A A White Rock woman who underwent emergency surgery nearly a year ago to remove her breast implants is hoping her story will save the others the "terrifying" experience that has left her. preceded.
"It's an epidemic right now, it's serious," Shannon Sayers said of the breast implant.
"My surgeon told me that the implants were FDA approved and 100% safe. It took me seven years to get sick with them.
She noted that breast cancer was "a piece of cake," by comparison.
Sayers shared his story with Peace Arch News Last week, the same day that Health Canada announced its intention to suspend Allergan's licenses for Biocell implants, this initiative was intended to "protect Canadian patients from the rare but serious risk" of associated large-cell anaplastic lymphoma. breast implants (BIA-ALCL).
Sayers said she did not know if she had the lymphoma associated with the textured implants she had received in 2011 and encouraged any woman who develops a liquid pouch around her implants to be tested.
She also wants women to think about implants for cosmetic purposes or reconstruction.
"Accept your bodies as they are," Sayers said. "Why would you risk your life for this?"
Sayers, 49, had her first set of implants – the saline variety – at age 24, a decision that she said she made for aesthetic reasons, in order to counter the effects of the baby. breastfeeding. At that time, and for almost two decades after, she never considered that the procedure could cause her grief.
When her breast cancer was discovered nine years ago, one of the tumors was wrapped "like an octopus" around one of these implants, she explained. By performing a double mastectomy 11 days after diagnosis, his surgeon removed three tumors in total, as well as "three or four" lymph nodes.
In retrospect, Sayers is convinced that his first implants have led to his cancer. She added that she had never learned at age 24 that implants had a life span of five to seven years and that more recent tests at BC Cancer had confirmed that her disease – her mother and her grandmother mother had also – was not rooted in genetics, she said.
"Mine was called environmental," she said. "I would never have thought that implants would allow me to have cancer."
Sayers said that her breast implant symptoms had started almost immediately after her second set of implants, although it must wait years before she made the link between them and the accesses. pneumonia and other conditions. She also had immune problems, including rashes, neuropathy, joint pain and more.
At the beginning of last year, after her car was stopped in January – and without her knowledge, an implant capsule was broken by the pressure of her seatbelt – the severity of her symptoms worsened . Sayers described the months that followed as a "nightmare", with a burning sensation that looked like a bee sting in the chest and numbness on one side of his body, a buzzing in his ears and a feeling that his internal organs were on fire.
"They've all looked at me like I was crazy," Sayers said about the majority of the medical staff she saw when she asked for help. .
"You feel like you're going crazy."
Desperate desperately to find an experienced surgeon to remove her implants, including capsules, Sayers remembers that she was about to lose all hope. "I was going to die," she said, "my body was so bad," when something told her about Google's "Beverly Hills."
After speaking with a surgeon specialized in the explants, Sayers flew to California and had an operation for $ 18,000 on April 25th.
"When I woke up, I remember that I had tears in my eyes -" I'll be fine, "she said.
Sayers learned shortly after that a propionibacter, a MRSA-like infection, had been at the origin of many of its symptoms, "burning it from within". film that covers it.
Sayers said that three months after her explant, her symptoms had significantly decreased and that today, she feels "about 90%" healed – "Last year, I had about 12 pounds less, my hair was falling out of my freaking body, "she said.
A burning sensation still persists beneath her ribs and anxiety remains a daily ordeal, but Sayers is determined to continue a diet of natural products that she has found to calm her symptoms.
"One day at a time for me," she says. "Today is a good day."
Wanting to share her experience, disseminate information and support other women, Sayers launched a blog, getarmystrong.com, in January. She invites any woman with questions to contact her at 604-802-2214.