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Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

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12.16.04
My Last Mensus

I started menstruating this morning. Every woman tends to dread that monthly ritual, the collection of tissue and blood found like a dark blooming rose in the folds of our underwear. The monthly visitation should not come as a surprise, but it does. And like other mornings this morning I cursed the stain in the beautiful pair of underwear­—sheer pink with swiss dots, and I quickly washed them to lesson the severity of the stain. After I was done I had a moment. A swift moment. It was like a bird passing before me—blurred in its flight home. I realized at that very moment the ritual which I have experienced since the age of 13 is coming to a close. Because of the chemotherapy my body will be forced into early menopause. This will be my last menstrual experience. Then I started to cry. I cried. I cried to grieve for my lost blood, the very thing that I have come to understand as a part of my being. For women menstruating is a ritual much like the brushing of our hair or the cleaning of our teeth. This extermination is not fading sweetly. I will not be given the chance to experience the grace and badge of maturing beauty towards another level of womanhood. Rather the door is being shut fast. The uncontrollable tears. And I continued to cry because I did not realize how difficult it would be to know that the blood which flows through the doorway of all my love will no longer be. With ringing hands, I grieve. I cannot help it. My wish for today: may the grace of my last passage be beautiful with the pangs and glory of all that I have known and will continue to know within the spirit of my dancing soul.

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