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VN-Vet

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About VN-Vet

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    Army

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  1. Got everything rolling on the PCa - AO - 100% now - but still waiting on the USPS to deliver official notification, will be 5 business days tomorrow. Question - will the PSA blood results, urine analysis, CBC - results from the C&P exam be in the package from the VA? I really need them to compare to my next PSA test next Tuesday?
  2. Looks like everything went OK with the claim, as it shows today as 100% and dated back to the date of diagnosis - and paperwork is supposed to be in the mail. On eBenies I entered my marriage info and put a checking account number in for direct deposit. Anything else I should do now? Now my question is - can I file a new 'Intent to File' for other claims? I was definitely afraid to do his until the initial claim was approved. FYI - my C&P went OK with QTC - they called a few days later and wanted to let me know I may have a UTI, and that my PSA was then 0.1 - which is higher than I had hoped. I go back to my oncologist/urologist in a week or so for my first official PSA screen. Also - Do I call and make an appointment with VA Health to start getting my meds and pads from them? THanks everyone - while you may not have posted here - I still used what I could glean from here.
  3. Thanks Berta - and yes my care has been great - so to speak. I filed my FDC Claim [cancer - prostate (related to: Agent Orange - Vietnam) ] in late/mid January, then had my prostatectomy the first week of February. I have had a few issues like; loss of blood, anemia due to loss of blood, UTI, Incision infection, and now what appears to be a urethral stricture (scar tissue)? My pathology report did not turn out as well as we had hoped - it came in as pT3a N0 MX R1. I had been reassured the cancer was confined in the prostate capsule - but apparently not. I still have a good long term prognosis - I just may have more to go through then I had hoped, but not nearly as bad as many others. Questions: - what should I do? In the past few days I recieved a call from QTC, saying I had an appointment with a PA for a C&P exam - for my 'contention' of prostate cancer, this Thursday. I had less then a week to prepare for it. I am also supposed to have a urinalysis, as well as a blood CBC and PSA test. This is right at 3 weeks since my foley catheter was removed, I am in diapers/pads, and take several meds. I am scheduled to have my first followup at Duke to get my PSA tested for the first on many followups the first week of May. Very suspicious, as I am still being treated by my doctor, and I don;t understand what the VA intends to find out by those tests at this time. At this time my PSA should be around '0', which would indicate no active cancer, however I am under treatment and most like will be receiving radiotherapy either in May or somewhat later, as my cancer was not confined, and metastasis is unknown at this point. What to do? At the same time, I recieved a letter from the VA - 'Private Medical Records Retrieval Center' advising me that they are contacting my original urologist and my urologist at Duke, for my medical records. Also reminding me that it is my responsibility to supply evidence to support my claim , they just have a duty to assist. Not crazy about this either. Since I filed my claim when I still had a prostate, much has changed. I had my prostate out at Duke Hospital (great care btw) - however since I was being seen at the Duke Cancer Center / Prostate Cancer Center, i did not include Duke Hospital in the forms. The letter states not to send any medical records from anyone else other then those listed already listed. I have more 'evidence' I can upload into my claim - should I at this point? I have the pathology report - and I may be able to get another DBQ filled out as after the surgery? What to do? Am I worrying too much???? Thanks all
  4. Just a follow-up – partially for me, but mainly an object lesson for anyone else who travels down this path. If you served in Vietnam, please get on the Agent Orange Registry and take the exam. For more: https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/agent-orange/registry-health-exam/ Next, if you get one of the covered conditions listed, file as soon as possible and let the VA pay, or help pay for your treatments. This will be a personal choice made by considering your personal facts and what conditions you have. For me, it has cost me my copay for last year and since my Prostatectomy is Monday, in a new year, that will me this year’s entire deductible and copay. In my case, and as had been advised here, I should have filed in October of 2018. I did file recently, but too late to have the VA help pay for my surgery. I will have at least several months, if not years, of recuperation, and with the Grace of God, my cancer will be gone. If not - I’ll deal with it as it comes. I filed in mid-January an FDC on eBenefits, numbered the files in order, starting with a Forwards and Table of Contents, then a Certified pdf of my DD 214, showing service in Vietnam. Then in order of how things progressed, copy of my original pathology report showing Prostate Cancer, then my Urologist’s