Hi all brothers and sisters-in-arms,
When I was in the Army in 1971, it was discovered that I had a basal cell skin cancer on the skin above my collar bone. I went on leave, and after just 30 days, it had begun to get into the bone. Doctors have said they have never seen such speed of growth (and never seen the extent of my skin cancer as someone so young as me back then).
When I got out, I didn't want money from the government (I know, I know, you can't eat principle...but we all make mistakes), so basically, they said they had to give me a rating, and with no money it was a "Zero to Ten Percent" disability.
I applied for benefits in 1990 (ex-wife pressure...lol), and was awarded thirty percent.
Three years ago, I was awarded an additional 70% VA Pension for liver problems and other internal organ problems. This came after two visits to ICU in five years over my "non-service" disability. I worked full time until 2001, then could only work part-time, then I became sick again.
I just filled out VA Form 21-526, but is there a better way that I can get someone to understand that after hundreds of (even "minor") surgical procedures perhaps what I was exposed to triggered more problems than just cancer? Also, I've been too sick the last couple of years to feel I can withstand even minor surgery, so my service connected disability is flaring up again, badly.
Plus, in the mid-seventies, I spent 33 days in a VA hospital because of my service connected disabilty. Are the 33 days indicative of anything?
Thanks for any and all help,