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New to CSN

Posts: 5
Joined: May 2006

Hello all,

I posted over last weekend, but I think that I probably made my post nearly invisible by making it a reply to SpongeBob's initiation email, thereby putting my post at the very bottom of the list. So, if this is spam, I apologize, but I'm thinking that it's just making it more noticeable.




I'm brand spankin' new to CSN, and have spent the last hour or so reading through the posts to this chunk of the forum. Bravo Zulu for a job well done, both starting and continuing this forum despite some fairly quiet periods.

I am a Navy LT, 28 years old, and a brain tumor survivor for just over 3 months now. I'm through surgery and radiation therapy, and still ongoing with chemotherapy (Temodar, specifically).

I'm currently on Limited Duty with the Navy, which my oncologist (who has sort of de facto become my primary doctor these days) seems to think I am headed toward a medical board and the Temporary Disabled Retired List within the next year (after 12 months of LIMDU - March or so).

I suppose my question is, where do I go to get the straight scoop on Medical Boards, any current data on a verdict to expect (continued MRI follow-up will probably make me non-deployable at least for now, but I'm otherwise just fine health-wise), and what TDRL really means? My oncologist gives me what information he has, but he's not a specialist on the boards, and I'd rather have him concentrating on oncology anyway.

This probably should have been at the beginning, but I'm in the Norfolk, VA area, getting my treatments at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.

Thanks for the help,


spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Ian -

Welcome. Sorry we had to meet under these circumstances, but nice to meet your aquaintance.

Some tough questions to ask you before I answer yours...

1. What's your stage?

2. Where are you in treatments? (I mean how far along are you?)

3. Active disease? Stable disease?

4. (here's the $64,000 question)... what do YOU want? Do you want to stay in on active duty? Do you want to flat out med retire? Are you accepting of the TDRL status?

My very first piece of advice to you is this: decide what you want - rather, what you are willing to fight for - and then retain CIVILIAN counsel.

This isn't a shot across the bow of our JAGs (who practice law when they aren't out saving the world or flying an F-16, right?), BUT, here's the typical career path scenario for a Navy (or Coast Guard or Army or Air Force) JAG:

1. Graduate law school and get pulled aside by the Navy recruiter - live on dreams of breaking the big case alongside Demi Moore (who, by the way, looked WAY too good in uniform)

2. Go to knife and fork school; figure out how to put on LT shoulder boards.

3. Go to Naval Justice school. Learn that Naval Justice isn't spelled "NavEl", also learn how to spell UCMJ

4. Report to first unit and start looking for Demi Moore

5. Get assigned to the Medical Board Division as defense counsel.

The good men and women whose hands we place our long and illustrious careers are typically brand spankin' new to the Navy (or parent service whatever it may be) and often don't even know which section of the med record to find your dental files in. Not that they're bad people or dumb, they're just new.

That's why I recommend so strongly that you retain civilian counsel that specializes in Medical Boards (I happen to know of three in the Tidewater and I would be happy to share their contact info with you).

I was Dx-ed Stage II-III colon cancer, had 2/3s of my colon removed, did 6 months of chemo, and I never had a IMB done on me. Partly because I'm an LDO who learned at an early age how to make the officer keep turning in circles and keep their eye off the sparrow.

Feel free to drop me a note on the e-mail side and I'll be happy to give you those contacts and also send you my phone number if you want to chat. I'm presently stationed in DC - just up the road from you. here's my home e-mail (Jose, the webmaster is going to smack me down for posting this here, but it's OK. I have a good firewall against any spammers who may find it):

LTRHendrickson@hotmail.com (yeah, it's a little bit dated).

Anyway, Bravo Zulu to you, shipmate, for fighting both your disease and for fighting for what you wat and deserve!

God bless.

- SpongeBob

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