CSN Login
Members Online: 9

Any Vietnam Vets that had this surgery?

RickGardner
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2010

I had the surgery in Feb of this year. C&P assesment in Dec of 09. Still now receiving compensation at this point. Prostate cancer is a "given" with Agent Orange. Still changing pads 10-12 times a DAY!
Anyone file for SS disability due to this? I for one CANNOT work right now what with changing pads so many times a day.
Would appreciate ANY feedback or help!! Feel like I'm going CRAZY!

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

First off, I'm sorry you're going through this. You should definitely apply for SS disability. Given the frequency of pad changes, only an idiot would think you're capable of working. SS "may" deny your claim ar first but if they do, file an appeal. Think of it this way. If you are getting VA benefits from the government, what logic is there for them to deny government benefits through SS - make sense?

RickGardner
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2010

That's my thinking, too. But one of the problems is the VA hasn't come thru yet either - even tho I was considered 100% disabled in November when I was diagnosed. EVERYTHING seems to be taking it's time - the VA, SS, incontinance, etc., etc....

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

I found this for you:

Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers both disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits. Veterans can receive both Social Security disability insurance benefits and VA disability compensation. (The supplemental security income benefit (SSI) is offset for VA pension or compensation.) Unlike VA compensation benefits that are measured in degrees of disability, SSA benefits require a total disability that will last at least one year. If you cannot work because of your disability, contact the nearest district office of SSA at 1-800-772-1213. SSA benefits information is available on the Internet at www.ssa.gov.

http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/benefits/herbicide/AOno3.htm

Skid Row Tom's picture
Skid Row Tom
Posts: 118
Joined: Apr 2010

Rick. Sorry you're having these problems and thank you for your service to our country. I also wondered about disability, but never pursued it. To get me through a few months at work, I used a Cunningham Clamp. You can Google it -- I'm sure it originated in Medieval times to get people to confess. You can buy them off the Internet for about $40. They do the job, but they are uncomfortable, and you're only supposed to wear them a few hours a day. For a permanent fix, may I suggest you read my posts under AMS 800 artificial urinary sphincter. Like many people on this board, I tried damn near everything and tried to avoid more surgery at all costs -- especially surgery that involved implanting a contraption in my body. However, the AUS put an end to my misery (at least 95% of it) and gave me my life back.

BRONX52
Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 2010

RICK
I TOO AM A VIETNAM VET AND HAD DAVINCI SURGERY IN FEB ALSO. LUCKILY, I DID NOT REALLY HAVE AN INCONTENANCE ISSUE AFTER THE CATHETER CAME OUT. A LITTLE LEAKAGE AT FIRST BUT DRY NOW. HOWEVER, SINCE I HAD TWO POSITIVE MARGINS IT WAS RECOMMENDED THAT I GET RADIATION TREATMENT. I OPTED FOR IMRT AND CURRENTLY HAVE 6 SESSIONS REMAINING TO COMPLETION FOR A TOTAL OF 38 TREATMENTS. I ALSO FILED THE AGENT ORANGE CLAIM BUT I AM STILL WAITING ON THE VA TO MAKE A DECISION.BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR THE GOV'T--HURRY UP AND WAIT !! I AGREE WITH THE OTHER GENTS THAT YOU SHOULD APPEAL IF YOUR DISABILITY IS DENIED. IT'S JUST LIKE ANOTHER WAR THIS PC. YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP FIGHTING AND REMAIN POSITIVE.
DAN

bdhilton
Posts: 759
Joined: Jan 2010

Bronx52,

Did you just have the radiation treatments because it was recommended or did you wait and see if your PSA went up? Also where did yoiu have your treatment done? thanks

BRONX52
Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 2010

TWO THINGS DROVE MY DECISION TO GO AHEAD WITH THE RADIATION---HAVING THE POSITIVE MARGINS AND EXTRAPROSTATIC EXTENSION AND THE FACT THAT MY PROSTATE WAS 75% INVOLVED.MY LAST PSA WAS UNDETECTABLE. I DID SEEK OUT A SECOND AND THIRD OPINION PRIOR TO MAKING MY DECISION AND BOTH OF THE DOCTORS I SPOKE TO AGREED. I ALSO READ AND THEN VERIFIED WITH A RADIATION ONCOLOGIST, THAT HAVING RADIATION WITHIN 90 DAYS OR SO OF YOUR SURGERY IS MUCH MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN IF YOU HAD IT A YEAR OR SO LATER. WHY, I DON'T KNOW AND I DON'T THINK THE DOCTORS KNOW EITHER BUT CLINICAL TRIALS HAVE SUBSTANTIATED THAT THEORY. IT MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT THING FOR YOU DEPENDING ON YOUR SITUATION BUT I FELT IT WAS THE RIGHT THING FOR ME. I HAD MY SURGERY DONE IN HONOLULU AS WELL AS THE IMRT. HOPE THIS ANSWERS YOUR QUESTION--DAN