letter with his diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, then the original treatment for surgery to have taken place 2 weeks ago, then a DBQ he filled out. Then another note about my decision to get second opinions on both the pathology, but also on the surgery. Then I copied the second opinion of the pathology that confirmed the cancer and upgraded 2 of the cores, and the new Oncologist/Urologist opinion of the cancer, and his scheduling of the Prostatectomy I am about to have. My new doctor is a retired Army Colonel, used to head up the Army’s Prostate Center, and now does, or used to, head up one of the top ten Prostate Cancer Centers of Excellence at a Major University, where I’ll be heading. He has authored and coauthored many scientific studies that have advanced the treatment of Prostate Cancer. Then finally, I supplied a contact sheet with phone and fax numbers, and addresses of everyone involved. Almost immediately, the VA acted on my claim, really expediting it and now I see: “ Your claim moved to Evidence gathering, review, and decision” Estimated date: July 14, 2019 I have a feeling I’ll be rated much sooner than that date, and honestly everyone at the VA has treated me nicely. However, I did receive conflicting advice about when to file, and for me, as it turned out, I should have filed back in October and requested to be examined by VA Health. What may soften the blow for me, is I had an ‘Intent To File’, already in I intended to use for another issue. How to proceed for here – I am all Eyeballs and Ears. BTW - would you suggest the new doctor complete another DBQ and write a letter saying it is as likely as not that Agent Orange caused or at least worsened the Prostate Cancer? I am half afraid of submitting more at this point, so I might just hold on to it if I need it.
  5. Holly Cow - tell me it ain't so Joe. This is incredible, even if just a small portion is adopted.
  6. I believe you need to calculate the highest disability first the the next highest, on down the line to the 10s - otherwise your numbers won't work.
  7. Not sure about the list of disabilities you have - and good luck with them - but I 'thought' the VA recalculated the entire total of your disabilities each time one was adjusted or you added a new one. So, if you get a 50% now for D, and you have any other lower rated disability, then your 50% would be calculated first, just above the disability rating that is more, and just before the next disability that is less. I believe this may make a difference. That said - if you have a 90% DBR now on a single issue - never mind. Good Luck. I thought it was like 70% 1st, then maybe 60% next, then maybe your 50%, then your 30, 20, 10?
  8. Thanks Berta – and sorry – I did not mean the title of the thread I cannot find was Watchful Waiting / Active Surveillance, only that someone mentioned those, or one of them, as not being acceptable PC therapy that the VA would continue to pay disability on. I even may have read this somewhere else, months ago when I thought that PC might be 1 of my conditions. Actually – that is prescribed to some older men, that have a slow growing prostate and PSA, but not really a viable option for me. I am trying to just accept the AO/PC diagnosis and the rock and hard place I seem to be in. I might be able to cope with everything a bit better if I was just assured that my current AO/PC would be paid back to at least back to the diagnosis date, of last week, no matter when I file for it. As of now – the latest date for that date would be 3/29/19, as my active ITF expires then. Conditions I have been actively working on to file are: 1. Back Problems: I have back problems I have some current work up on, but found so far that the Army Doctor did not put in my injury or his diagnosis that I had DDD, back in 1973, when he explained to me that I would probably have a rod in my spine before I was 35 because of it. But feel I need more on this. 1 thing would be the x-rays taken, several times at Womack Army Hospital back in 1973 – if that would even be possible, then my current doc could compare, also see the DDD then, and make a stronger nexus. My back problems do have several secondary conditions associated with it as well. 2. Seborrhea Dermatitis: I do have a current diagnosis of Seborrhea Dermatitis, several diagnoses of this over the years, and a diagnosis from when I was stateside and back from Vietnam, that refers back to when I was treated for this in Vietnam – which is not in the file. Those of us that have it, know once you do, you can never be cured, just better days then other days. 3. Right Elbow: I have a right elbow that the Army pieced together with bone grafts from my hip, that aches and has neuropathy – that I am working on. 4. Tinnitus and Hearing Loss: I do have tinnitus and hearing loss – and I had my ears worked on while in Vietnam – but cannot find the report in my file. Drives me crazy at times, and I say ‘what’, far too often. These I would like to file before I file for my prostate cancer disability, just because they should be provable and I really hate to give up the ITF date. Probably whichever 1 looks the best. My question on this is, can I file these claims and then work on them? Also – how is RAMP going to affect me trying to get this