Frustration with VA

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 12/14/2009 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I am in the process of dealing with the VA for disability. One is Prostate Cancer due to Agent Orange exposure while stationed on Anderson AFB, Guam August 68 to December 69. Other veterans have won appeals for AO for working on the same flight line at the same time. Most tell me it won't happen anytime soon.

During my initial consultation and exam I was told I would have to have a prostate exam. The government has spent over $200,000.00 on my medical treatment for PCa the past 2 years and now they want to put me through and exam to prove I have PCa. Is there in wonder why our government is going broke. Just like Medicare requiring a new sleep study for sleep apnea to get a replacement mask because my initial study was done using Tricare rather than Medicare. Spend $2,000 so I can get a $50 mask. It goes on and on.

On top of all this they want me to remember how I hurt my joints over 40 years ago and what doctors prescibed for the pain.

I served my country and now sometimes it seems they want to make you feel like a second class citizen who is out to gouge the system for benefits you don't deserve.

Thanks for the vent.

Biopsy 1998 = Neg Bio 2000 = Neg with PIN Bio 1/10/08 Gleason 10, Stage T1C 8 of 12 samples positive all < Than 5%
Bone Scan, CTs and MRI Negative early 2008
March 2008 MD Anderson - No Surgery or Proton = No Action
Feb & Mar PET (Possilbe Lymph Node Involvement & Prostacint Scan Negative
March 2008 U of Florida Proton Therapty Lupron & Casodek May 08 for 2 years
Completed 25 IMRT and 17 PBRT U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute 7/24/08
Latest CT June 08) showed no trace of tumor in lymph node area
7/24/2008 PSA .21, free PSA .08, Percent free PSA 38.1, testosterone 14.6
8/1/2008 2nd Lupon Shot -- 10/27/2008 PSA <.01 -- 12/9/2008 3rd Lupon Shot
12/11/08 MRI Suspicious for Metastic disease L5 & S1 -- Bone Scan 12/19/08 Indicates No Bone Mets Spinal Stenosis and Neropathy in my legs
2/06/09 PSA = < .01 -- 4/09/09 PSA <.01 --Lupon 7/02/09 PSA <.01 Lupron 9/30/09 PSA <.01
Our Journey is on WWW.GLEASONSCORE10.COM

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 12/14/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Rich...I have no information about the VA....just wanted to say Thank You for your service to our country. I really hope that this will all get worked out timely and you receive all the benefits you justly earned for your service.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity
Age 58 at Diagnosis
Oct 2006 - PSA 2.6 - DRE Normal
May 2008 - PSA 4.6 - DRE Normal / TRUS normal
July 2008 - Biopsy 4 of 12 Positive 5 - 30% Involved Bilateral w/PNI - Gleason (3+3)6 Stage T1C
Robotic Surgery Sept 18, 2008
Pathology October 1, 2008 - Gleason 7 (3+4) Staged pT2c NO MX - Gland 50 cc
Seminal Vesicles and Lymph Nodes clear
Positive Margins Right Posterior Lobe
PSA 5 week Oct 2008 <.05
                   3 month Jan 2009 .06
                   6 month Apr 2009 .06
                   9 month Jul  2009 .08
                 12 month Oct 2009 .09 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3149
   Posted 12/14/2009 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Rich you did righteous for your country, sadly some higher ups don't recognize there own blessings. Just for humor kicks, please don't take it too seriously:

We have the best government money can buy!
(humorous observation use only...words not endorsed by writer or fine print...yada..yada)
Youth is wasted on the Young-(W.C. Fields)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 12/14/2009 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I know patience is a tough thing for us guys who are waiting for our next PSA, but somehow, it seems if you have enough patience, a loud enough voice, and talk to the correct person, you will prevail.

I got a little P.O.'d when I applied for a government trial at the VA. As a veteran, I always understood I was eligible for VA benefits. Trials are supposed to be no cost to the guinea pigs.

They told me I made too much money to participate in a no cost trial.

Oh well, I didn't want to do it that bad anyway !

Good luck fellow vet.

Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections

John T
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4268
   Posted 12/14/2009 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
It's in the book that you have to be examined by a VA doc or one contracted by the VA no matter how much paper work you have, so you're not going to change it.
I had my exam 2 days after seeding and refused the DRE that is mandatory. When the Doc asked why I refused I told him that it would hurt like hell, and he had better use lead lined gloves because I just had radioactive seeds two days ago. He just laughed and signed the papers without doing any exams.
Sure seems like a waste of money.
Good luck on your claim. Are you going through a local VA rep? they know how to get around most of the BS.

64 years old.

PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.

2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.

Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.

Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.

25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.

PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.


Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 12/14/2009 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   

I am in the middle of my VA claim for the same thing. With my medical records, they are going to sign off on me not having to be examined by the VA doctors, as my case, incuding primary and secondary treatment is fresh, and complete. It is well documented and my doctors have cooperated with all paperwork requests so far.

I was told at the start of the process, that it would take from 6-15 months, depending. But the good news it is all retroacitive to when you filed, which in my case was October 1st.

I did as I was advised, and from the start, my local county VET rep's office has handled 100% of my paperwork and filings. I have been told by more than one person that can make a big difference, that you don't want to file online on your own.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out  38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - began IMRT SRT - 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 in 35 days, 12/7/9 - Cath #10 in place

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 12/15/2009 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Fellow Vets!

If you are not familiar with the Veterans Benefits Network, I suggest you check it out. This site is run by Veterans who assist other Veterans through the confusing maze when seeking compensation for service connected disabilities. It's a free site, and a number of the Veterans who provide advice and answer questions are former or current members of the Department of Veterans Affairs who answer questions in their "off time." You can google "Veterans Benefits Network" or go to I located this site and became a member years ago. To say I've learned a lot would be an understatement. Probably the most knowledgeable person on this site is named "Cruiser" who is retired as a rater with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He put in over thirty years, so he really knows his stuff. When I have a tough question under a particular category, I always post with "question for cruiser." He'll see it and reply. But once again, he's not the only knowledgeable Veteran on this site. It's a great site and growing daily. If you know any other Veterans seeking compensation for service connected disabilites, please pass this information on....Thanks
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