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20 Year Veteran Recently Diagnosed


Justin

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Hi all,

I'm a 20 year Navy veteran who was recently diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer which I firmly believe is a result from my exposure to burn pits. If there's anyone that wants to connect, particularly in the New England area please let me know. I have a lot of connections to veterans support resources and am doing some research on resources for burn pit exposure. I will be happy to share anything that I find.

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Justin,

Welcome here. I'm a 21 year veteran with exposure to Saddam's oil fires, Mogadishu Somalia smoke and fires, and a not too healthy exposure to Port of Prince Haiti during an extended peacekeeping tour of duty. (Interesting how we use the word "tour"). I was diagnosed in February 2004 and after more than 3 years of intense treatment, am fortunate to be NED (no evidence of disease). In fact, my last consultation with my retiring medical oncologist, I was pronounced "cured" of lung cancer!

I encourage all veterans to use the VA's burn pit registry to document your exposure. This could morph into a a disability process that I fully support. Are your receiving your treatment from the VA? I've used VA medical resources, but my lung cancer treatment was covered by my employer-provided health insurance. However, since retirement, VA medical has become a useful treatment resource. In Texas, we are fortunate to have county employees who provide Veterans counseling and assistance with navigating the bureaucratic process of medical care eligibility. Once the bureaucracy is "satisfied" I've found VA medical to be on par with that provided by large hospital systems.

Again, welcome here. I look forward tolerating details about your diagnostic and treatment should you wish to disclose this information.

Stay the course.

Tom

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10 hours ago, Tom Galli said:

Justin,

Welcome here. I'm a 21 year veteran with exposure to Saddam's oil fires, Mogadishu Somalia smoke and fires, and a not too healthy exposure to Port of Prince Haiti during an extended peacekeeping tour of duty. (Interesting how we use the word "tour"). I was diagnosed in February 2004 and after more than 3 years of intense treatment, am fortunate to be NED (no evidence of disease). In fact, my last consultation with my retiring medical oncologist, I was pronounced "cured" of lung cancer!

I encourage all veterans to use the VA's burn pit registry to document your exposure. This could morph into a a disability process that I fully support. Are your receiving your treatment from the VA? I've used VA medical resources, but my lung cancer treatment was covered by my employer-provided health insurance. However, since retirement, VA medical has become a useful treatment resource. In Texas, we are fortunate to have county employees who provide Veterans counseling and assistance with navigating the bureaucratic process of medical care eligibility. Once the bureaucracy is "satisfied" I've found VA medical to be on par with that provided by large hospital systems.

Again, welcome here. I look forward tolerating details about your diagnostic and treatment should you wish to disclose this information.

Stay the course.

Tom

Thanks Tom and congrats on your "cure"!

I registered in the Burn Pit Registry when it first came out. I also made sure that we documented exposure in all the service records of the members of my unit just to be safe. I was diagnosed at the VA but based on the inadequate treatment I received I'm petitioning to have them cover my care at a private facility. I'm fortunate to have private insurance as well but there are still some out of pocket costs. I also applied for additional service connected disability.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Tom Galli, I just posted the link to the burn pit registry on the LUNGevity Tagrisso (osimertinib) Patients & Caregivers Group on FB because a couple of people were discussing their exposure to the burn pits. I also suggested they visit this site to connect with the other veterans who had that experience. Thanks for posting it here. 

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