pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

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RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by jburkh168 on Wed Apr 11, 2018 08:56 PM

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Joy, I think I asked the question about an organized effort to push for pancreatic cancer to be added to the presumptive disease list in this thread.  I have not seen anything being done with that.  Actually the last agent orange study I read said there needed to be more investigation into this link which pretty much acknowledge that there was reason to believe there is a connection.  Perhaps we need to ask our congressional delegates or government officials what is being done to conduct that research/investigation since I have not seen anything from the VA that indicated they were moving forward on this VA identified need for investigation.  I'm not sure but it seems this was identified in the last 2 agent orange reports/studies.  When my husband was alive and in treatment we insisted that all medical records incuded a notation that he was a Viet Nam Vet with agent orange exposure in hopes that at some point in time the VA would move forward with such an investigation.   Part of the probem would be that not everyone seeks treatment through the VA so if they only use their records, it would not show a true picture.  In our case, our experience with the VA hospital during the diagnositic/initial treatment phase of his illness was such a horrific nightmare of inept and inadequate care (3 days for a "stat" MRI & missing a date for a crucial surgical procedure because of broken communicaiton channels & being told the procedure couldn't be scheduled for another month but it didn't really matter "in the grand scheme of things".) that we resorted to our private insurance and had all future treatment by private hospitals and doctors.  We were blessed to have wonderful insurance that covered over 1/2 million dollars worth of treatment over the 21 month period he lived, with us ony paying small copays.  I will always believe God provided such an option to give us time together which we would never have had if we had been forced to depend on VA for his treatment and care through this.  

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by Joyoberst on Thu Apr 12, 2018 01:51 AM

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We are talking about Pancreatic Cancer here, and only that! This illness needs to be added to the VA list, it cannot be a coincidence that so many people, having been to VietNam , in the same places, in the same time span, otherwise very healthy, but all of a sudden turn up with the same illness, pancreatic cancer, and dies! You have to read this whole blog, otherwise it might not make sense to you!

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by Joyoberst on Thu Apr 12, 2018 02:25 AM

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Jburkh168, I responded to someone suggesting that not all illnesses were due to chemical exposure! I have no idea where that person came from, she or he could not have read this blog at all! I am really interested in pursuing this with any info and ammo there is, and the lack of ‘investigations’ seems a fair Start. We should refer to this blog in a letter to our congress rep, and the secretary of the VA. Perhaps make a package of copies from this blog thread, perhaps include any letter you might have from your doctor or anyone associated with our traumatic journeys. Copy of his military health records, they can of course be had electronically, orders to VietNam! I have those. Those who have registered for VA benefits for other health issues and received a favorable result could be helpful as well. Maybe add former US Senator Jim Webb, a VietNam Vet himself and a lawyer. Maybe he will understand this and be helpful? We chose the private route for the same reasons you did, we simply did not trust the Va to handle this very serious situation, and that is a sad statement about the organization that has a responsibility to service our military with the dignity and respect they have earned and deserve. I would like to hear how we should proceed, hear from all who have had this experience and would like to have this issue seriously checked out!

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by jburkh168 on Thu Apr 12, 2018 02:52 AM

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Joy, I am leaving tomorrow for an overseas vacation, but when I get back I will try to spend some time tracking things down. Have you read the Agent Orange report?  I found it online.  I also saw the post you replied to and wondered what that person's interest/non interest was.  When you say military health records are you talking about his recent VA records or records from when they were in the Army in the 60's?  I know some of his records were lost in a big fire that destroyed many military records and right now really can't remember which records were destroyed.  I am able to prove his Viet Nam service and dates of service as well as the medals that were awarded for his service.  We were blessed to be awarded benefits based on the connection to his diabetes (which is a presumptive disease), but I am not opposed to pursuing this with you in his honor and the honor of other veterans and wives who deserve the benefits such an addition to the presumptive list would bring.  My husband's father lived into his mid 90"s and his mother was close to 90 when she died. His famiy has a consistent history of longevity into the 90's, much past the age 72 that he lived before the pancreatic cancer took his life.  There is no family history of cancer other than 1 relative who died of smoking related lung cancer.  It seems entirely reasonable to me that there is an agent orange relationship here.  I did find a few online studies, but having only a couple of college level research classes several years ago, I couldn't remember enough to be sure of the validity of the studies.  I had planned to go to a medical library at a University connected research hospital to look further, but never got the chance due to my husband's caregiver needs and then we actually won our case and I just concentrated on being with him as much as I could in the time we had left.  Since his death, I have been focused on trying to figure out how to live my life without him and had pretty much forgotten about this, other than offering advise to a few people I knew who have been fighting the same issues as you and I. I was just ready to retire when he was diagnosed and we had many plans for our retirement years that were not designed for a single person, so now I'm trying to figure out what I want and need my retirement plans to be.   Perhaps this fight might be what I need to bring closure and peace, it is a fight I believe we need to attempt. 

