Ovarian cancer runs in my family. When my grandma was 37 years old, she started to develop the beginning stages of ovarian cancer. The doctor advised a hysterectomy to be on the safe side. Grandma already had four children, but she always wanted to have a big family. So the fact that she wouldn’t be able to bear more children was devastating to her.
After a brief period of sadness after the surgery, grandma was thrown into an early menopause, forcing her to deal with sudden raging emotions, mood changes, and body temperature fluctuations. About two months after surgery she also experienced an unexpected yearning…
She missed her menstrual cycle!
You and I know that having a period isn’t the most fun thing in the world. It can be inconvenient, to say the least. It can be painful with menstrual cramps. It can interfere with our work and relationships with uncontrollable mood swings. So was it odd for my grandma to miss her period?
Not at all. Despite all of those inconveniences and pains, menstrual cycles are symbolic of a young and healthy womanhood. Each month, as we experience our flow, we’re reminded of a common bond we share with other women. We’re reminded that most of us have the ability to reproduce, should we so desire. We’re reminded that another month has passed. We’re reminded that we are strong, capable, and enduring creatures. This list goes on. So if you really think about it, the reminder we often dread each month actually holds a lot of significance.
Grandma’s yeaning was, of course, no surprise. Like the old saying, “Enjoy it while you have it, or you will miss it.” Perhaps we can change the way we see our monthly friend: not something to be dreaded, but something to be celebrated and rejoiced; not the end, but also the birth of something more beautiful and magnificent. As women, we have the ability to renew and recreate ourselves every single month. Isn’t that something worth a tall glass of champagne?! Cheers!