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Pamela Clare

So well said! This information ought to have been out there years ago. Ironically, I went on the pill at age 15 because I figured it would make my boobs grow. I was on it for a year, and then for another year or two as an adult. I didn't take it long because I didn't like how it made me feel. But the idea that it might cost me my breasts one day was never discussed.

Thanks for writing this!



No joke. For my generation it was considered a blessing. No unexpected pregnancy-before or after marriage to derail relationships or career paths. No one ever said "play now, Pay later" and if for some reason someone couldn't be "on the "pill" we felt sorry for them! I'm not sure I ever read a "side effects" label back in the day. In my case it was migraines that were three days long but I put up with them until I noticed the timing. Until I got no other advice from my m d than "we can try another brand". Chuck opted for the vasectomy. I lost the headaches. Gained other things just as inconvenient. The big M was a blessing :) and it wasn't that bad for me. I was lucky there. What bothers me these days is the "there's no need for a Pap smear after age 65 when there's still no cure for cervical cancer. My doc agreed to one every two years after I exploded in his office. Insurance doesn't cover it? Who cares! I' rather prevent than endure if I can. Time for a change I say. Good post Kathy! Xo

Tom Barclay

I hadn't thought of this . . . but the connection is clear as you lay it out. Yes, I'm seeing friends and acquaintances in other places saddle up and go into battle. Some are lost - one last month, best friend of an old friend.

You also know we've thrown crap into the environment that Satan wouldn't let through the Gates of Hell. My father was a civil engineer in the 50s, 60s and 70s who worked in the fertilizer industry. EPA? Surely you jest. The docs were never able to identify the primary site of his cancer. It matched no known sample.

And where did my mother's cancer originate? They didn't use contraceptives. The only oddity I've ever been able to identify was that they spent time in the Desert Southwest back in the days of above-ground nuclear testing. But it was just as likely to be something he brought home on his clothing after field construction trips.

All of which is to say that people are stupid and go off half-cocked, especially when profits are involved.

Our fury will not defeat the disease itself; that seems to encourage it. But rage at those fools who got us into these messes, with assurances of safety? Oh, yes, let the tumbrels roll.

Susan Badali Coshin

I always remember some comedienne in the late 70's joking that 30-40 years from then women who were taking the Pill were going to wake up with one leg shorter than the other. If only. Sending you prayers and thanking you for always saying what I'm thinking in a much more amusing way!


I'm spitting-shit angry right alongside you.

Regarding Catholic theologians... thank God for Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (my Senior Divinity Paper advisor).

Storyteller Mary

. . . and let's add, research into men's health issues then applied to women as if we were just curvier men . . .
I didn't handle the pill well, but got my share of hormones trying to manage menopause while teaching high school . . . sigh. The things we do for our students.

Healing hugs to you, my dear friend.

Marcia Talley

I took the very first versions of the pill -- honking big doses back then -- and at age 37, was diagnosed with estrogen-bound breast cancer. Had a mastectomy and chemo. Ugh. Fortunately, I'm alive today, but I often wonder -- would I have gotten the disease at all if I hadn't taken those pills.


I'm just going to weigh in a little about HRT these days. I have been on it a long time, because I went through menopause at the lovely age of 35. I was actually on the pill for 15 years, since it does the same thing as HRT. I was concerned about it for all the reasons you cite here. However, my doctor (who has written tomes about menopause and treatments) told me that the study that caused many women to stop taking HRT only studied women over the age of 65. There were no cases of early menopause, like me, and if I did not take the estrogen, my bones would have broken down very quickly. I have been on straight HRT for the last three years, and the dosage is lower than the pill I was on, which was pretty low to start with. Since I am the poster child for menopause and have Every Single Symptom, this is a necessary evil for me. Every woman is different, and I am lucky not to have breast cancer in my family. Without the HRT I would be miserable and suffering and my husband would likely have left me long ago. So there are two sides to this.

Pam aka SisterZip

There are, Karen. At 33 I started experiencing menopausal symptoms. I asked my GYN if that was what it was and he patted my knee and said, "Oh, honey, its too much estrogen instead of not enough". After putting up with 4 years of trying this & trying that (yeah, I was stupid), he decided to retire & sold his practice to a younger doctor. I was sitting in the exam room the first appointment, to meet & greet as it were and asked if he had read my file specifically the last two years. Of course, he said. And I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Doc, you don't know me from Adam, but let me assure you, I'm close to the end of my rope. You have one shot to keep me as a patient and it relies on the answer to this question. Am I too young to be going into menopause?" He said, "Of course not". And, almost running across the room and hugging him, I said, "Keep talking". I tried all different kinds of antidepressants (a lot of them help significantly, but had unacceptable side effects like hair loss, lol), hormones, and "natural wonders". Dr. Pearl & I had to endure about another 6 years of insurance bullshit before they would approve my hysterectomy at age 46. I'm still on HRT because without it Dear Hubby would have left me (no likely about it, Karen, not that it would be a deal breaker, lol), I'd be out of work and in a mental institution. Right now I'm on a lose dose patch and it seems to keep the hot flashes and the looney toons away.

While not for everyone, it sometimes can be a life saver.

Pam Purtle

Pam aka SisterZip

I just noticed...

that it should be LOW dose patch.

and it only took me 6 hours to notice.


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