I don't know when the lump started growing. It seems like it happened overnight. One day I just realized that it was there. The lump in my neck was real. Although I felt it from the inside, at first I thought maybe I was imagining it. Then the lump got big out of nowhere. I couldn't breathe. I was suffocating on my food and struggling to relax. The uneasiness in my body was out of control. My body was screaming for me to get help.
I went to the emergency room and underwent immediate diagnostic testing, including a CT and an ultrasound of my neck. The imaging studies showed nodules on both sides of my thyroid gland, but one nodule was of particular concern. I was referred out to an otolaryngologist (ENT) who took a biopsy of the larger nodule.
It turns out that I have Papillary Thyroid Cancer. The doctor says I have a good prognosis. I am going to be alright. Surgery needs to happen right away though. We should be getting a quote from the hospital for the surgery (Total Thyroidectomy with Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Monitor) in the next couple of days.
My husband and I are trying to figure out how to pay for my medical bills, especially the surgery and the treatment that I will need after surgery. Although we both work, we don't make enough money to pay for the medical bills without assistance. We were already struggling to afford the cost of my medical expenses before this diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer. I've been seeing a team of neurologists for seizures due to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. I also see a Chiropractor/Holistic Practitioner for the pain in my body from the muscle spasms that accompany the seizures. (My body just hurts a whole lot sometimes. It helps to get my spine aligned and release the body's natural healing powers.)
Just recently we re-applied for insurance through the Affordable Care Act. (Open enrollment is happening right now!) We are finally eligible for the credit through ACA so we will be able to purchase insurance through the ACA at a lower cost than we were quoted last year. Last year the cheapest family plan we could buy through the Affordable Care Act was $1,800 per month. This year, we are hoping to enroll in a plan that meets our family's needs and that we can afford to pay for every month. Unfortunately, the policy through ACA will not be effective until January 2018... after the surgery. We have to pay for the surgery out of pocket, and we have to pay the emergency room bill, and we have to pay for my medications. We just can't afford to do it on our own.
We need help. We are in a tough situation and could use your support.
We appreciate your prayers, well wishes, positive vibes and happy thoughts. We will make it through this with the support of our family, friends, and the Highest Power.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story.
Eva and Luis Hernández
Click here for information about Thyroid Cancer from American Cancer Society: