Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Story of Aunt Flow

My Aunt Flow used to visit me every month since just before I turned thirteen. Usually she was kind of a pain in the ass (among other things), but, still, I loved her because I knew she kept me healthy. For a whole year, starting May of 2010, just after I began chemotherapy, Aunt Flow went on vacation. I imagined she was off in Egypt exploring the pyramids, or roughing it in the Australian outback. She never called or sent a post card, but I stopped missing her pretty quickly. It was nice to have the break since chemo was so uncomfortable and Aunt Flow can be a little much to deal with at times.

To my surprise, one year later, in May of 2011, Aunt Flow showed up at my door and I welcomed her with love and tears of joy. I was relieved, for I had feared that she had died or gone away forever, and no one knew where she was or if she would ever return. After May, came June, and Aunt Flow was back for her usual three or four day visit, and I started to think we were back in our old monthly habits. July followed, and Aunt Flow arrived early, and she seemed a little bit angry. I feared she would never stop raging and maybe never leave, but about five or so days later, she finally said her goodbyes and left me to sleep a lot.

August came and, despite all signs to the contrary, Aunt Flow did not arrive as scheduled, and no one else seemed all that concerned over her absence. September came and went with no news, but I must have missed her a lot, because I could feel her in my gut from wherever she’d gone off to, maybe thinking of me. I worried she might show up and I would be unprepared for her visit. Then, miraculously, she popped in in early October, and my fears of her demise were put to rest. Her stay was short, but welcomed, even though she can behave like a total bitch sometimes. We said our goodbyes, and see you next month, but November came with no sign of her arrival, followed by December, and the holidays and merriment; with all the red ribbons and bows she would have loved: still no Aunt Flow.

In rang the new year, and I began to question if Aunt Flow was just getting too old to visit each month. Maybe my chemotherapy and my cancer really drove her away. I continued to worry through the long month of January. Even in the months of her absences, I still found myself craving our usually sugary indulgences, and getting extra tired from all our busy activity. Again, I began to think Aunt Flow had gone for good, and I missed her because I knew her visits meant I might, one day, be visited by her close friend, Mr. Stork, which is something I have dreamed of since I was very young.

In the past few weeks I have experienced so many “Aunt Flow is coming” signs, but I get tricked by those a lot. So, imagine my joy (and confusion), after months of worry over her whereabouts, she just burst onto the scene when I was in the bathroom yesterday! I was elated and, even though she is killing my back and testing my patience as usual, I am really glad to see her after so long.

I don’t know how long her stay will be; hopefully just a few days because I have a lot to get done and she does tend to get in the way and really make quite a mess. But, I do love her, and, even if I may only see her a few times a year now, at least I know she is okay (for now), and that she makes the effort to arrive for me and keep me healthy until the day I’m ready for Mr. Stork to come and take her place for just a bit. And, if it turns out that we return to monthly visits, I welcome them with open arms (and a bunch of chocolate!)