In 1985, I lost my wife, Marguerite, after a nine-year battle with cancer, she was only 38 years old. When she had her first mastectomy she was offered a breast implant, which she declined. This proved to be a wise choice since her cancer returned on the same side. If she had had a breast implant, the cancer would have been hidden and she would have died sooner than she did. Unfortunately, when a lump appeared in the other breast, a biopsy proved that it was benign but this procedure left her breast lumpy. When cancer did appear in this breast it was masked and the cancer metastasized before it was detected.
When I married my present wife, Adella, she had had breast implants for many years. She had several health challenges but was coping well enough until she fell and broke one of her capsules. She began to deteriorate more rapidly than I knew at this time. She would collapse after supper and I would have to wake her up to go to bed. Little did I know that she was often sleeping most of the day while I was at work. She would often garble her sentences and forget things that had happened only a short time ago. She had a rash on her neck and severe pains that ran up into her head. After her explantation, she began the slow process of recovery but, with silicone still in her system, recovery is never complete.
Before Adella was explanted, I attended a meeting with her of women who had breast implants. It was soon apparent that the women shared many of the same complaints. The women had varying degrees of illness depending a lot on their age and the age and condition of their implants. Adella and several of the women wanted to form a society. Most would only participate if Adella assumed the position of president, a post she retains to this day. And so, the I.A.S. Implant Awareness Society was born.
Since our original secretary-treasurer was not keeping any books, I assumed that task and soon was filling the position of treasurer. Since I had a background in technical writing, I was soon given the task of proofreading and editing all the correspondence of the society, much of which was posted on our portion of the website we shared with Tony Lambert in Quebec.
My participation in the society has been rewarding. We have helped many women both locally and in many parts of Canada, the US, and other parts of the world. When my wife, due to her illness, found it difficult to proceed, I would tell her to remember all the women that told her she had saved their life.