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Melanoma and the VA. I don't know what to do....

seanMM
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2006

Grettings. I'm getting out of the Marine Corps in about 2 months and I'm not sure what to expect for my cancer treatment.

I had a level 3 thick tumor on my leg that was removed with a wide local incision. A sentinal node biopsy was done (negative) and I was put on Chemo (Interfuron) for a year. I'm not considered in remission (I think it's 7 years of clear checks or something?)

I require at least 4 checups and 2 PET/CAT scans a year. I have a huge scar on my right calf with nerve damage and a smaller scar from the removal of the lymph node. How am I going to get my treatments taken care of and will I be elligible for VA compensation after my EAS in like 2 months? Any help from someone who had the same situation would be geatly appreciated.

-Sean

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Sean -

Here's a link to the VA: http://www1.va.gov/health/

it will help explain VA medical benefits and also has a link to help you locate a treatment facility near you. Are you being medically retired? Have you consulted with civilian counsel?

- SpongeBob

seanMM
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2006

I'm not being medically retired, I'm EAS'ing. I'm going to see someone form the VA soon, I just have no idea what to expect.

I calculated the costs of my scans and doctor visits that my doctor told me I'm going to need forever. I'm not sure how anything works yet.

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

See what the VA has to say. Have you also checked on your disability % - that's also something to discuss with your VA rep. Have you considered pushing for a medical retirement versus ETS? Did you have an IMB or an FPEB?

seanMM
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2006

Had a talk with several people today. The VA said I should have a medical board before I got out to determine my percentage and make me ellegable for medical care as soon as my contract it up. The Naval doctor I called told me that medical boards are only for people who are getting out because they cant do there job.

I'm capable of working now because I don't have any tumors in my body at the moment accorfind to my last PET scan, however. I'm not "remission" (I think it takes 7 years) I have to get regular checkups and PET Scans.

Has anyone heard of someone that had chemotherapy NOT getting a medical review board?

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

I had 6 months of weekly chemo & didn't get a board. Mostly because I didn't want one so I kept the docs spinning in circles.

Regarding your doctor's remarks regarding an IMB, he is incorrect. I'm a former ship XO and (unfortunately) have plenty of experience with the ADMIN side of these things (as opposed to the medical side)

Talk to your command and check the medical manual that pertains to your service - do this yourself, don't rely on someone else to do it for you. Remember your doc is trained and gets paid to heal you, not to be your personnel administrator.

- SpongeBob

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