mrspjd
Posts: 694
Joined: Apr 2010

A few more questions about your follow up radiation tx...was it recommended that you use hormone therapy either before, during, or following your radiation as adjuvant therapy? If so, what kind of hormone therapy are you on (i.e. triple blockade, etc?) In your radiation IMRT/IGRT, what dosage of total radiation did you have (I believe it's called "gray" or "Gy")? What, if any, side effects have you experienced from the radiation (and hormones, if applicable)? Thanks for the info. BTW, pjd is also a Viet Nam Vet, and from info we saw posted on another thread, he has recently applied for VA benefits because of his PCa...still waiting for their decision since he was on a carrier off the coast of VN.
mrs pjd

BRONX52
Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 2010

AS FAR AS HORMONES ARE CONCERNED, I DID NOT TAKE THEM BEFORE AND DON'T ANTICIPATE TAKING THEM AFTER THE RADIATION TREATMENTS. SINCE MY PSA WAS UNDETECTABLE 6 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY THE DOCTOR RECOMMENDED THAT I NOT DO HORMONES. NOT SURE IF I WOULD AGREE TO THEM ANYWAY. I AM ALMOST DONE WITH THE RADIATION---33 COMPLETE AND 5 MORE REMAINING. I BELIEVE THE DOSE FOR EACH SESSION IS 180 GY. IT WILL COME CLOSE TO 7000 WHEN I'M DONE. THE IMRT THAT I AM RECEIVING HAS BEEN RELATIVELY FREE OF SIDE EFFECTS EXCEPT FOR URGENCY AND FREQUENCY OF URINATION. IT HAS ONLY OCCURED THIS PAST WEEK AND IT SEEMS TO SUBSIDE ABOUT 4 HOURS AFTER RECEIVING THE TREATMENT.EVEN FATIGUE HASN'T BEEN MUCH OF AN ISSUE. SINCE I ONLY HAVE A FEW TREATMENTS LEFT I AM CONFIDENT THAT IT WILL SLOWLY FADE AWAY ONCE THE TREATMENTS STOP. JUST FOR INFO--THE VA NOW ACCEPTS CLAIMS EVEN IF YOU WERE OFFSHORE DURING YOUR DEPLOYMENT AS LONG AS YOU WERE IN AN ACTIVE COMBAT ZONE. TOO BAD THEY CAN'T SPEED UP THE PROCESS, I AM STILL WAITING MYSELF !!!

mrspjd
Posts: 694
Joined: Apr 2010

Dan, Thanks for the helpful info. Yes, we are aware that the VA no longer limits claims only for "boots on the ground." We'll see whether they come through. In the other posts on VA benefits for PCa (related to agent orange), we learned that sometimes you just have to keep checking back with the VA (online or by phone) to find out if your claim was approved, as they're not too good about informing you (big surprise) independent of your inquiries!
Best,
mrs pjd

BRONX52
Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 2010

JUST A COMMENT ON THE RADIATION DOSE---180 IS THE SMALLER INCREMENTS. IT CAN ALSO BE READ AS 1.8 AND CONSEQUENTLY THE 7000 CAN BE 70. DIDN'T WANT YOU TO MISUNDERSTAND--DAN

mrspjd
Posts: 694
Joined: Apr 2010

dan,
thanks, that's what we thought you meant and how we interpreted it :)
mrs pjd

lillyandwindsor
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2010

Rick you hang in there. Iwish you all the luck in the world. I will be getting a MRI on June the 10th. My VA dr. wants to be sure that the cancer has not spread out from the prostate, then I will be taking radition therapy. I know it will be a long haul but that was my dissusion. Rick you take care.

WHW's picture
WHW
Posts: 189
Joined: Jul 2009

Just thought I would chime in on the discussion about VA benefits since I have just completed the process and began receiving my award.

I sent in an "Intent to File Claim" with the VA in October 2009 so as to protect my filing date. On December 28, 2009 I filed the formal claim. At the time I was told that there were over 900,000 claims currently in the process and it could take a while. On March 24th I was scheduled to meet with the VA doctor for the C&P review. I didn't hear anything more after that until I called the VA 800 number on April 20th. The rep who answered the phone checked my file and told me I had been approved for 100% disability for Agent Orange related PCa. On May 7th I received my check for all retroactive pay back to the October 2009 date and I should receive my first monthly check about the 7th of June. On a more lighter note, I also receive an SMC (Special Monthly Compensation Award) because of the ED. It is termed as "loss of a creative organ". Never called it that before except that it does (did) create a lot of excitement and pleasure.

