My name is Lupe and I am 23 years old. I’ve never felt good asking people for help but I have no other option at this point. On Oct 25, 2018 I finally decided to go to the emergency room because of my headaches and chest pain. After a Ct scan, I was informed that I had a 7cm tumor on my pancreas. I was referred to Dr. Bilimoria at Northwest Community Hospital. He right away set my surgery for Nov 29, 2018. Thanks to God and having a great doctor the surgery was a success. He cut off part of my pancreas where the tumor was located and my spleen. All of it was sent to the pathologist to be examined. A few days after surgery, the doctor called me and told me the tumor was precancerous. The tumor had been taken out just in time before it turned into cancer. It was the best news I could have gotten.
Here’s a little background, once I graduated high school, in Aug 2013 I got a new job in an office Mon-Fri. I worked there up until the day before my surgery, Nov 28, 2018. Unfortunately they did not offer any benefits or health insurance. Many people ask why I stayed at a job without any benefits for more than 5 years, and that’s simply because I enjoyed my job and always told myself “ok Lupe you didn’t go back to school so might as well get experience and have a stable job to put on your resume for it to look good.”
During those 5 years, I took out several credit cards and I admit I did not use them wisely, a total of about $16,000. I also went to the hospital several times and had doctor appointments that I had to pay out of pocket. In Sept 2017 I had a tonsillectomy and had to pay that out of pocket as well. Any pending medical bills I had, I paid them off with my credit cards because the last thing I wanted were collections on my credit report. I was really worried about my credit score because my ultimate goal is to one day have a house of my own. At the time before finding out about my pancreatic tumor, I knew I had to save up to pay off my credit cards to be able to get a house.
Half way through the year of 2018 I really started thinking of my future and decided it was time for me to find a new job that offered me benefits and health insurance. My plan was to find a new job, work all of 2019 and keep saving up to pay off my credit cards (as of Nov 2018 I had $8000 in savings to pay off credit cards) and then apply for a house and hopefully after that I could go back to school. I informed my boss that I would be leaving the job at the end of December.
Oct 2018 I was hit with the news of the tumor on my pancreas. After scheduling the surgery now I had to do all the financial papers. The surgery being a total of approx $90,000. I tried applying for the medical card but was denied because I worked up until the day of my surgery. The hospital approved me for an 80% discount. I had to give a downpayment to go ahead with the surgery and so I did from the savings I had.I am now unemployed, no monthly income, medical bills left and right, my car payment, rent & my credit card bills. My doctor has told me I can go back to work on Jan 29, 2019 but since I had already said I was leaving, now I am out of job and need to start all over. As soon as I get cleared to be able to work again, I will start applying and get a new job.
I know my debt is all my fault & honestly i’m just happy to be here alive because everything could have been much worse. I see this as a new chance at life for me. I want to pay ofmy debt and go back to school. The last thing I want to do is file for bankruptcy. Any help, no matter how small it is, is a huge help to me and I greatly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.