Ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to make.
This morning, one of the most wonderful things happened to me.
It has returned.
Miracles. Do. Happen.
Let the celebrations commence!
Bring out the marching band and champagne cause Aunt Flo has come back to town and she likes to get turned up!
Actually, Aunt Flo likes to put on her cozies, crawl into bed by 8 pm and binge watch The Bachelor but hey, that's kind of like getting turned up in your late thirties, right?
I have never, in all my life, been more excited about the presence of swollen boobs and cramps and I'm fully relishing in both.
I don't even know where to begin.
About a week ago I started noticing old familiar things happening within my body. I cried relatively out of nowhere. Nothing too new here however, that coupled with sore ta ta's and puffy, swollen appendages and face, lethargy, brain fog and feeling like I wanted to eat all the chocolate in the world (side note: I don't even care for chocolate anymore), I couldn't help but feel as if my body was on the verge of starting her cycle.
But it couldn't be. I was 100% convinced that radiation sent me into menopause.
So I brushed it off. Couldn't be. Both my oncologists were pretty certain that because they had to alter my treatment and my right ovary was exposed to radiation scatter, I was more than likely going to lose the function of both ovaries, thus, go into early menopause.
The funny thing is, when my radiation oncologist and I met way back in August right before my last treatment, I had asked her when I'd know if radiation sent me into menopause. She looked back at me with wide eyes and sighed, "Oh you'll know. Right away. Within the month you should start getting the symptoms." She said.
But nothing happened. No hot flashes or night sweats. No trouble sleeping, No huge change in sex drive. None of the normals signs of menopause were happening.
And I was confused.
However, I had my mind made up. My ovaries were crispy marshmallows and thus, I mourned and let go of a dream.
The funny thing was, something deep inside of me wasn't sitting well with this. You know, that tiny voice we don't like to listen to. Let's call her Gut Feeling. Intuition. Home Girl. You get it, right?
I kept getting these visions or whatever you'd like to call them, of one day waking up and realizing I had gotten my period again but kept brushing it off because I really didn't want to get my hopes up. Something deep inside of me knew though.
So waking yesterday to her wasn't a total shock but at the same time, was. You know what I mean? When something happens that you knew was going to happen but then you're like, how'd that happen?
Yeah, that's exactly what happened.
You see, I mourned the hell out of her this past fall. I cried, and let myself feel the feels and said goodbye way before I was ready to. I mourned all the dreams that having a period brought. Mainly, just my fertility and sex drive but I was never one of those girls who dreaded my period. It always made me feel connected to my sense of being a woman and I kind of like witnessing my cycle throughout the month.
But now it's back and I'm never going to take her for granted again.
Claire Baker, and adorable gal whom I went to IIN with, has a whole program called Adore Your Cycle where she teaches you to look at your cycle as a gift rather than a burden. I'm kind of stoked to do this now.
You see, we've been taught that our cycle is this dreaded thing that happens for a few days once a month because so many of us have had horrible experiences with it. However, your cycle actually holds so much information. It's quite powerful really. To be clear, when I say cycle I am referring to the whole calendar month. That is your cycle. Not just the three to seven days you bleed.
There is a wealth of knowledge out there about the various phases of your cycle. Again, Claire has a wealth of information on this you can find here. And by the way, she has no idea I'm even linking to her. I've just always admired her work and have been leaning into the idea that we women are incredibly powerful, cyclical creatures. Think about what we could do and create if we learned to work with nature instead of against it!
Anyway, I digress a bit.
So yes. It happened. This thirty-seven year old is back in action. Bring on the chocolate and rom coms because day two of aunt flo is in full effect and I need some Meg and Tom in my life!
But in all seriousness, I still have a lot to think about. In a weird way, going into menopause early would have made my decision to have a hysterectomy easier. I still want to wait until I'm forty at the earliest but if I'm still flowin' then, I wonder how I will feel about having to decide?
However, I'm incredibly grateful for a little more time to reconnect with the deeper meaning of my cycle. To explore how it influences my creativity and drive and see how it can teach me to love myself even more.
I hope, if anything, that if you are a woman and reading this it's sparked a little curiosity within you.
And now you officially know way more about me and my period then I bet you ever thought.
You are welcome.