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by Pruffer on Thu Apr 12, 2018 09:57 PM

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My husband served in Viet Nam 1967-68. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer on the 8th of January and died on the 21st. He served in all areas in Viet Nam where this poison was being sprayed. The VA will do and say anything to save money.

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by BarbaraS on Sat Jun 30, 2018 08:16 PM

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There are so many widows out there who suffer every day without the love of their lives. No one knows how we feel. No more dreams or plans, nothing to look forward to. Even thiugh I have kids and grand children,Nothing can replace lonleiness. He was the love of my life and every day I suffer. If only the People at the VA would feel what we all feel maybe things will be different. I was denied DIC. BUT, THEY DID RECOGNISE PANCREATIC CANCER AND TYPE2 DIABETES WAS THE CAUSE OF HIS DEATH!! I don't know what I will be intitled to, I am waiting for my lawyers call. My husband was getting 70 percent disability form the VA and the way the VA words things you have to be a lawyer to understand. 

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by Julie2015 on Sun Jul 01, 2018 04:16 AM

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Glad to hear you will be at least getting some benefits. My husband's A1c started to climb & I put him on a diet. His A1c was 6.3 and you need 6.5 to be considered a diabetic. I do not know if any of his other blood tests showed higher than 6.3. He went in for agent orange (before he knew he had pancreatic cancer) they took a chest x-ray and 10 tubes of blood and told him NOTHING. Three months later he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with mets - he survived 3 weeks :( .... and yes a piece of my heart died when he died. I miss him so much, they refuse to accept any responsibility for his death even though he was exposed to Agent Orange. He got nothing from the V.A. - very sad situation. The V.A. needs to change! He was not even allowed to go into the VA Hospital in Las Vegas unless he could walk in! He was very ill when he finally went to a regular hospital and there was no way he could walk in.

Since your husband was getting benefits from the VA before his death (so sorry for your loss) I am sure you will be entitled to benefits. Prayers for all of us widows. Julie.

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by BarbaraS on Sun Jul 01, 2018 04:58 PM

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My heart breaks for all the women who have lost the loves of their lives to this horrible Cancer. No one knows how it is to see your soul mate die such a  horrible death. Never give up. Talk to a lawyer..they don't charge you and they will let you know if they can help you.

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by mj23deb on Wed Jul 04, 2018 01:06 AM

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Joy

I totally agree with you...My dad is a Vietnam Vet & we're in Hawaii...I have been fighting with the V.A. to get compensation for my dad ever since he first got diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in August 2016.  He got 50% disabilty for PTSD for which they paid him from when the paperwork was filed but stopped upon his passing.  But from the start his Pancreatic Cancer was pending because there was no diabetes or anything despite 3 separate doctors including his primary V.A. doctor stating that it is more likely than not that he got his Pancreatic Cancer from A.O.  We first found out he had it, after he had his double hernia surgery.  The scan showed he had a mass.  We found it early, stage 2.  Shortly thereafter he developed jaundice.  He went thru stent place which put him in renal failure for a breif period, chemo, whipple surgery, chemo & radiation again.  It was all just too much for him.  He just passed away on Christmas Eve.  Even his death certificate states Pancreatic Cancer first, Agent Orange exposure secondary cause of death.  Surprise surprise, we are STILL fighting the V.A.  I'm doing this for my dad but more importantly, for my mom who is on a fixed social security income.  She hasn't gotten any support from the V.A. at all.  What can we do.  I've been in touch with my local congressional reps...1 of which is Tulsi Gabbard.  She is a military officer and introduced a bipartisan bill to have more Vietnam Vets receive expedited consideration for VA benefits if they suffer from diseases linked to Agent Orange exposure from their service thats not on the list...It passed the house already.  Talk to your reps and senators about this bill.  I also think having us all get together and maybe doing a class action or petition or something might help.  Feels better than just doing nothing.  Get the word out.  More people need to know what is happening to our vets due to this A.O. exposure.  Watching my dad go thru this to become a shell of himself is something that I will never forget.  He served his country honorably and this was his parting gift from the military.  I will fight for my dad until I die because he deserves that.  All of these men and women who fought for us deserve that!!!

RE: pancreatic cancer in Viet Nam Vet

by BarbaraS on Wed Jul 04, 2018 03:30 AM

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I talked to my Lawyer today about the appeal I filed. I have won my appeal for Pancreatic Cancer due to agent Orange and type 2 diabetes. I will be awarded back pay for the pancreatic cancer and I will recieve DIC. I and my husband, Gary, filed papers January 2013 and he passed away, July 8th,2016. When he passed I had to file the appeal in my name. I swore I wouldn't give up. The VA has recognized PanCan! If you hire a lawyer they will help and if you don't have a case, they will not charge you. Don't get discouraged! Keep fighting. If they denied you, appeal with a Lawyer and they will send it to the VBA.

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