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  • Breast Cancer in 1991 & Implant Issues

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    Old 11-10-2007, 06:26 AM   #1
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    bellamay's Avatar
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    Breast Cancer in 1991 & Implant Issues

    Iím writing in hopes that you will seriously think about your decision in your reconstructive surgery, because I care. It may not be the same for everyone, because we are all different but there are risks in every decision we make, as I have found out.

    In 1991 was DX with breast cancer LCIS in the right breast with multiple cysts in the left breast and a history with my mom and aunt, both living. The doctor was able to get it all with clear margins and lymph nodes were neg. I had bilateral mastectomies in 1991 and opted to wait for reconstructive surgery for 6 months for the healing process.

    In 1992, I began the long process of beginning the reconstructive process; yes it was painful with filling the expanders under the chest wall muscle. I finally was ready for my implants and I chose SILICONE. At that time, there was a lot of controversy about the implants and what they could do to you and I knew very little about them. The surgery went great and my doctor was awesome.

    Now fast forward to 2004, I started to get sick and my autoimmune system was not healing me as quick as it use too! Getting pneumonia several times, my lungs became infiltrated and found out I had a mass in the internal mammary lymph nodes, which is in the mediasterum. This mass was about 5 cm, and right away, I thought it was cancer AGAIN. Right away I had a biopsy and found out it was a mass of foreign body of grandulomous "oily" substance. The pathologist couldnít make it out. I ended in the hospital from the biopsy for 10 days with double pneumonia and a breathing problem and on oxygen for 30 days after being discharge from the hospital. The doctors thought it could be my implants ďleakingĒ but dismissed because the CT scan didnít show them to be ruptured. So I started continually to be sick with symptoms like:

    Low grade fevers 99.6 to 100.8 (all the time)
    Swollen lymph nodes
    Flu-like symptoms
    Night sweats
    Weight loss
    Canker sores in my mouth for 4 months and on and off for 2 years
    Large sub lingual tonsils
    Shortness of breath
    Chest pains
    Pain deep in the bones

    These are just to name a few, I have been to several specialist over the past 3 years with different DX like the flu and other things, but I knew something else was going on, then I began to get frustrated and wouldnít see any doctors.

    Until July 2007, when my blood pressure went up and I started getting chest pains, then I saw my cardiologist. He ran all the tests, echo, Thallium treadmill and BP monitor with blood tests. All the tests came back neg, except for my CRP, it was 20.6. This had my cardiologist concerned. He asked that I returned in 2 months for a repeat test to see if it was still high. In September the test was repeated with the same result 20.1. After this test he sent me to have another chest ct scan done. Well it came back abnormal again. My CT showed many spots with infiltrates in both lungs and patchy spots with abnormal lymph nodes. He referred me to a pulmonolgist, she said I needed another lymph node biopsy in my axillary nodes, because I may have lymphoma with my symptoms. She had more blood test done and my CPR was up to 43 and SED rate was up, WBC was up, blood work is starting to come back abnormal. She referred me to a general surgeon to perform the biopsy and the biopsy came back showing that the silicone in the lymph nodes and also in my mediasterum. The doctors are now saying this has been leaking into system slowly since 2004 and autoimmune system is in overdrive, which is why I have been so sick. It is infecting my lungs and immune system. Right now I'm preparing for 2 major surgeries which include more reconstructive surgery; with about 18 months total recovery time, with no guarantees that all the silicone will be removed and if my system will respond. I will need a plastic surgeon and thoracic surgeon to do these surgeries. If I had to do this over again I would NEVER pick silicone implants or implants PERIOD over my own body tissue again. I have done a lot of research and there is very little about my condition. Both the surgeon and plastic surgeon have said this is a rare condition on the internet, but please be informed as much as you can about what you are going to do. Iím scared and I wish there was a support group for this so I could talk with someone who has gone through this. My doctors say I could still have lymphoma and they still going to run more scans to make sure they donít miss anything. All of my current doctors have been great!

    Always be informed!!!!Thank you for listening needed someone to talk to & your prayers...
    One Day at a Time, with God by my side!

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    Old 11-10-2007, 07:58 AM   #2
    Join Date: Jan 2007
    Location: New York
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    cjammom HB User
    Re: Breast Cancer in 1991 & Implant Issues

    Dear sure have my prayers..what an awful thing to have happened to you!
    I have implants as well, but chose saline because I feared something like this would happen to me...Ive always been the one who has had things go wrong...things that happen one in a million! You have really been through so much..between the dx, treatment and illnesses you have.
    There have been things which I have done..decisions I have made, without fully understanding the potential pitfalls...I ask more questions now..and re-ask if I dont understand..I always bring someone with me to my appt.s, cant seem to grasp all of what is being said (chemo brain?)...and I always ask for test results in writing. But as you know, everything happens so fast..its really difficult.
    I hope that you can find someone to help you with your current health problems. Thanks for taking the time to tell your story..I think when other women..or men for that matter, read will make us stop and think about making sure we educate ourselves about what is happening with our thanks for that..
    Im praying for you, and wishing you well
    gentle hugs to you,

    Old 11-10-2007, 08:07 AM   #3
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    Re: Breast Cancer in 1991 & Implant Issues

    Hello Bellamay, You definitely have my prayers. I too chose silicone although I never had cancer, just wanted to make those saggy breast look normal again. No one ever told me they could rupture. In the shower one morning I felt a huge lump under both arms, scared me a lot. Had a sonogram done and found that the implants had ruptured. I had them replaced with saline, but when they took the silicone out, they also had to scrape precious tissue out of me to get it. They also said that the silicone had gone everywhere and probably did not get it all. Well, since then I have had nothing but strange symptons and painfull symptons everywhere. That was in 1996. They have now diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. The FDA has finally said it is a real diagnosis. I cannot begin to tell you of all the painful things I go thru. And although every doctor I go to has said they believe it is all from the silicone leaking into my body that has caused this, they will not say that it is the cause in writing. There is not a doctor in the world that will say this. Anyway Bellamay, my thoughts and prayers are with you, we may have turned to implants for very different reasons, the the ending result is the same. I too hope every woman out there that is thinking of implants for any reason, will not choose silicone. I was never sick before they ruptured, now I have a life time sickness to deal with. Good luck Bellamay, please keep in touch and let us know how you are, stay positive.


    Last edited by 1sunny1; 11-10-2007 at 08:09 AM.

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