To what degree is your body your own?

by — Oct. 12, 2000 (Comments)

I was horrified by the reports that came over the television all week long. It appears that anyone who took the birth control pill prior to 1975 has a better than average chance of developing breast cancer.

I remember in the mid 1960s that I was totally against taking the birth control pill. I was deeply afraid that there had not been enough research completed on what the outcome would be years later.

My husband insisted he was not going to be the one to take the precautions. I had to be the one to do that. We had 2 children and because of our precarious financial position, it was impossible to have more children. I worked part time just to put extra food like meat on the table. Actually, this was the only major issue in which he became quite selfish. But at what cost? My life?

There was absolutely no reasoning with him on this point. Several different times during this period, the doctor would take me off the pill so that my body would recognize its naturalness (did this tell me something?).

At last enough time had passed that the doctors would finally do the operation that would allow me to discontinue taking the pills. I had taken the pill approximately 10 years. At what price? I was concerned that I had taken the pill too long, I felt.

Today, health is more relevant to both men and women and the recognition of what drugs can do or not do to a person’s body. Would my husband be more compassionate about the situation today? I cannot answer that question. He is from the older generation and their sexual appetites were so selfish.

However, I would hope that women today would take into considerations that if they feel any doubt about what they are doing deep in their soul, don’t do it.

I want them to know that they should do all the research they can accomplish, listen to all the experts and their doctor, but ultimately in the long run they are responsible for their quality of life. That no matter what, they will not let someone persuade them or talk them into something they feel is not right for them.

For example, in my later years there was a question about taking hormones. I was told by two doctors that it was the best thing to do. I closely questioned my mother, my doctor, read all I could and made my choice, knowing what could happen either way, if I took them or didn’t. My doctor was angry that I wouldn’t do what was suggested. The outcome is my responsibility and if I have made a mistake, it was my choice to do so. I know that I can live with my decision and the responsibility of it.

I wish I could have been as firm when I was younger and more responsible for myself. It may have made the difference in the quality of my life in the future.