By Liana Jacob
THIS WOMAN decided to get a boob job after cancer but for health reasons has now decided to have them removed despite many of her online male followers BEGGING her to get them BIGGER and claiming ‘breasts are for sex.’
In May 2008, health and travel blogger, Lacey Heatherly (29), from Texas, USA, was diagnosed with melanoma cancer and was in remission a few months later. Due to the extensive surgeries, her body was left with scars that made her feel ‘ugly’, so in January 2009, when she was 20-years-old, she had surgery to fit 500cc volume breast implants in.
Her breast size went from a 34B to a 34DDD. Initially she felt confident in her new body, but within the first year, she began to experience symptoms such as; flu, cold, unexplained fatigue, headaches, depression and anxiety.
Four to five years later she noticed that her implants dropped a lot and she could feel them rippling underneath her skin but was told by her doctors that this was normal.
With her constant back pain and depression getting worse, she began to investigate her issues and discovered that she has breast implant illness (BII), an illness connected with the use of implants which isn’t recognised as a ‘real disease’ by doctors.
She has now decided to remove her implants, while warning other women against implants through social media, despite men insisting that she doesn’t make them smaller.
“I liked the attention my boobs took away from my scars, but I hated how clothes never fit right, I always looked heavier than I was, and it attracted the wrong attention from men,” Lacey said.
“The most negative and most common remarks from men is that I shouldn’t make them smaller and that if I didn’t want attention from having big breasts then I shouldn’t show them.
“I’ve had men say that boobs are for sex and boobs are to appease men and it shocked me because it’s hurtful. It’s hurtful that men associate breasts with only sex.
“It’s hurtful to be told showing them is not right unless we expect men will come on to us for sex. Most men have been supportive of whatever decisions I make with my boobs although I’m not looking for their approval.
“Men are ignorant to say boobs are for sex and their enjoyment but no, breasts were designed for the purpose of nourishing a child after birth. Society has forgotten this and influenced men’s ignorance that women should have big breasts.
“In May 2008 I was diagnosed with melanoma cancer and told I had months to live. After multiple surgeries and treatment, I went into remission.
“I was left with scars all over my body from cancer removal and fat transfers to remove the cancer. I felt insecure, embarrassed and ugly in my body.
“This happened to me after going through an eating disorder for several years. I was searching for something to physically uplift how I felt about myself.
“In January 2009, I had breast implants hoping it would make me feel better about my body. ‘Everyone I knew was getting them’ was my excuse.
“I saw all these girls getting breast implants and I saw how happy they appeared, I wanted their confidence. I wanted to feel proud in a bikini or just being in my body full-stop.
“I hoped this would be my answer, my ‘fix’, to love myself. I hoped I could distract people from my large scars covering my body with 500 cc volume of saline.
“I interviewed nineteen doctors and saw before and after pictures of dozens of my girlfriends who had implants. I checked with my oncologist to approve my elected surgery.
“I even paid cash of my own money from two years of waiting tables unlike other girls using Care Credit and charging multiple credit cards.
“At first, I loved them. I felt better about my body. But within the first year I was sick all the time with the flu, cold, unexplained fatigue, headaches, odd pains.
“My boyfriend at the time would make fun of me teasing that I was ‘always sick’. I also developed really bad depression and anxiety.
“I was always tired and spent a lot of time in bed during the day. My weight would go up and down five to twenty pounds for several years and thought it was me getting older which was ridiculous because I was only in my early twenties.
“I never once thought it was my implants. About four to five years of having breast implants I noticed them dropping a lot; I could feel my implants rippling underneath but was told by doctors that’s normal.
“They told me that eventually I would just have to get them re-done after the ten-year recommended time to replace them. I had back pain everyday which I told myself ‘was the price for having boobs’.”
While her symptoms matched her research, doctors couldn’t diagnose her officially as the illness isn’t recognised by medical records.
BII is toxic poisoning from implants; it is thought that these toxins can develop autoimmune diseases. While there is no clear scientific evidence connecting these conditions to breast implants, the World Health Organisation and the US Food and Drug Administration have identified a possible correlation between breast implants and a rare cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Despite having men beg her not to reduce her breast size, Lacey has taken out her ‘toxic implants’ on December 4, 2018, and encourages women on her Instagram page (@consciouslivingbylacey) not to make their choices based on what society thinks is beautiful.
“My depression got worse, but doctors attributed it to life changes and other trauma in my life and while my life events definitely encouraged my depression, I do believe my breast implants started it,” Lacey said.
“After nine years of having them I was ready to swap them for smaller and started to look at doctors when I came across research on BII.
“Eventually I quit looking at doctors and was consumed on researching BII. I read hundreds of women’s stories and they all sounded like mine.
“The fatigue, depression, hair loss, weight gain, joint pain, breast aches, sharp pains in breasts, thyroid issues, hormone issues, brain fog, skin break outs, increased aging – I had almost everything on every list I found.
“It was social media groups especially Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole where I gained support from other BII affected women that helped me to have the courage to make a quick decision.
“Within weeks I knew I wanted the implants out; not smaller or a lift but completely gone out of my body.
“Even though I haven’t had the surgery yet, I already feel better about my confidence because I’m choosing my health over what society says looks good.
“My friends and family are proud of me for my advocacy and involvement to help women. They are also happy with me choosing my health over implants.
“My advice to other women who have implants would be to run blood work, especially on hormones and thyroid and see a naturopathic holistic doctor.
“Do research on BII and join online groups for women with BII. Look at the process of explanting and get your implants out. It’s not worth risking your life. You want to be around for your family and children.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/consciouslivingbylacey/
Her blog: www.consciouslivingbylacey.com