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The Small Victories I'm Celebrating After Surviving Breast Cancer


Recently, I’ve realized that my hair is long enough to start clogging the drain in my shower again. Rather than feeling a slight repulsion about the clump of hair, it makes me smile every time I step into the shower. Intellectually, I knew that having my hair again would make me happy, but the physical joy I feel when I experience it is truly pleasurable. Here are a few other small (and large) victories I have felt fully with my body, mind and spirit:

  • Walking through the grocery store and realizing I no longer had to cling tightly to the handle of the cart for support
  • The incredible sensation of literally feeling your cells come back to life — kind of like having billions of tiny balloons re-inflate themselves inside of your skin
  • Being able to breath deeply again, without pain or wheeziness
  • Hearing my son’s authentic joy at seeing me in my workout clothes again — “Mama, you look so beautiful!”
  • Having enough energy to be out and about on adventures with my family, and not having to rest for the remainder of the day
  • Watching the transformation to my eyes as the eyelashes began to grow in again

The list could go on and on.

I find it important to internally identify and note these changes, because they help me to have a deep appreciation for my health and my body, as well as assisting me in cultivating a deep compassion for what my loved ones and I went through.

I did practice this exercise this during treatment as well, because often my anticipation of how I would feel was much worse than what I actually felt.

I see this as a vital part of reclaiming myself, of emotional healing, and as a counterpoint to when I feel those feelings of frustration about the losses we have experienced. It’s about having a healthy balance of the two, our celebrations and our sorrows, to walk in this world as a resilient person.

I’d love to hear about your small victories. Feel free to share them below.  Let’s inspire one another.

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The Mighty, in partnership with Fuck Cancer, is asking the following: What was one thing you thought immediately after your diagnosis that you completely changed your mind about? Find out how to email us a story submission here.