Carla is living with stage IV lung cancer for 6+ years now, have had different forms of treatment, and currently on targeted therapy. She was working in the hospitality industry and led a healthy and active lifestyle upon diagnosis of advanced lung cancer at age of 29. When well and able, she loves spontaneous travels with her husband.

My Name is Carla.

I am diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer. I’m currently 34 years old, diagnosed when I was 29.

I initially felt split-second pain in my back whenever I sneezed or coughed. We had a contrast CT scan and biopsy. That was when we finally found the diagnosis.

How did you feel when you were first diagnosed? How did your family feel?

Relatively, it was a surprise but it wasn’t as devastating as compared to how my family took it.

It was a combination of disbelief. At first, devastation. It was hard for them.

What medicine did your doctor prescribe?

It was a relief to me knowing there are other alternatives than chemotherapy. I was looking forward to having the treatment done.

How did you feel when your doctor told you that your disease was progressing?

It wasn’t a surprise to us because we knew, somehow, at a point in the future we’ll have to change treatment. There’s disappointment, definitely. I was doing well with the initial treatment for quite a good time. My family, the people around me can hardly see anything wrong with me on the outside.

What medicine did your doctor prescribe upon progression?

Personally, I feel that chemo would be like the last option because that was when I was introduced with targeted therapy so if there are targeted therapies then that’s the first choice.

Physically the symptoms that I felt was probably only in the first two weeks. I guess that’s the adjustment period. Otherwise, now the most that I can think of is nail toxicity or some rash but very, very minimal.

What is your outlook about lung cancer now?

It can happen to anyone so I think there’s really a lot to do. More work to be done in lung cancer when it comes to research and accessibility of treatments.

There are a lot of things to be hopeful about lung cancer like medical breakthroughs.
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