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Monday, November 29, 2010

Silicone implants CAN leak, seep or rupture.

Regrettably I don't know how but discovered today that my blog has been tampered with and this post and one other are gone. 
I will attempt to recant my ordeal and the sadness that comes with the realization that once again I had to undergo major surgery ...It happened slowly in Washington State in 2009 believe it or not..I started seeping silicone through the outer layer of the Mentor implants. 
I recall asking my oncologist to check me out over and over and numerous ultra sounds were done but nothing was found because of the testing technique.
Finally over a year later of constant uncomfortable sound in the back of my head saying keep pushing..there is something wrong.
When I moved to GA I found a surgeon that almost seemed that she was pacifying me by allowing me after undergoing another ultra sound that maybe there was something to this dark gloom that I kept feeling.  I honestly don't know how I knew but I remember the hospital was a small private LDS funded facility..Very soothing and a bird cage in the lobby that seemed to be saying..You are OK  just know you are safe. The birds inthe cage so were so bright and cheery and it helped me get through to the next stage. 
This type of MRI is a very intensely accurate machine., but unfortunately in this area there are not many hospitals that have this MRI breast check machine. It was a bit intense as I climbed up to the table and placed my breasts in the slot that were shaped like cups to hold me in place and from there the accuracy of the images are easily read.
I had to stay in one position without moving for over 90 min.  I had a bit of Xanax to relax me or I do't know how I could have stayed so still..my positioning was very uncomfortable and the IV that I had in me to replace the radioactive isotope tracer is always a strange feeling and some say they can taste metal in their mouth..for me since I have a bladder disease also,I feel it there.  IT isn't painful..just a bit different.Do not be afraid since this is the best possible way to check for any problems with your breasts especially with implants.
My radiologist had been doing tests on me and we wee very friendly to one another and we talked about my upcoming trip to Italy.  She said you need to go ...I have heard that from all my doctors but life keeps getting in the way.
After my test I went home and the toughest part is the waiting.
I received a call directly from my radiologist the next day after a sleepless night.
I know this sounds strange but when she said "stephanie, they are both ruptured," I was relieved..and started to cry..why? it was a feeling that I can't describe but a weight had been taken off of me and another journey would begin.
That is when the nightmare began again.  
All I can say at this point was that I kept hearing the words free floating silicone in my body and wanted them out...now!  These touted Mentor implants were indeed not what they professed to be.
I was referred to a surgeon and it was a very difficult surgery since he was not a friendly or empathetic surgeon   I did't care at that point since he was the one that my surgeon referred me to and he could take them out and replace them with saline ones and that is all I cared about ...getting them out..
I went back for my after surgery check and one of the stitches was not dissolving and was painful..I kept doing as the nurse told me by massaging it but the last stitch was a large knot and I felt as if he had just sewn me up quickly..as if I was a turkey on Thanksgiving day. I was not a happy camper when I came in for what would be my only after surgery appointment.   The surgeon was in the room with me and my significant other.  He came in and didn't even sit down.  Took a look for one sec it seemed and than proceeded to tell me that the implants were intact. I said what do you mean the MRI clearly showed I had silicone inside me.  "yes, he said..I know that that silicone didn't come from the implants I took out!"/i was stunned.  What are you saying to me I blurted out. I sat up and looked him straight in the eye and he said "you had implants before apparently and didn't tell me that ?" are you serious..I felt Tony starting to walk over to him ...I knew he was about to possibly say or do something so I quickly said I had beautiful breasts before breast cancer!  I never had implants.! Tony was starting to get ready to walk toward him and he said "I call it as  see it"...I quickly let out a scream and ran out of the room..I was devastated.! Tony ran out of the room after me but not before he said what kind of doctor he thought he was for saying such a horrible thing.
I didn't find out until weeks later when my radiologist called me to tell me how she had attended a conference in Seattle and ironically enough that was my medical center where I had been in 2009 for severe PTSD brought on by the breast cancer and most importantly the fact that I knew that there was something wrong and had been to many surgeons and doctor for the second tumor and the silicone leaks just to be told that they thought I was over reacting. it turned out that she addressed the conference with the question re my silicone leaks and the answer she received was that the material that encapsulated the silicone inside seeped through ...it was that simple.  The material had seeped through the skins of the implants.  I was a guinea pig I guess you could say and I don't know how many other women have had this happen.
I am now living with free floating silcon in my upper chest...some has moved to under my sternum.  there is no way to remove it.
I do know after much research that the tiredness I have been feeling for the last three years has intensified from when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Apparently the silicon contributes to the disorder so I now have a more intense form of this immune disorder.
When in doubt don't let anyone tell you different. I am living proof that once again I knew my body.
Another day and another tale to tell that hopefully will help other women.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Even Strong Women Cry


