AF Res Pilot,Cancer,ILOD,IRILO=Fit/ALC-C3

Samaileko

Registered Member
#1
I am an AF Reserve Pilot, with about 17 years active duty time and 19 good years.

On 6 Dec 2014, while deployed, I found a 1.2 cm lump on my right breast. I was examined by the deployed location docs and directed to follow up with my home base docs. After returning home three days later, I filed LOD paperwork, and was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer about a month later on 15 Jan 2015.

My LOD was initially found EPTS/LOD NA. During my battle with breast cancer, my Wing Commander battled for my ILOD finding. After a year and a half of no points/no pay and medical bills piling up, my illness was found ILOD. I began MEDCON IN Feb 2016. (I am so overwhelmed that I have yet to file for BCMR.)

My treatment for breast cancer included a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, reconstruction, a full hysterectomy, and now I am on hormonal suppression medication, (my tumors were estrogen receptive.) The lasting side effects of everything has been weakness, fatigue, neuropathy, and joint pain, in addition to a lot of scar tissue/adhesions/numbness.

I am still doing physical therapy 2xs a week to regain my strength. I went from less than 0 push ups and sit ups to 8 and 8. I went from barely walking from my bedroom to kitchen to now being able to walk/run 1.5 miles. I am improving weekly. (Prior to my deployment, I scored an excellent on my FIT Test and thought they were required to bring me back to where I was or as close as I can get.)

I am still being treated by the endocrinologist to figure out my fatigue issues. He put me on thyroid hormone pills and says once he gets that set, he will test my adrenal glands. (My body responds slowly to changes in temperature.)

I am doing whatever I can to improve my health with nutrition, which includes moving towards a gluton free, plant-based, whole foods diet with calcium and Vitamin D supplements. I've also cut down on my coffee and sugar intake.

I initially wanted to get back on flight status, but I felt the pressure of it was detrimental to my health. Since chemotherapy, I am way more sensitive to stress. I break out in hot flashes and become short of breath. I also break out with extremely painful mouth sores, which limit my ability to eat. I'm learning to gain control of the overwhelming feeling with meditation and journaling.

I have also been paying out of pocket for acupuncture, but had to stop due to the expense. Since I stopped, my joint pain, neuropathy, and hot flashes have gotten worse and, something really odd, my tenitus has gotten bad. Yesterday, my Flt Doc recommended I double up on my Paxil to help...

Like I said, I have been on MEDCON since Feb 2016. They submitted my MEB paperwork in Jul 2016. I just found out last week that my IRILO found me Fit for duty, with an ALC-C3 and ended my MEDCON orders.

Understandably, my Flt Doc said he could not recommend me for a flying waiver at this time because we do not have my fatigue, neuropathy, and joint pain under control, especially since I'd need waivers for my medication.

Since I came to the Reserves, I worked/flew 71% of the time. I flew 2-3 times a week. Because of my Fit for Duty finding, I am only cleared to attend UTAs and Annual Tour. Since I am not waived to fly, essentially I do not have an option to earn a living.

The person who is supposed to help me (PEBLO?) seems to be overwhelmed herself and is basically admin. It is a lot to digest, especially while trying to digest medical info and make decisions regarding my health.

I'm concerned that I am being set up to be separated with no benefits. I think they should have sent me to a full MEB, but didn't want to keep me on orders. The VA has rated me at 100% until I am done with my hormonal suppression therapy, (10 years,) since they consider hormonal therapy still treatment for cancer.

I am overjoyed to be alive, but feel like I'm fighting for my life. I'm always smiling because that's all I know how to do, so everyone thinks I am back to 100%, like I just had a cold.

