I am returning to my old self. My hair is growing back — and on most days, I actually like my dark, short, wavy hair. My skin is back to normal which means the effects of radiation are gone — no redness or irritation or pain. Just a regular armpit with a few scars. My menstrual cycle has returned — so I will not enter menopause at my young age and I now have back the option of getting pregnant. There are many issues to consider, and it’s recommended that I wait one year before making a decision, but the choice is mine and that is enough to make me happy for now.

My energy is normal again too. Joey and I were on my bed the other afternoon, watching TV. It was the first time in a long time that I let my body rest without fighting sleep. I was wide awake, not tired at all. There were times in the past months when fatigue surrounded me. One day I feel asleep in a living room chair and woke to Joey saying, “mommy, did you have a nice rest?” I am no longer desperate for sleep during the day. I like that.

Today I saw my surgeon again — seven months after he removed my lump and four lymph nodes — and he looked at my breast for a possible infection. He determined it is not infected. He said I am well. He told me I’m good for another 10,000 miles. I hope I exceed 10,000 miles.

Jacki Donaldson