It all started in Maryland~What transpired in Maryland helped prepare me for what was eventually to be 'my story' I'll add this portion shortly!
~May 2003-Jan 2005 Mammogram, Ultrasound , Stereotactic Biopsy performed at John Hopkin's (gone horribly wrong.Had a student training on me without my knowledge & didn't give me enough anesthetic so I felt most of the procedure!!) And then after all that I had to have an excisional biopsy anyways! ~July, 2007 A Bi-lateral Mastectomy with Expanders insertion ~ Dec. 2007 Reconstruction ~Implants put in place ~ Apr. 2008 2nd Bi-lateral mastectomy (They call it a Revision) it's the same thing as mastectomy,but worse since they have to 'en-bloc' all the 'capsule' of the implants.
Needless to say a Dr appointment in May 2007 , in which I was establishing a 'new patient' visit with a new Dr since I had moved to Nashville, had changed my life! I was a runner & quite fit, no body fat at the time ~smile~ After my check-up the Doctor took me around his office & introduced me to his staff as the 'healthiest patient' in their practice. He told the girl to set me up with a routine mammo, etc. Come to find out it wasn't so routine!
*The reasoning for removal only 4 months after my 2nd major surgery was due to them being improperly done by Vanderbilt's Plastic Surgeon!! This procedure was much worse than the first time. It was quite a lengthy procedure (a lot of patching me with 'cadaver skin' took place to repair what Vanderbilt did to me) This Surgeon said I'd been to 'hell & back 3 times' within 6 mths ,my body couldn't take any more abuse,I stopped breathing & they had to revive me on the table! ~TBD in 2018 My 3rd Bi-lateral mastectomy(Revision) with 'en-bloc' will be performed!
~Meant to be~ A Dear 'Breast Cancer fly fishing' friend, bored during a lengthy flu bout, began reading lots of 'stuff' on Social Media sites. She brought to my attention Breast Implant Illness & that ALL implants are toxic. What started out as my 'not feeling right' that the Drs here have not ordered an MRI after 10 yrs (3 Drs. later...they kept leaving town and advancing in their careers elsewhere. Then the new Dr would say 'next year we will do more testing,they look fine')
After Barb notified me of her research I began researching my own implants.
I decided to be 'pro-active' and in March went to see my Plastic Surgeon at the Clev Clinic in Ohio. He said they looked and felt fine ,but they needed to come out regardless due to the fact that mine are the most TOXIC due to their gummy texture and the longer that they are in me the greater the chance of getting a cancer of the autoimmune system, BIA-ALCL. He also agreed with me and said that an MRI is in order. I finally had the MRI on June 12th he planned it to coincide with my trip to Ohio for my Mom's burial on the 15th.
The MRI report says I have a 2.7cm mass in the left superior anterior mediastinum. (My thoracic cavity) Differential considerations include an enlarged internal mammary lymph node. Plus both implants have ruptured!! The Dr. rushed a CAT scan on the 13th and it confirms those findings.
We don't know if the 'mass' is from silicone leaking (gummies aren't supposed to leak ) and that silicone could have enlarged a mammary lymph node, or it's a tumor & whether a thoracic surgeon needs to be involved. The Cleveland Clinic Dr. said he wants me to see a Breast Cancer Surgeon in NC for her opinion before he books my 'en-bloc explant'.
Taking the advice of my Clev. Cl. Dr. (from a phone call this morning) I was trying to make an appt with a breast cancer surgeon here in NC and they had a cancellation for tomorrow!
When the scheduler explained to that Dr. that I was going to an Ohio Plastic Surgeon and in the notes he recommended I see someone here in NC first...she asked me snottily : 'Why don't you just go back to Ohio?" What the hell kind of attitude is that for a Dr.? I explained his reasoning.
They said they will decide whether to see me and call me back! I told them to please decide quickly whether they will see me so that I can move on and find a Dr. that is willing.
You are your best advocate & need to be proactive with your own health!
*I thank God for Barb, for having the flu, & then contacting me. That is friendship!!
The NC Breast Surgeon just phoned and said from my MRI & CT Scan reports she thinks it's thoracic and I don't need her....
Okie dokie ~I made an appt with thoracic for Friday June 20,2018
I like to stay 'proactive' with our health and since it had been 5 yrs since I've seen my plastic surgeon I decided to have a routine check for peace of mind. In March 2018 He said all looks good, but proceeds to tell me that my implants have to come out. He said they have found that mine are the most toxic & the longer they are in these 'medical devices' ,as they call them, cause a rare form of cancer. So I was scheduled to have an MRI done in March at the Clev. Clinic. When we were en-route their from N.C. I get a call that insurance denied it. He was shocked & appealed. The day we arrived back home to NC the insurance called & approved it! So they arranged for me to have it done June 12th when I am back in town June 15th for my Mom's burial. It gets better....read on Last night I get a call from my Dr from Cleveland & he said they denied it again!!!!!!!!! I called the insurance company this morning at 8 and the woman said that the appeal approval was only good through May,but no one passes along such pertinent info to ME?? The 'Insurance' woman tells me that the Dr will have to 'Appeal' again & after they receive it, that will take up to 14 days~ I proceeded to 'chat' with the woman and told her I am emotionally 'SPENT" and cannot be going back & forth for all this 'stuff' ...I'm done with it! I will just cancel my MRI and go on to my Mom's burial and added that this is to be my 3rd bi-lateral mastectomy. They call the 'others' revisions,nice way of putting it~smile~She placed me on hold,came back on,told me I had her in tears & that she is giving me immediate APPROVAL for the MRI !!
Since my Allergen 410 Cohesive Gel implants have been in for 10 yrs now, the Nurse informed me last night they probably won't be able to get the entire capsule. If some is sticking to my rib-cage then that will be left in since it's too dangerous, with proximity to my lungs, and they don't want to perforate my lungs. The only problem with that is if any tissue is left in, you cannot totally detox... since the toxicity is in ALL the tissue.
Thanks to the FDA & Allergan for messing up this healthy individual and many ,many women over the years.
It has been proven that ALL implants are TOXIC!
What I have learned through all this turmoil is that YOU are your best ADVOCATE and if your gut is telling you something is wrong ~PERSEVERE. Listen to yourself!! And always,always follow up with depts to make sure the proper steps have been taken.
In my last 'meaningful, lengthy, & wonderful conversation that I had with my Mom(which happened to be the afternoon before my Mom 'stroked' & died the next day ) she left me with an amazingly insightful message! Before we said good-bye she said "Elzia, You are a strong woman & will get through anything!" I chuckled a bit and said 'Yes, I will'
I thought it was a strange comment to make because it didn't pertain to our dialogue. We said our love you's & good bye !
Well, Mom I hope you are correct with this one because I am having a difficult time mentally trying to come to 'grips' with it. I am not a dweller of things, I just work in the yard and push it back in my head until I have to deal with it. It is what it is, deal with it, and move forward... Thinking positive thoughts! Life is good! Women need to pass info on about breast implant toxicity and help one another be informed~ Love you all