I don't understand how I have no way to appeal this Fit decision. Can you point me in the right direction?
 

chaplaincharlie

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
It sounds like you have been through the mill. I've never heard of a way to fight being found fit. But another MEB could be started. Sorry I can't be of more help. Hopefully someone else will have an idea.
 

flyin_dutchman

Registered Member
#4
I am new here as I just stumbled upon this Forum accidentally, searching around on the webernet.
I am no where near your experience of all this stuff as I'm not even in the MEB process (yet), BUT I too am a Reserve flyer (-135 Boom) experiencing Neuropathy, and have just gotten an MRI (Dec28th) which flt. doc says is probably MS. I just saw a Neuro doc on Friday and awaiting test results from him.
I am currently DNIF for 60 days (for now). Like you, flying ALOT is making my living for me, as I am always an available TR with no shortage of unit flying these days. I am very grateful that my CC has put me on regular orders till May, but am freaking out at the possibility of what might happen. I have 29 years in, but short of a 20yr AD retirement by about 200 points! I kinda hope it takes awhile for things to move, so maybe I can get there?
Dave
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#5
I am new here as I just stumbled upon this Forum accidentally, searching around on the webernet.
I am no where near your experience of all this stuff as I'm not even in the MEB process (yet), BUT I too am a Reserve flyer (-135 Boom) experiencing Neuropathy, and have just gotten an MRI (Dec28th) which flt. doc says is probably MS. I just saw a Neuro doc on Friday and awaiting test results from him.
I am currently DNIF for 60 days (for now). Like you, flying ALOT is making my living for me, as I am always an available TR with no shortage of unit flying these days. I am very grateful that my CC has put me on regular orders till May, but am freaking out at the possibility of what might happen. I have 29 years in, but short of a 20yr AD retirement by about 200 points! I kinda hope it takes awhile for things to move, so maybe I can get there?
Dave
I'm pretty sure they will have to keep you on orders if you are referred for a MEB. Should be pretty easy to get to 200 points.

Do whatever you can to get to the 20Y mark.
 

Pyro

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#8
Because they are idiots.

Really, I had a valid LOD but they cherry picked the dates I was diagnosed versus what the LOD said and denied it. Once the SAF got involved, cooler heads prevailed.
 

Pyro

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
Not sure if sarcasm.........

But hell, it did go through the SAF office, not sure if #1 looked at it.
If you cannot get MEDCON, go for INCAP, it's locally approved for 6 months I believe.
 
#11
flyin_d
I would not settle for the Incap pay. I was on MedCon orders for 2+years while in the MEB process. Took some pulling teeth initially, but once started on MedCon got continued until retirement. Being short only 200 points should be easy to get to 20 active. Appeal each stage up to SAF.
Any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

AnAmericanAirman
 

flyin_dutchman

Registered Member
#12
Thanks for the input American. I have been looking at AFI 36-2910 and find some good information (ammo!) to go forth and see how things develop. I just want to be as knowledgeable as possible because after-all, it is my future that someone's going to have a say in.
 

Fishmom

Registered Member
#13
I can relate to you so much. I also have served 15 years on active duty and now 10 years Air Force Reserves. I was involuntarily mobilized Dec 2016 and deployed in Jan 2018. While deployed I noted a small lump in my breast. I didn't think it was anything serious until 3 months later it had tripled in size. I went to the clinic. It was evaluated with an ultrasound and determined that I needed medevac. June 2017 I was diagnosed with Stage 3a er/pr + HER- breast cancer. I was placed on Medcon for the duration of chemo and radiation but Medcon was terminated the last day of radiation. I am still waiting for the LOD determination to be completed but keep being told "it can't be ILOD because cancer is preexisting". However, doesn't the "eight year rule " apply to my circumstances?
I am an AF Reserve Pilot, with about 17 years active duty time and 19 good years.

On 6 Dec 2014, while deployed, I found a 1.2 cm lump on my right breast. I was examined by the deployed location docs and directed to follow up with my home base docs. After returning home three days later, I filed LOD paperwork, and was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer about a month later on 15 Jan 2015.

My LOD was initially found EPTS/LOD NA. During my battle with breast cancer, my Wing Commander battled for my ILOD finding. After a year and a half of no points/no pay and medical bills piling up, my illness was found ILOD. I began MEDCON IN Feb 2016. (I am so overwhelmed that I have yet to file for BCMR.)

My treatment for breast cancer included a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, reconstruction, a full hysterectomy, and now I am on hormonal suppression medication, (my tumors were estrogen receptive.) The lasting side effects of everything has been weakness, fatigue, neuropathy, and joint pain, in addition to a lot of scar tissue/adhesions/numbness.

