The Great Explant: Removing My Breast Implants, Conquering Mold Poisoning, and Taking Back My Life

Earlier this year, I faced a hard fact: The breast implants I had put into my body at the age of 18 were making me sick, and I needed surgery to remove them.

It took ten years for me to learn that the plastic from the implants were the cause behind so many of my crippling health problems. I had been suffering from a mystery systemic mold overgrowth for over eight of those years (which baffled my doctors) and it was getting worse by the day. I felt devastated when I realized that I had done this to myself.

When I was 18, the words "research" and "long term consequences" weren't in my vocabulary. Body positivity and acceptance was not a thing in my social circle back then, and I was surrounded by several women at my waitressing job that had implants. It didn't seem like a big deal, and I had a large surplus of income from my new job with nothing to spend it on.

This is what I look back on as my "perfect storm".

But, the consequences didn't hit …

Eight Lessons From My First DNF: A Very Belated Leona Divide 50 Race Report

"Racing is pain, and that's why you do it. To challenge yourself and the limits of your physical and mental barriers. You don't experience that in an armchair watching television." -Mark Allen

Lesson #1: Sometimes races go as planned; more often than not, however, the unexpected happens.- Laz, Founder of the Barkely Marathons.
Leona Divide was the first race I ever signed up for that I didn't really know if I could finish.

The race entry fell right into my lap and it was one of those situations where you kind of just shrug your shoulders and said, "Why not?"

Fifty miles. Over 10K feet of elevation gain. Notoriously hot and exposed.

But it wasn't impossible. In fact, it was very possible that with the right amount of training I could pull it off.

Part of me was absolutely terrified of what it would feel like to run fifty miles, and the other part of me was absolutely determined to do everything I could to finish the race. Even if it meant suffering.