In mid-April of this year, I woke up one morning with a strange lump on the side of my neck. Although I was sure it was nothing serious, the fact that it was still there three weeks later prompted me to go see a doctor, who took one look at it and immediately sent me out for a CT scan. Three more weeks, two biopsies, a neck ultrasound, and two MRIs later, I was diagnosed with both thyroid cancer and an extremely rare cancer--Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis--in my cervical lymph node.
Getting Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (or LCH for short) is rare enough--only about 1 in a million adults are diagnosed with it each year--but to also be diagnosed with thyroid cancer is beyond rare. On top of that, I am--or was--a healthy 38 year-old with no family history of cancer and, up to that point (luckily) no serious medical issues to speak of.
While there is certainly no "good" time to receive a cancer diagnosis, the timing of all of this was especially unfortunate. Shortly before my diagnosis, I had left the company I was working for and started my own small business. I purchased my own health insurance, buying what I thought was a decent enough plan for a healthy young woman (who, up until now, had gone to the doctor perhaps a grand total of once per year). Of course, I never expected to be dealing with a double cancer diagnosis. My insurance plan came with a very high in-network deductible and a downright exorbitant out-of-network deductible, both of which I have already maxed out through paying for all of my treatments and testing over the past few months.
While my insurance will cover some of my upcoming treatment, it won't begin to cover all of it. I will be having inpatient surgery next week for a total thyroidectomy and sugical removal of the lymph node in my neck. Depending on the results of the post-operative biopsies, I am looking at potential additional treatment for one or both of the cancers.
I never thought I'd be needing to send out a message like this, but life can certainly take some unexpected twists and turns. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each and every one of you who is able to contribute to this fund and help me pay down some of these medical expenses. Any unused funds will be donated to the American Cancer Society, the American Thyroid Association, and/or the Histiocytosis Association.
- Monya Hudsick-Obando
- James Bullard
- Michael Kuznar
- Erin & Nhan Nguyen