I know I won't have done this the correct way, as all you women have joined RealSelf prior to surgery etc. , but I wanted to share with you after all you have done for me.
I have had silicone implants for 22 years at an ex-husbands request (demand). 6 months after he made all the choices, and I couldn't stop crying, I left him.
I am in my 50's now and have lived in isolation since I got them. I can't say what size, or even bra size because I've only ever worn a very tight sports bra to flatten them out. I couldn't see my toes, that's for sure.
Anyway, long story short, I noticed some very painful unfamiliar lumps a few months back. At first I thought the implants had finally ruptured but it was too painful. I began a very short internet search to here. :)
After reading your stories, I decided I was a fool if I waited one more day to get these horrid things out of me.
I had my consult on October 3rd and had the removal done Friday, October 5th. The implants were in perfect form with no sign of leakage, but they did find cancer tumors, which they removed.
I am 4 days post op and feeling so relieved I can't put it into words. This is the first time in over 20 years I am not ashamed to see myself in a mirror. I look forward to being able to go shopping for pretty clothes again, real bras again, and just going OUTSIDE again ! :)))
I guess I just want to thank you all so very much for a place like this, because I may have never found the courage to get done what needed doing without all you very brave and strong women on here.
Much love and happiness to you all.
Final Update - Relieved. - Auburn, IL
I know I won't have done this the correct way, as...
I know I won't have done this the correct way, as all you women have joined RealSelf prior to surgery etc. , but I wanted to share with you after all you have done for me.
I guess I should have added a few more details. ...
I had had 5 children and been breast feeding 10 years pretty much non stop. It never occurred to me that it would bother a man that professed to love 'me'. I mean, what did 'me' encompass if he was displeased with my appearance? I had never had a body image problem. It seemed perfectly normal for breasts to become well loved and used up after doling out so much love and nurturing. Kind of like a favorite blanket after years of giving comfort.
Anyway, I'm healing well. The areas where the tumors were removed are still colorful, but the skin feels cool to the touch and for me that's the good part. I would hate to get infection setting in. I'm still reading here every day and learning so much. This is a wonderful place.
Thanks again for the kind and encouraging words. They help. Xo
Today makes a full week since surgery. I tried my...
The pain is minimal except the crater pockets yet. The bruising is almost completely gone that's visible on all breast tissue. It's still a little hard to sleep through the night because I'm always subconsciously trying not to cause stress to the recovering bits.
I'm looking forward to my follow up on the 23rd of this month. Will post with an update then.
Stay well brave women! xo
Well, what a nice surprise in the mail today. My...
I guess part of this journal journey is to record good and bad. I have to admit, I screwed up. I disregarded the 3 week order because I was feeling so good. I have been paying for it the past 2 days. Now, I am sore, and feeling very bruised. I think I should have stuck with less mileage, and less vigorous. Less housework and going about my business as usual. Shame on me. :( Anyway, I have been huddled up on the couch behaving myself now, and will continue to do so til my appt. Tuesday.
I can post photos today. Yay. Clearly, the...
Clearly, the right breast is sad. They removed a good deal of tissue when removing the tumors. I'm just not all that bothered though. Maybe I should be. I don't have any photos of pre surgery but I was very large implants. By comparing some ladies photos here, I was a large D cup or DD.
I hope this helps give an idea for some other women thinking of ging natural again. ! xo
Therapy time. I thought about keeping my...
I thought about keeping my thoughts to myself, and not sharing everything here, but then, that would defeat the purpose of helping others here. So, sorry to go on this time of day, but, I'm nervous about tomorrow and new things are happening in my life.Maybe I'll just be dumping here, or maybe I can glean a few words of wisdom...
I haven't had much discomfort for some time with the incisions, but yesterday I began feeling some irritation on the outer edge of the right incision. It has gotten progressively painful in one silly little spot throughout today. ... so, I gathered up the inner courage, and asked my husband to look and see if there was something wrong down there. Ok, that may seem perfectly normal to most women here who are married, and especially married for 20+ years, but, not this marriage. My husband has never, ever, ever, seen me with no clothes on. Ever. We have never slept in the same room, and we have never been 'intimate'.