All in all I would have to say that it was a relatively easy process. Given the amount of claims they have in process, 4 months from the formal filing date to approval wasn't bad for a government process. I know that the VA has come out recently in the news as stating that they are working at putting new procedures and policies in place to streamline the process. Appears to me it's working.

As an aside my wife was just granted disability through Social Security because of her cancer. Not only was she not denied the first time around, as most news stories would indicate, but her process from filing to approval and receipt of funds was 4 days short of 4 months as well. It would seem like we are being blessed in many ways these days.

I have had da Vinci surgery, IG/IMRT radiation (70 Gys over 35 treatments), but no hormone therapy to date. I recently went though a complete skeletal and organ scanning process utilizing Sodium Fluoride PET scan. One small lytic lesion was found on my femur and I have a meeting with the Radiation Oncologist tomorrow to schedule radiation on the spot.

I thought this might be helpful to those that see the post title and come here looking for information.

Sonny

60 years old when diagnosed July 2009
PSA 11/07 3.0
PSA 5/09 6.4
Diagnosis confirmed July 9, 2009
12 Needle Biopsy = 9 clear , 3 postive
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 in all positive cores
da Vinci 9/17/09
Post Surgery Pathology: GS 4+3=7
Stage: T3a
Tumor Volume 12.5%
positive margin, extra-prostatic extension
30 day PSA 0.4, 50 day psa 0.53, 64 day psa 0.6
IMRT completed 1/15/10 35 treatments- 70Gy

2/24/10 FIRST POST RAD PSA 1.0---CARRRP --waiting for the next test.
3/22/10 Second Post RAD PSA 1.5 Dammmmnnn stubborn son of a gun
4/19/10 YAHOO PSA dropped to 1.2 Moving in the right direction.
5/7/10 PSA test 1.3 Sodium Fluoride PET Scan & CT SCAN -scheduled
5/20/10 PSA test 1.2 Holding off on future tests for 3 months- single lytic lesion found and scheduling radiation

BRONX52
Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 2010

SOUHDS LIKE YOU DID WELL WITH THE VA. IF THAT IS THE TIMEFRAME FOR PROCESSING I FEEL ENCOURAGED !!!! I DID RECEIVE A CALL FROM THE VA ASKING ME IF I HAD ANY QUESTIONS AND IF I WANTED TO ADD ANYTHING TO MY CLAIM. THEY TOLD ME NOT TO LEAVE ANYTHING OUT. SO I SENT THEM SOME ADDITIONAL INFO THAT I HADN'T INCLUDED IN THE INITIAL CLAIM. HAVEN'T HEARD FROM THEM SINCE BUT THAT'S NOT UNUSUAL. SINCE THEY DID CONTACT ME I SUPPOSE THEY ARE WORKING ON IT.THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGING NEWS !!! DAN

SubicSquid
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2009

The information that the VA is accepting claims from men stationed on ships offshore is interesting. I called local DAV expert who had no knowledge of this. As far as he knew, only men serving on PBR/Swift boats in the brown water Navy were being accepted. Nothing about carriers or escorts. He did say that the Australian government was accepting claims from sailors because their studies indicated that the drinking water on the ships was contaminated because they could not filter out the toxins. If anybody has any firm knowledge about where you had to serve on ships to make an agent orange claim, I would sure appresiate the info. Thanks, Squid.

mrspjd
Posts: 694
Joined: Apr 2010

This might be helpful to you...I copied it from another thread that had a brief discussion re agent orange/VA benefits for VN Vets serving in a combat zone.
mrs. pjd

(posted by VB)

May 9, 2010 - 7:53pm
Boots on the ground not required
I can't find the reference but VA disability elgibility has been extended to include aircrew who overflew Viet Nam. Seems the same might apply to shipboard operations near the coast.

I would check with a VA Regional Office and not rely on a VWF Service Officer (as VA sometimes recommends). They are knowledgeable and well meaning but may not have the latest info.

From one of VA's websites (http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/benefits/Herbicide/AOno3.htm) - "Under the law, veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 (including those who visited Vietnam even briefly), and who have a disease that VA recognizes as being associated with Agent Orange, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange."

Good luck.

VB

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2015 © Cancer Survivors Network