I have been busy going through old photos, and journals lately. I have commiserated on all aspects of how to get it all together in some sort of order. How can I put all my life stories on the blank pages of yet unfinished memoirs. That is my debacle. It is overwhelming. I have felt joy, love, anger, frustration, but I have never given up hope.
There has been a bevy of comments written about me and I have reveled in the joy of living my life by my rules. I live to feel my fingertips abound with colors that illuminate my life, but lately those colors have turned murky. I don't know why I feel so deeply about the joys and sorrows of others, but I do. I am lucky to have been loved in my lifetime. Deeply. I want to shout out to the world that one should ever give up, but I find myself barraged by the past and I need to go forward. I am in a rain puddle and can't seem to tip toe out of it, and dry myself off. I guess the angst I am feeling should be a blessing to my art, but now it just feels like I am being weighed down. My own children and family are not there for me, yet I keep hoping that the tears I cry at night will turn into pearls of wisdom that I can pass on to others. No one should be in such pain. I have faced the storms and battled great warriors on this earth. I am looking for peace, yet all I find lately are obstacles. I need to rest and stop thinking about the past, or so I am told. I can not make sense of a world of sadness that is enveloping me. My art is my ticket to living with joy. Let's hope I can get on that path again. I will survive with dignity and hopefully with this book I am writing, just maybe, I can put some closure to all that I am feeling deep down inside. I don't want to waste another moment of my life regurgitating the sorrows and misfortunes that have crossed my path. I am proud to have gotten to this crossroad since it has proven to me that I will never give up. I am making my mark on this world, and not listening to the negative voices in my head, and the outside demons any longer. Now, if you don't mind...I need some time to allow myself an ugly yet beautiful cry..long and hard and allow the clouds to lift in my life. I will see the sunshine sooner than later. You can too...that is why I am writing this book. For me. For you

Friday, April 9, 2010

Here we go round the Merry Go round



Here we go round the Merry Go Round

I realize it has been quite an emotional few months since I last wrote...it has been a challenge adjusting to my new environment. The Northwest can be very beautiful but also very depressing because of the lack of sun. I truly believe that the weather can truly changes one's mood and I found myself sinking deep in an abyss. I became very depressed and despondent and ostracized myself from the outside. I am trying now to get back on the "happiness" road. It's not easy. The cancer medications can create all kinds of side effects including bone pain and that played a big factor with my emotional and mental state. I went off the Aromasin, (an aromatase inhibitor medication) and my horrible bone pain went away for a month! I decided to go back on because the fear of another cancer over rides the physical pain. Yes, it can be debilitating, but when I was asked to weigh the two, I opted to get through the next 3 years on medication.
There is help out there, but I had to be open to getting a second opinion and sometimes cancer patients can feel intimidated for fear that your oncologist will feel slighted. Don't make that mistake. I went for a second opinion about going off my meds and she agreed that it would be OK to stop them for one month to see if it was the Aromasin that was causing me chronic pain. I do hope that I have given a bit of strength to the my cancer sisters and brothers..it will be OK..take baby steps and never feel guilty about weighing your options.