This implant removal is a whole new chapter in my life, OUR life. Together. It's like this glorious horrid mixed bag of blessings. The implants are gone, and I can now foresee us having a 'complete' marriage, but this crap with the cancer is scaring me away from wanting to build that extra intimacy. ... I suppose this is waaaay too much information, and if it's inappropriate it'll be scuttled....
The point is, he very stoically checked my incisions tonight like he'd been seeing me our whole life together. And I seem to have a small infection growing on the edge of the right incision. Probably an undesolving stitch.
And he kissed me goodnight tonight, and said I was beautiful.
I hope I can make the next 20 years of his life glorious.
Goodnight ladies, thanks for listening. Bless us all. xo
So I begin with many thanks for all your well...
Well, on with the medical findings. I wasn't much good in the head for the first 2 follow-ups so this time I made notes, lol.
Ok, I had Bilateral capsular contracture - (better be spelled right it's coming straight off the report!!)
I have very thick capsules with calcification, but, the calcification is Benign so even though it will take many moons to heal, Dr felt it was unnecessary and damaging to remove capsules. (Thank you Dr!)
The cancerous tumor was measured 3"x3"x1". It was attached to the implant. All cancerous tissue has been removed, and I am at this point free of further treatment. OMG, YAY!!!!! This form of cancer will normally return within one year from removal if any cells are left behind. (That's to worry about another day, Not Today)
So, in a nutshell, excellent news.
But, ladies, Just in "speculation" conversation with Dr, had I not had these implants, chances are, this breast cancer, For Me, would NOT have occurred. Along with the tumor Pathology, it also revealed chronic inflammation, and fat necrosis.
Whether it was a miniscule leak, or an area on the implant was imperfectly thin enough to leach, this has been growing almost since the first year the implants were put in. I personally believe my body started out by going into immune overdrive to combat a bad situation and then as I grew weaker from the fight, and more things went wrong healthwise, my immune system couldn't keep up.
Besides my immense low self esteem with the implants, within 2 years I was having major anxiety attacks. Which was soon joined by Congestive heart Failure. Which was then joined by Chronic Joint Inflammation the past 9 years. None of these issues existed prior to then.
Within 72 hours of Explant, I have not even had the inkling of anxiety. I have no symptoms of CHF and could be going off the meds, and I have None, not a bit of joint pain. Anywhere. No signs of inflammation as of today.
Now dear ladies, I am off. Off to begin a wonderful, adventurous journey with my husband. I'm a wee bit nervous, lol, but we already had our first 'date' today on the way home from the check-up. He asked me out for dinner on our way home and I said, YES. Yes yes yes! We sat in a restaurant together, and it was wonderful. And weird, and wonderful! He has been my best friend, my knight in shining armor, and my protector all these years, and soon, God willing, also my lover. :)
RealSelf, and the wonderful members thereof, have within one short months time, changed my life forever.
Thank you isn't nearly enough. Without seeing the strong and compassionate women here... I truly don't know what my future would have held. Strength and Blessing and much love to you all. I am, Relieved 2012. xoxo
I woke up this morning with a lot of discomfort in...
Will update when we get it worked out.
My brain is very slow and fuzzy right now. ...
So now I have a right side capsulectomy and left sside not. I will update when my brain is less fuzzy. I hope some ot this made sense. Thank you all for the care. It means so much.xo
That previous update looks interesting. Apologies...
The Dr spoke to my husband after surgery, who was Not well medicated and this is what he said. The entire breast tissue is inflamed which then seemed to have caused the fluid which turned infected. Being he pegged my nature pretty quickly after meeting he asked my husband if I might have over done things too soon.
Yes, I have. But, I also mad one very very bad mistake when I made it to week three last Friday. I went out trying on some new sports bras. I pick one without front or back closures though. And I knew I had made a huge mistake before I ever finished getting it on. Dumb dumb dumb thing to do.
I also understand now, he didn't do a complete capsulectomy, he just scraped a bit of the calcified bits so it would adhere faster. He did this surgery for no charge.
My follow up is Tuesday.
Dr asked for me to please try to understand the healing for explant is not three weeks. Nor even three months. We need to heal a long time, inside. Painful lesson learned.
Early yesterday morning I took my sport bra off...
