On March 22, 2021 we spoke with Val R. Val is currently 28 years old. In May of 2019, at age 26, she was diagnosed with invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma.
Val had recently graduated from her local community college where she studied medical laboratory technology. She was about to start her first job in this field when she began to have severe rib spasms and wheezing. She had a history of shortness of breath and lingering cough but did not take these symptoms seriously, attributing it to stress, work and allergies. The rib pain and wheezing were serious and Val went to the emergency room where she was admitted immediately. After an x-ray and CT scan, she was told she had a seven centimeters bronchogenic cyst in her right lung (this is a rare genetic mutation). The surgeon told Val she would need to have the lower two thirds of her lung removed via surgery. Val had no idea she had this cyst in her lung for so long. Unfortunately, the procedure could not be completed because the surgeon found several other masses in Val’s lungs that were not on the CT scan. Biopsies revealed the diagnosis in her right lung. This is a very rare subtype of lung cancer and Val’s doctor stated that she was the youngest patient he had treated for this.
At first, Val felt numb. Her parents and husband were informed of her diagnosis at the hospital. She decided to tell her friends through social media. Her husband also helped inform friends and family of her condition. Val feels her friends and family were more emotional than she was.
Val has been through several types of treatment with varying side effects. She began six rounds of chemotherapy which she tolerated well other than stomach pains. She then went on Tagrisso for thre