Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Breast Implants Have Given Me Cancer

 Please spare sometime and read Susan Grieve's painful story about her journey from breast implants to cancer... ( She is warning all women thinking about breast implants to take some steps backwards; because you might not just be lucky)
Susan Grieve somehow manages a laugh, albeit a brittle one, as she reveals she is still paying for the breast implants she had nearly six years ago.
A single mother with a part-time job as a legal secretary, she couldn’t afford the £4,500 needed for the operation she was certain would improve her life, so she remortgaged her home to raise the cash.
When one of the implants burst last year and her surgeon recommended that both be replaced, the £1,500 bill went on a credit card, where the interest continues to accrue.

What will be the ultimate price for her ‘life-changing’ new breasts, though? That calculation may prove impossible. The biggest fear is that she will pay with her life itself.
 Susan has cancer, a very rare and aggressive cancer which has rattled through her body at speed. A cancer she blames on her implants. 
She is speaking to me ( reporter) from her hospital bed in Edinburgh, where she lies connected to all manner of tubes and machines.
Here, ironically, no one is bothered with the size of her breasts — least of all Susan. Today, the most pressing issue with her chest is how to get enough oxygen into it, and how to rid her lungs of the fluid collecting on them. 
On her bedside table is a picture taken a year ago, just before her 40th birthday. That Susan — vibrant and happy — is now unrecognisable.
‘My mother brought it in and said, “Susan, this is what we want you to get back to”,’ she explains. ‘She thought it would make me feel better, give me something to aim for. But it didn’t — it made me feel worse.’
Today her face is painfully thin and her legs are bloated. ‘Steroids,’ she explains, gazing at her feet as if they belong to someone else.
Her skin is like paper, and she is bald beneath her pink scarf. She asked the nurse to shave her head a few weeks ago after chemotherapy had caused most of her hair to fall out. Just watching her is painful — especially when she speaks of her ten-year-old daughter Alix and weeps.
‘Everyone says that I can’t lie to Alix, but what do I say if she asks: “Are you going to die?” I want to tell her there is no way on this earth that I am going to leave her, but in my position I can’t make promises like that.’
So just what has any of this got to do with her breast implants? This is where the story becomes deeply concerning, as well as sad.
Susan believes her particular cancer — which has already been linked to breast implants in the U.S. — has been caused by the French-made PIP implants that she had fitted in 2006. The PIP implants, made by the now defunct Poly Implant Prothese company, are, of course, the ones at the centre of recent controversy. 
Susan claims her cancer specialist and her cosmetic surgeon have been talking openly about the possibility of her cancer being linked to her implants.
‘My oncologist said to me, “I bet you wish you’d never had them done,” while the surgeon who did my breast implants has come to see me here, even though this hospital is not where he works. He gave me a hug and said: “I’m so sorry, Susan. This is what we feared most.” ’
As well as a ten-year-old daughter, Susan has a 24-year-old son, Craig. He works in banking and is by her side today, understandably furious on her behalf.

Susan is deeply upset that her case will now be the object of scrutiny. She is keen to point out that she was never ‘a silly wee girl who wanted bigger boobs to be the new Jordan’. ‘I just wanted to be normal,’ she says.
Her story begins just after her daughter Alix was born, when she sought help for her ‘deformed’ breasts, which she says, after childbirth, hung ‘like sacs’. 
After separating from Alix’s father not long after she was born, she felt her self-confidence ‘on the floor’, and couldn’t bear to look at herself in the mirror. She was told that because of the severity of her condition, the operation might be available on the NHS, though the waiting list was two years.

‘I was in such a state that I decided I would rather go private,’ she says. ‘I did all the research, went to the best doctor, and thought I was making an informed choice. I thought the implants were safe. Even if they did rupture — and I knew there was a small risk of that — none of the stuff would get out. At the clinic, they cut one open in front of me so I could see that.’
Susan had the operation in December 2006, and the implants did change her life. She started seeing a new man, Andy, and was delighted with the fact that no one — not even her new boyfriend — guessed she’d had surgery.
Things were fine until last September, when she started suffering from a burning pain in her back. Her GP thought she might have a slipped disc, but the pain increased over the following weeks and he referred her for a scan.
‘They said they had found a mass on my left breast, and thought the implant had ruptured.

