Wash my hair while standing upright.
  5. Brush my hair while standing upright.
  6. Hand someone something just out of reach without repositioning my entire body or getting up.
  7. Scratch the itch in the middle of my upper back.
  8. Braid my hair.
  9. Push myself off of the ground (without assistance) with minimal pain.
  10. Zip my own dresses all the way up.

In the weeks that follow, I hope that my pain will continue to diminish, but even the level at which it resides currently is so much more manageable than than it once was. I will hope that next week’s list will be 20 instead of 10, but anything better than 9 is something for me to be thankful for.