This is Me…
I’m sick. I’m sick, I’m pretty scared and I need a life changing surgery. My close friends and father know what I have been going through and although I’ve been strong but quiet about my illness, I need help now to continue, I need to spread the word and I need support.
I'm a strong animal lover and consider myself a voice for animals and an animal advocate. I care about women’s rights and women’s health, climate change and Mother Nature. I love trail walking, making jewelry, fostering homeless cats and volunteering at animal sanctuaries and rescues.
Almost 19 years ago I underwent a breast augmentation surgery to correct a breast deformity/birth defect called tuberous breasts. During the surgery my muscles/tissue that were creating the deformity were released and implants were inserted. Fast forward to today, I’m unable to live a remotely normal life due to something called BII (Breast Implant Illness) or could be known as ASIA Syndrome (AutoImmune Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants). My symptoms were quite subtle and manageable to start with but over the last 7 years my life has been pulled out from under me. It is easy to understand that two bags of toxic chemicals implanted in the chest over crucial organs and glands will cause profound illness in our bodies. The FDA has also released this year that breast implants can even cause BIA ALCL (Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma), a cancer of the immune system. The issue is this… Why is Breast Implant Illness not recognized by so many in the medical community?
This is what I’ve been through and what I've been battling and this is why I need proper explant surgery to remove my implants and all the scar tissue surrounding them.
*debilitating chronic fatigue
*severe breast burning, itching and pain (unable to lift arm and stretch, exercise)
*hematoma of left breast
*capsular contracture of both breasts
*boils, rashes, allergic reactions, ringworm
*molescum contagiosum (a virus that comes out in the form of very contagious growths on your skin that need to be burnt off – took almost 2 years of burning off MANY growths for the virus to finally subside)
*severe depression, anxiety & OCD
*interstitial cystitis (a chronic disease with severe bladder pain & inflammation, urgency, leaking, frequency, chronic pelvic pain)
*loss of hair
*vertigo and dizziness
*vision loss in dark & sensitivity to light
*shortness of breath and events of gasping for air
*intrauterine polyps (surgery to remove Jan/17 along with D&C)
*multiple BV infections
*heavy metal toxicity & metal taste in mouth (mercury, lead, thallium, tin – 2 rounds of meds to remove, keeps coming back)
*chronic severe constipation, bloating and bouts of diarrhea and stomach cramping
*45lbs weight gain impossible to lose
*elevated b12 levels, blood sugar levels, C-Reactive Protein levels (indicates inflammation) and low Homocysteine levels
*night sweats and day sweats soaking through clothing and bedding
*severe intolerance to heat
*numbness and tingling in hands and feet
*brain fog and loss of words
*forgetting where I was going, what I was doing
*unable to bring up past memories, remember codes I use daily, remember passwords, recall conversations I had recently
*infected lymph nodes under arms with rashes – unable to shave for 3 years due to pain/reactions
*joint pain & stiffness, muscle pain
*ear aches, ear infections, fluid in ears, slow draining eustacean tubes
*inflammation throughout the body
*slow healing wounds/wounds opening up after stitches removed
*coldsore breakouts & fevers
*feelings of choking and tightness around throat
*reactions and sensitivities to foods, chemicals, medications
Breast implants may cause toxicity in the body different ways. They are foreign objects that cause stress to the immune system on an ongoing basis eventually overwhelming the immune system and causing immune system dysfunction and failure. Immune system dysfunction leads to auto-immune symptoms and diseases. Immune system failure allows bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites to grow and spread. These bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites produce bio-toxins which cause an inflammatory response and overload our organs of detoxification.
Due to illness, I have had to leave my part-time job of 3 years. After consulting with my surgeon here in Canada, I was was not guaranteed a full capsulectomy en bloc and the surgery was offered at a cost to me. After speaking to over 10 other surgeons offices here in Canada, I was either told this was not covered by OHIP, was not guaranteed full capsule removal or any removal of capsule at all, was not guaranteed drain usage for recovery or was told they would not perform this surgery unless I was a previous patient. Also, in order to get covered by OHIP, you must have Baker IV capsular contracture, recurring infections, breast cancer, rupture or complications reading results of mammography due to implant. I have none of these complications with my current implants making OHIP coverage not an option. None of these conversations made me feel very comfortable, safe or trusting, so I moved on and found an excellent surgeon in the USA who meets all the criteria I am looking for to have the best chance of recovery and healing (removes implants and capsules en bloc, guarantees full capsule removal, uses drains, has 0% infection rate, provides after hours emergency contact info, within driving distance to my home, believes in Breast Implant Illness, refuses to perfom implant surgery). I need to trust my surgeon and have the peace of mind knowing I will be in good hands and get the prodecure I need for optimum healing.
The most important step in a proper explant surgery is removing the complete capsule en bloc. This means 100% of the scar tissue that forms around the implant to protect the body must be removed with the implant in one piece (en bloc). En bloc is the safest way to explant as it lessons the chance of toxins being released into the body.
If I can raise $11,800 CDN before my surgery date (this covers only the surgery and not the other costs) and get healthy, I plan to dedicate my energy and time to the well-being of the planet and our animals. I want to spend my life volunteering globally and become actively involved in helping other women who suffer from Breast Implant Illness by speaking to them about my experience and educating women about this debilitating disease.
Over the next few posts, I will continue to update you on my journey to find my way back to health.
For more information on the FDA release re: BIA ALCL and information on Breast Implant Illness symptoms, resources, detoxification, explant surgeons etc please see links below.
To join our support group of over 20k women on Facebook, please find us under: Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole.
If you can help my father and I, even if it’s a $15 donation, it brings me one step closer to this life changing surgery and will help my father tremendously.
With love & gratitude,