together? https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/32368/successfully-file-va-compensation-claim/ Then there is my MST/PTSD, probably as important, or more in many ways, then even my AO/PC. This I confess I haven’t started in earnest – as just thinking about it makes me even ore useless. Not even planned it yet. I live in NC, in a county with more than 10,000 vets. When I called the county VA VSO and asked for an appointment, all I heard was laughter (what an a-s). I still have not heard back from anyone from the VA – I made more calls today, to no avail. I have appointments for second opinions to make for my PC, treatments to consider that will be life altering/changing, then recovery after the operation, etc. Then just praying the cancer is gone. I am going to be hard pressed to get this done at all, let alone in less than 6 months. I’ll probably – reluctantly – require help – and I know I need all the prayers anyone can offer. Thanks everyone so far from what you have shared with me, and have shared in these threads. Today I was impressed with Buck shared, several years ago, along these lines. I just did not see how it turned out for him. Bless all those that help others here. I am lucky – I believe I can get my PC treated as needed without the VA’s help, but I really do not want to do something I could get them to do for me. Would the VA pay for my private doctor, meds, etc, if I file before I am treated? Trust me, there is no doubt about the PC ☹
  9. I have read what threads, that would come up here, on prostate cancer and agent orange, and what is on the VA site. I realize that having served in Vietnam, my recently diagnosed prostate cancer should be a presumptive of agent orange by the VA, and I should get 100% disability for as long as I show active cancer, *** and I believe while I am being treated – or perhaps I must be in an approved treatment process, and then for 6 months after treatment ends. I had also thought I had read here that the VA does NOT recognize Watchful Waiting / Active Surveillance, as therapies that they will continue to payout on – but hopefully I am wrong, but I can’t seem to find that thread now, or it may be one of the threads I can’t get to come up now. My first question has to do with what ‘date’ will the VA use as the start date of compensation? I had filed an ITF, several months back, as I am also developing other claims for other conditions I have, and have had for some time. I believe that if I file for my ‘Agent Orange - Prostate Cancer’ before I file my other claims, that will use the placeholder my ITF provides, but what I don’t know is, if the VA will use the ITF date to start my PC compensation, or try and use the date of my biopsies or pathology reports, and I’ll just lose out on the months between those dates? It was in the process of seeing the many doctors for the other conditions when my prostate cancer was found, not a pleasant surprise. I don’t really have a large prostate, comparatively, and my PSA is under 10, but it is the small size and higher PSA for its size that places me at a higher risk, as well as the inclusion of ‘Perineural Invasion’ (PNI), that my private urologist wants to take more immediate action. I am preparing myself for what is ahead, it has been a week today that I found out. I have read tons of stuff, but mostly created 5 or more years ago – and much has changed. I really like my urologist and trust him, but I also believe I need a second opinion as far as treatments are concerned, as I would hate second guessing myself for a hasty decision. (btw – my urologist is retired Army – interned at Walter Reed) My second question is – how do I file? I tried calling the newer local VA clinic, The Regional VA hospital, and the VA 800 number. I have left my number for a return call on some, and was told by a recording that due to unavoidable circumstances my call cannot be answered, other times. I have my dd214 showing my tours in Vietnam, I have my urologist’s diagnosis and copy of the pathology report, I have our marriage license, what else would I need if I just showed up at the clinic to file a claim? Third question – not as important – is there anyway I can file my other claims, not developed, before I file the PC claim, if I find out I would otherwise lose the ITF date when filing the PC claim?
  10. Thanks seminoles - that is a shame - do you feel comfortable offering more detail, and did you try your states other coordinator? How did you proceed after that encounter?
  11. Thanks Tbird - I am not sure what you mean by over the top - but I feel you have reservations about it. in one context -- I am just feeling it is better to be as prepared as I can be when I submit a claim, it wouldn't be excessive if that would add any weight to my side of the scale of justice. I may have 2 claims that I may be questioned that I need to prove b the preponderance of evidence submitted where the evidence submitted may lack total credibility. I am just looking for a plan B in case I cannot find the records that should be in my medical file somewhere and when and if I file that MST. I am not someone that likes leaving a rock unturned if I have access and the means, and I have it now, but that will change in the years ahead. I am also researching other issues as well, but they are easier to find more concrete information on, unlike the issues I post about.