I am still doing physical therapy 2xs a week to regain my strength. I went from less than 0 push ups and sit ups to 8 and 8. I went from barely walking from my bedroom to kitchen to now being able to walk/run 1.5 miles. I am improving weekly. (Prior to my deployment, I scored an excellent on my FIT Test and thought they were required to bring me back to where I was or as close as I can get.)

I am still being treated by the endocrinologist to figure out my fatigue issues. He put me on thyroid hormone pills and says once he gets that set, he will test my adrenal glands. (My body responds slowly to changes in temperature.)

I am doing whatever I can to improve my health with nutrition, which includes moving towards a gluton free, plant-based, whole foods diet with calcium and Vitamin D supplements. I've also cut down on my coffee and sugar intake.

I initially wanted to get back on flight status, but I felt the pressure of it was detrimental to my health. Since chemotherapy, I am way more sensitive to stress. I break out in hot flashes and become short of breath. I also break out with extremely painful mouth sores, which limit my ability to eat. I'm learning to gain control of the overwhelming feeling with meditation and journaling.

I have also been paying out of pocket for acupuncture, but had to stop due to the expense. Since I stopped, my joint pain, neuropathy, and hot flashes have gotten worse and, something really odd, my tenitus has gotten bad. Yesterday, my Flt Doc recommended I double up on my Paxil to help...

Like I said, I have been on MEDCON since Feb 2016. They submitted my MEB paperwork in Jul 2016. I just found out last week that my IRILO found me Fit for duty, with an ALC-C3 and ended my MEDCON orders.

Understandably, my Flt Doc said he could not recommend me for a flying waiver at this time because we do not have my fatigue, neuropathy, and joint pain under control, especially since I'd need waivers for my medication.

Since I came to the Reserves, I worked/flew 71% of the time. I flew 2-3 times a week. Because of my Fit for Duty finding, I am only cleared to attend UTAs and Annual Tour. Since I am not waived to fly, essentially I do not have an option to earn a living.

The person who is supposed to help me (PEBLO?) seems to be overwhelmed herself and is basically admin. It is a lot to digest, especially while trying to digest medical info and make decisions regarding my health.

I'm concerned that I am being set up to be separated with no benefits. I think they should have sent me to a full MEB, but didn't want to keep me on orders. The VA has rated me at 100% until I am done with my hormonal suppression therapy, (10 years,) since they consider hormonal therapy still treatment for cancer.

I am overjoyed to be alive, but feel like I'm fighting for my life. I'm always smiling because that's all I know how to do, so everyone thinks I am back to 100%, like I just had a cold.

I don't understand how I have no way to appeal this Fit decision. Can you point me in the right direction?
 

Ocean

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#15
I am so sorry to hear about your cases. I was also an RC soldier misdiagnosed while on AD with what was thought to be a benign spot on my breast, told to followup in a yr...well the “ spot” was a malignancy. I Fell off AD oders while waiting for medcon ( for other medical issues). It ultimatly took 27 months before i was placed on medcon AD orders. After the first yr of fighting for medcon orders I had to hire an attny ( i was to ill to fight. My attny filed a BCMR in 2015 for 27 months of backdated orders which were just approved March 2018. It has been a six yr battle, one of the most horrific fights in my entire military career.. a soldier should not have to pay an attny to force the military to follow thier own regulations...the attny alone has cost $ 70,000.00. The process really took the wind out of my sail, it almost broke my spirit fighting the bureaucratic red tape. Leadership failed at every level to comply with RC regs for line of duty medical care. What is most concerning is reading your journeys, and that we were all misdiagnosed while on AD, and our stories are sadly similar...
 

Jolly cheese

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#16
I don’t understand these cases. So sad. In 20 minutes of studying I found the “8 year rule”. How is it that our medical community in the Reserves/Guard does not know these rules? Laziness or just untrustworthy? I think the Reserve/Guard Doctors and their RILOs assume everyone’s career is the same and serve once a month.
 
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