He looked at my incision on the left side and saw it was seeping on the outer edge? I freaked a little. I thought it was healed shut. We called the Dr and he said he had not done a needle check during surgery on that side because I hadn't had any swelling or pain and he didn't want to cross contaminate if it didn't need draining. He said if you feel comfortable, take a q-tip and see if it will drain a bit more... Oh my Lord. We must have drained a good 1/3rd cup of fluid out of the left breast right through the incision line. Small bits of white scar tissue? calcium deposits? would block it and when husband would q-tip them out more and more fluid just streamed out.
Oy I was a mess. I was so scared. I was so afraid the whole incision was going to open... I baggied up all the discharge gauge pads and put them in the freezer. Will take them with on Tuesday just to let Dr decide if he wants to do Path on it or not. We just got done trying to drain more this morning and got about a tsp of clear discharge. So I think it's on the mend. If it hadn't seeped, for whatever reason, we would never have known any, much less so much fluid was also in that left breast. No sign it had been in there.
I am SOOOO going to take it easier this time around my house is going to look like I never clean! lol. Blessing to all here. What a journey we are all on! xo
I've been hesitant to update since things have...
It turns out I had \ have a staph tissue infection. I still have 2 balloon type drains in, plus Dr cut the stitch between the drains - so that is basically leaving me with the full incision open and draining still on my right side. At my appointment yesterday, he said if I had no improvement by Tuesday, another surgery and another tissue flush. - Thankfully, he also agreed to bombard me with an antibiotic cocktail and 36 hours into it, I think I may be coming through to the other side.
One thing I noticed here this past week; as wonderful, and I do mean wonderful, as RealSelf is, sometimes even with each others support, we feel very, very, alone and afraid. Still, I love coming here and reading all you ladies Posts and updates. Some make me smile, some make me wish we lived in a communal explant house. :)
I'll post one last time when I feel like I've past all the roadblocks to complete healing with an end result. Bless us all. xo
Thank you all for the encouraging support. I...
No such luck. More antibiotics, and maybe next week the drains will get removed. Even then, the full incision, approximately 3 inches, will be left wide open to heal on its own so that it continues to drain as it closes itself. I foresee weeks of constant apprehension and fear ahead.
I felt a bit down in the dumps on the trip home today. One conclusion I came to - hind sight - and - personal experience - ; drains immediately after explant should be welcomed. I wonder how things may have been different if I had had them in right away. It's personally frustrating and sad that my anticipation to get closer to my Love is going to be on hold for months to come. I was looking forward to a cuddle. :/
But, I just read Mrs Wests update, and I so feel her pain. It's very disheartening when things don't come about right and we are in pain and uncertainty. I know I am not alone here, nor is she, or others of you suffering your own fears and uncertainties. Thank you all for your borrowed strength as women. We really are stronger together, than alone. Bless us all. xo
No end in sight. Only one drain removed from...
Left breast still 'leaking' from incision and fluid still in the tumor pocket.
Both look, and feel, like they belong on separate bodies now.
Happy Thanksgiving to all who come here to share their journeys.
Blessings to all. xo
Hello ladies. I've been a miserable human being...
This morning Dr removed the last perma-stitch and the final drain from the right breast, and I felt much less grumpy within minutes. It has been a month with the drains and I am once again, Relieved. I will continue to drain naturally for a few more days until this last drain area heals on it's own. The drain hose was 5 or 6 inches up into the breast tissue and about 3/4 inch wide. So by the weekend I should be closing up. I still have about a week and a half until my antibiotics are gone and I should be done with those too.
The left incision is still leaking calcium bits and fluids. I don't know how long that can go on. It is keeping me hesitant because I don't know if I can get another infection in that side so long as there is an exposed area. Dr said today I can leave it to heal on its own, or go back in surgery for drain tubes in that side and go through another month of *ell. From reading here, it doesn't seem too 'rare' for incisions to remain leaking for a few months after surgery. I don't know. Right now I'm just confused, and too afraid of more problems down the road.
For today, I'm just happy to be more comfortable and for the most part, pain free. I am Thankful for this.
Stay strong in your journeys ladies. xo
I think this will be my last update. There's not...
Neither side of my incisions have healed yet, left side having been 8 plus weeks, and the right side, reopened 5 weeks plus ago is still seeping fluid and blood. I am still on antibiotics.I will never ever regret the explant, but, I would certainly have made other choices in how things were done. Hind sight, as always, is only that. Hind sight.