‘The surgeon told me about the problems, but said there was no evidence of toxic material that would cause cancer,’ says Susan. 
She was still recuperating from her operation when news of the PIP scandal broke.
She says: ‘When they were talking about all these women who might be involved, I thought: “My God, that is me.” ’
Once the implants had been replaced, the race was on to find out what was causing her enlarged lymph nodes. By this time she had them in her chest, abdomen, neck and groin, and persistent pain.
‘I was in agony,’ she recalls. ‘I had swollen joints, and I ached from head to toe.’
A biopsy in January at first ruled out lymphoma, but she continued to be desperately ill. On March 1, she was rushed to hospital.
‘They did another test, and on March 12 they came to see me and said it was lymphoma after all,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t even take it in. My family and Andy were in bits.’
Susan was transferred to Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, which has a specialist cancer unit. A first round of aggressive chemotherapy was unsuccessful. She has now begun a second course. So what is her prognosis?
‘It is serious, stage 4, which means it has spread all over, but the doctors have said this treatment is working so far, and it’s good that I’m determined to fight,’ she says. ‘But no one who has cancer and a ten-year-old child can do anything but fight.’
She cries at the mention of Alix, explaining how she wanted to tell her about the diagnosis herself but was by then too weak.
‘I couldn’t lift my head from the pillow. Alix, who has been staying with her gran, wanted to know what was going on.
‘When my mum told her, Alix asked if I was going to die. Mum said you never know about things like that: sure, one of us could be hit by a bus tomorrow.’
How will this end? Susan agrees that her fight could end up in the courts. As a legal secretary, she is well aware of the need to keep notes, and started to keep a diary early in this whole sorry process. It makes for sobering reading.
So too, these days, do the showbiz gossip mags she once thought so harmless. Only now does she appreciate how they promote the cult of the pneumatic bust.
‘All those celebrities going on about how they had this boob job last time, and how they’re going to have that one next time.
‘You see it  in a different light from where I am sitting. They really don’t have a clue, do they?’

Culled from Daily mail


kim bim said...

very sad! hopes she wins cancer. :-(
beauty in exchange for cancer nt nice.

Style Mentor™ said...

This is heartbreaking to read, but I am so glad that someone is saying this! My mother died of breast cancer in 1989, and I believed then as I do now that her implants were the cause. She had silicone, and both of them ruptured at different times. She got a double mastectomy, endured terrible treatments, but the cancer was so aggressive it just took over. I was 26 when she passed away. My prayers are with you.

Style Mentor™ said...

This is heartbreaking to read, but at the same time, I am so glad that someone is saying this! My mother died of breast cancer in 1989, and I believed then as I do now that her implants were the cause. She had silicone, and both of them ruptured at different times. She got a double mastectomy, endured terrible treatments, but the cancer was so aggressive it just took over. I was 26 when she passed away. My prayers are with you.

Judy Haughton-James said...

A very sad situation May! I hope she will be able to win the battle against cancer despite how bad things are now.

Jean said...

This story made me cry so hard. My mom fought the cancer battle but hers was with lung cancer. Her oncologist said that breast implants cause around 45% (provable) cases of breast cancer. So scary!! I pray she wins this battle!!

Priscy said...

sad indeed, trust we will all learn something.

Priscy said...

sad indeed, trust we will all learn something.

seny said...

Sad, everyone have different opinions about cosmetic surgery...I'm bless and I am contented with what I have! Im scared with needles anyway :-) hope she wins the battle!

Anna Fani said...

This is a very depressing story but it needed to be told for anyone out there who is thinking of having breast implants. I really hope these woman pulls through.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this post is very touching. Thank you for putting this information out there. I suspect many may benefit from it!

Sonya M. Jones said...

WOW...touching story. Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm going to re-post on my FB page.

Jenn said...

Wow...this is unbelievable. It seems like society has just accepted breast implants as if they're the most normal thing in the world...when if you think about it, there's nothing normal about it. I hope this article makes people stop and think twice before going under the knife. This poor woman's story is heartbreaking, and I will keep her in my prayers. Thanks for sharing this, May.

Blessings, Jenn

Zoey Parker said...

Oh, i was really touch by this. Nice posted blog. Great work! Keep it up.

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