  12. Thanks vetquest - there is a logic to your reply, but I intended to use the test along with the buddy letters and all other supporting documents I can muster so that I get as far as I can with the initial C&P and evaluation of claims submitted. My thought - it would be easier to go from 10% to 20%, or from 70% to 100%, and even easier to from not having a claim recognized and having a disability at 0%, then requesting an increase when and if you need to go to the BVA. You bring up a goo point with something I had not considered, and that would be 'can we remove a buddy letter or document from the file before it goes to the BVA? Just thinking outside the box - I know it has to have been done, or attempted, I just haven't seen any reference to the results. While studying the recent PTSD manual, I can see where the latest CAPS-5 for DSM-5 were created more to find ways for the examiner to reduce exaggeration and malingering to a minimum. It is definitely being designed and conditions harder to pass rather then making it more accurate and helping anyone with PTSD. One of the changes they brag about in the manual is that even if you have multiple stressors that make up your PTSD - the design now is they ask you to only use the stressor you feel is worse, and use only that stressor for each of the following questions. I don't see how that change has not been challenged and overturned - but before that becomes an issue for those of us that have yet to be diagnosed, we have to have the VA acknowledge we have PTSD. But PTSD is not the main reason I hope to be able to use the Polygraph, more so for the medical rerecords missing in my file. I have some time to find more info - I hate paying $500-$1,000 for a high level exam if I can avoid it.
  13. Hey Guys - Firstly I want to thank everyone here for making me feel welcomed and offering some very sage advice, wisdom and critical information - I hope I don't wear you out, or my welcome. Today I am asking about Polygraph testing results to be used as evidence. I see it as a way I can add credibility to any issue on any claim I may submit. I am not thinking of using any test results as the only supporting document submitted, but in addition to whatever I am able to accumulate. Anyone know if it has been done or even if it is acceptable? I do see a possibility of opening the door that may be opened, where the VA says, well if you submit these test results, then we want to give you our test too. What do you guys know and think of this? BTW - can I set the default 'Notify me of replies' to my questions and threads I want to watch so I get notified when I forget to toggle it?
  14. Gastone, Berta, Well - don't laugh - but through the many years I decided there were far many more veterans that needed help, far more than I did, because the VA was always underfunded, that is what I told my wife and kids that kept on me about their diagnosis of me and PTSD ;). I tried to convince myself of that as well, but it was probably avoidance, fear, denial,the feeling of not being worthy. Don't forget, when I got out no one wanted to be diagnosed with anything bad or chronic, and when PTSD first to become a topic, employers and the public wanted no part of it. Since then I go to the doctor when things get bad, try what they offer, then self medicate. I am actually not feeling easy about what I am preparing for, as I am a novice, clueless as to the changes in the VA, and fearful of the major changes on the near horizon - like RAMP - or whatever it is called. I started 3 years ago and got the first package that St Louis sent - and was very upset because what I needed was missing - I just the Heck with it - or something similar. My father in-law kept after me until he passed away to get in the VA, ASAP, he was a disabled Korea War Vet, that served along the DMZ as a medic - or something like that. I would go with him or take him to Mountain Home VA Center and saw and talked to many Vets inside - which made me feel more unworthy.. Funny - I was just talking to my wife last night saying that all that I read about how to act in the VA itself, was probably the reason why some of those guys acted and looked the way they did - oh well, they had me fooled if that was the case. So as to which Club I am in Gastone, I am definitely a Procrastinators Club in - but - I am also one Lucky Dude - that I am still married and have 4 kids, soon to be 7 grandkids. all that love me, when I have ashamedly tested the limits of that love many times. No matter what is in the future with the VA - I pray won't change that.
  15. The VA lists 2 Military Sexual Trauma Coordinators in every state - a male and a female. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp I am not sure what their purpose is, I think they are suppose to guide a MST victim through the process, and keep things confidential. But I have many questions as to their expertise, how they are trained, and if it is advisable to contact them before you get your case together, be it as it may. Or is part of their duty to aid and guide you in putting your case together, opening doors for so so you have access to information that is otherwise difficult to obtain?? Other words - are they worth their Salt? Guidance please. I've read many MST cases here and elsewhere, I can't believe the crap they have to go through to prove what happened, the degree their efforts are challenged, and how often any disability is denied. All I can say is, be strong, be united, and both Women and Men need to take more action, united.
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