I will be forever grateful for RealSelf. The ladies here are strong, supportive, and so compassionate. Good luck to all of you in your journeys. Stay strong, and Bless us all. xo
Thanks for those of you concerned for my progress....
For any ladies who have mentioned my journey causing them doubts, please, the implant removal was very much worth it. But it is so very very very important, to choose a well qualified physician. One who has experience in implants in general. One who has basic knowledge that things can go bad quickly, and act quickly to help rectify it. If you do your homework, unlike myself, you should get through it all just fine!
Blessing to us all. Happy 2013.xo
So ladies, All incisions are closed, and ... well....
Woo Hoo !!
Thank you RS for everything. xo
Yup. :( The scar that was leaching off calcium...
The scar that was leaching off calcium deposits abcessed and will have to be reopened and drains put in.
Will this journey ever end?
I so wish I had had the courage to say no all those years ago.
------------- Had the surgery this morning. This...
Had the surgery this morning. This time, the pain is almost unbearable. There was a lot of fluid build up and calcium deposits in the pocket of removed tissue. I didn't do as well on recovery today so I have had to have the meds changed. I had soaked through the dressings and my clothes before we even got home today.
I will know better where things are in a few days once the pain settles down. For now, I'm off to rest.
I'm headed for help.
I'm sick, and no one seems to be able to identify now what's causing it. These aren't ghost symptoms, manifesting from all this stress. The symptoms are plenty real, but with no explanation or cause, showing up in blood work etc.
We have decided it's time I go to counseling. I cry almost at the drop of a hat anymore. I have so much anger and sadness locked inside me towards this Dr. that it haunts my every thought day and night. I feel so utterly betrayed. I feel so utterly stupid. This is a nightmare that still, has no end in sight.
Still, to all the ladies thinking about removal, it is 1000 percent worth it. But please, please, please, take your time, and find a very qualified Dr. Not just one you feel you connect with. That, is simply not enough. They have to have a provable track record of this specialty.
Haven't been here for some time, hope some of the gals from my time show up and update sometime.
Bless us all. xo
Almost 10 months out from first surgery
I'm still having serious discomfort and pain, some days worse than others. I have taken up walking again the past 3 weeks. I've been able to walk on a treadmill slowly working my way up to 2 miles a day again. I can see light at the end of this tunnel, FinallY! I expect it will be close to next spring before I feel reasonably strong again, like before removal, but I feel like I can get there now.
My arm strength is nil. Lol, which is so depressing. Everyday chores I've started doing again just seem to tear scar tissue and make my arms feel like jello. This is my first week of starting some gentle resistance training. Still, one day at a time and never giving up.
As far as breasts go, I love being implant free. The scars are big, and bad but I really don't mind them. It speaks a truth to all the pain this past year has been for me and my family. I have very little feeling in any area of the breast tissue at this point. After all the cutting and scrapping I don't know if I can expect this to change someday in the future or not. I don't really care though, they're free of toxic foreign objects and that's most important. My self image is great. I haven't felt this good about my physical appearance since before the implants were put in. Ever once in a while my husband and I admire the poor creatures and give them a gentle cuddle. :) It's a start. :)
It's been a long year. A hard year. But I have hope that the REST of my life, can only be so much better.
I haven't had any contact with the Dr. since mid-March when he suggested I take break from seeing him... I haven't decided yet if I'm going back for help with the remaining pain yet. I might find a different PS for that.
Thanks for all the concern and support Ladies. I could not have held it together nearly so well without you all, and RealSelf. Happy healing to all. Will check in again in a few months. xo
Oct will be a year out.
I'm starting to feel 'normal'. Whatever that means. My scars are finally healing nicely. I'm treading everyday 3-5 miles and feeling healthier every morning.
I love being implant free. I love going out in public now. Feel no embarrassment. I can wear real clothes, that fit. And there's a king bed in our house that I sleep in now. :) Jammie free. :)
Oh, and isn't hugging just the best thing in the world now!
Thank you so much for all your support here. I really think I'd have lost my mind without having all these journeys to share and learn from.
Bless - us - all ! xoxo - And the best of luck to all the ladies now, and in the future traveling this road.