BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – Connie Caron and Eva Toney were strangers living in the same neighborhood before their similar journeys of complications with breast implants brought them together.
“I would have migraines, my finger nails would split down the middle, I would have blurred vision…a metal taste in my mouth,” Caron said. ” I would have hot flashes, temperature changes, blurry vision, dry eyes…body aches were probably the worst thing,” Toney added.
They both dealt with painful symptoms for years, and consulted with various doctors who couldn’t give them answers.
“I would go to my doctor and say I have an issue…and they’d do blood work and say well nothings wrong,” Caron recalled.
“Sometimes you would even have to think…you know ‘Is it all in my head?'” Toney said.
As they would both find out, it was not all in their heads. It was their bodies rejecting textured implants that were on recent recall lists by the Food & Drug Administration.
“It’s just a multitude of your system trying to fight off the texture that’s on the implant and it works over time,” Caron said.
After extensive research of their own, and speaking with women in several online support groups, they both realized their symptoms were right in line with Breast Implant Illness.
“Just stories and stories over and over again of women who sounded just like me, and I knew, I just knew,” Toney said.
With insurance not covering the surgery, Toney took a leap of faith, and money out of her own pocket to get her implants extracted this past February. That surgery would reveal that her implants ruptured, assuring her she made the right decision.
“I have no regrets,” Toney said proudly. “I wasn’t expecting to see such an immediate change in my health.”
For Connie, the road to answers and action has not been as efficient. A recent sonogram of both breasts showed ‘architectural distortion’ and symptoms compatible with ‘silicone lymphadenopathy,’ which means her implants ruptured. She is now scheduled to have a breast coil MRI this week, one of a few necessary steps to see if she has Breast Implant Associated Lymphoma.
“If it’s cancer, I am not afraid,” Caron said. “It’s in God’s hands.”
Connie and Eva remain strong, and want women who are considering getting implants to do research, consult with doctors, and do what feels best for their bodies. They assure not all implants are bad.
“I know many women who’ve had no bad experiences and beautiful results,” Toney said.
“I just want people to know, so they can make a more informed decision or they can get the help they need before they continue to get sick.”