I want to get straight to the good news…I have my life back since I removed my breast implants! I haven’t blogged since right before my explant surgery in May, because I was recovering from surgery and then feeling so good that we have been traveling, going to concerts, and doing all the things I was too tired and sick to do!
What is breast implant illness (BII)? In a nutshell, it is the bodies response to foreign objects like breast implants. The body covers the implants with scar tissue to try to wall them away from the rest of the body to protect you. Your immune system knows they are not supposed to be there, so it goes into fight mode. The body launches an attack against the implants and your immune system fights 24/7. This weakens your immune system and depletes your body of vitamins and minerals. As a result, you start to feel sick, fatigued, and it continues to get worse as time goes on.
Symptoms began only 2 months after my implants were placed and progressively got worse. I had severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, swollen red eyes, inflammation in my joints and body, weight gain, frequent urination, constant thirst that could not be quenched, UTI’s, and the list goes on and on. Doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. I felt so bad in November of last year that I had to cancel the rest of my book tour to stay at home. Some days I just stayed in bed.
By January, I felt like I was dying. I told Wiley that it might have been better if the cancer had killed me. That’s how bad I felt. Thankfully, my friend, Kathleen, suggested I join a group on Facebook called Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole. At the time there were about 50,000 women members from around the world and they were all discussing suffering symptoms caused directly by their implants. It was a huge wake up call and the diagnosis I had been searching for. I was suffering from breast implant illness.
I did my research, found a plastic surgeon using the approved list on the group’s website and went in for a consultation. Dr. Roee Rubinstein in Thousand Oaks, CA believed that I was suffering from BII and suggested I remove the implants which is referred to as explant. I booked the surgery and he took them out Enbloc, which means the scar capsule that my body had created was removed intact around each implant. I had to have a second breast reconstruction to remove excess skin and tissue to make me flat. I came to the conclusion that my breasts were already gone, removed in 2015 during my double mastectomy. I was not removing my breasts, I was removing the offending implants that were ruining my health and peace of mind. I was done trying to recreate what cancer had already taken from me. It was time to just be me, even if that meant I had no chest at all.
I will continue to try to get the word out about BII, because there are probably hundreds of thousands of women all around the world that have no idea why they are not feeling well after implants. I am working on my second book about this unexpected turn in my cancer journey and I am hoping to release it by October 2020. If you have any kind of implants; breast, butt, chin, pectoral, etc… and you feel terrible, it is possible that you are suffering from BII. Join the FB group I mentioned above which now has over 90,000 members and read their stories. Explanting to flat has been a game changer. All of the symptoms I mentioned above are now gone and I have my life back! I am living everyday Flat, Fierce, and Fabulous!