Cairns, 51, was left paralysed in both legs after a major heart incident and subsequent surgeries two months ago.
He suffered an aortic dissection - a tear in the body's main artery - in Canberra and was rushed to Sydney's St Vincent's hospital where he spent a week on life support.
But, in a recent post to social media, the former Black Caps all-rounder describes what he calls "a flickering" in his right ankle.
"Super stoked about that. Toes are the furthest point from the brain and messages are slowly making their way down to them."
Cairns says while he's still got a long way to go in his recovery, he's celebrating the small wins.
Regarded as one of the best all-rounders of his era, Cairns played 62 tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989-2006 before becoming a television pundit.