Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Applied for SSDI today

Had my appointment today at the local Social Security office. The man who handled my application was great. He was friendly, very understanding and very helpful explaining everything to me. I did have to come back with my Birth Certificate and DD-214 showing I was in the military. Not sure why they needed that, but I returned with the 2 documents. The whole thing took around an hour. He told me he expected me to get approval in 1-2 months. He said they might send me a questionnaire to fill out, but also said there was a good chance they wouldn't.

I'm optimistic about approval, keeping my fingers crossed. I've worked hard over my life and put quite a bit into Social Security so the monthly amount is fairly decent. If I get it, I can pretty much retire or just do the work I want for whatever time I have left. And also get on Medicare, possibly in just over a year since my diagnosis has been almost a year ago.

Wish me good luck.

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Good luck, Gregg. Hope it goes smoothly.

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Thanks Yost.

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"whatever time I have left." ? What sort of attitude is that? Damn man, your just getting started with this cancer BS. I tell you what, I will meet you in 10 years and you can kick my rear for jumping on your sh%t today. Time left, come on, that's not you, clench your fists and get ready for a 10 year street fight.

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Yes you're right, I think my attitude has slipped a bit lately. Part of it is that I'm finally taking care of the "get your affairs in order" type things I should have done already but have ignored because like many others I thought this would never happen to me. Applying for SSDI is one of those things. It's like I am now admitting that I'm disabled. My wife and I were talking about how we may need to move eventually because we have 2 sets of stairs in the house, etc. Preparing for the future is necessary, but can be depressing really.

But I am definitely going to fight this as long as I can and overall, I appreciate my life more than ever. It is hard not to occasionally slip back into the "impending doom" thoughts.

We need our brothers and sisters here to remind us so we can get out our slumps. Thanks.

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be positive i am just starting my fight with this. i am living just like i did before my diagnosis. i love my life with wonderful wife family and friends. best to you. think good thoughts my friend

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I plan to be at this meeting in 10 years, I will buy the beer

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You're on!

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Good Luck, Gregg.

Charles

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Hope everything goes well in your application. Please take care. May you stick around long enough to get all the money you put in SSI back and then more!

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Thanks Dr. Who.

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good luck!

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Thank you!

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Good luck and, when Nameless9999 comes around ten years from now, please don't kick his rear. Invite him in for a beer.

Alan

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A beer for sticking around for a decade? Count me in!🍺🍺🍺

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I'll drink to that!

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AlanMeyer

Thanks for convincing gregg57 not to kick my rear, but hand me a beer. Ever hear of silat? :)

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I had not heard of it but I looked it up and watched a YouTube video of a demo.

Woody Allen once said he went to a gym to build up his body so he could walk home safely on dark nights. It didn't work for him, but he hired the trainer to walk him home and that worked great.

Silat doesn't look like something I'd be good at, but if I could hire a silat master ...

Alan

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AlanMeyer

Actually I am a Silat master through my many years of "traveling" and advising in Asia. But who cares?

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In that case, if we ever meet, the beer is on me.

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Good Luck!

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I was diagnosed on July 17. I do understand getting your affairs in order. I am 66 so I applied for my SS. Completing writing new will. Paying off house early, next month. Paid off one car already and will move quickly to pay off the second. But I am still working and now traveling obsessively. Going in a week to Mexico, Jan to Mexico, Feb to Mexico, March to Paris for a long weekend, and April to Europe and Morocco fire three weeks. I have a lot to do still and am busy doing it. Yes, be I also get depressed sometimes, don't think I can help it, but move forward. Enjoy. The fight is not over. Glad I have the means to do this.

Paul

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'morning Gregg. My diagnosis sounded so dire that I signed up with the vets cemetery the first week.

I would say, plan ahead for convenience, plan way ahead with determination. I tolerate the tough days and enjoy the good days The family was raised to be appreciated and that I will do until my final days.

We are in a special class, and only we truly phantom the challenges ahead of us. I appreciate the pro's but ultimately we are the ones in the trenches. Something will take my life, but not without a fight. I use caution crossing the street, and still buy green bananas.

God Bless, and the best of luck to you throughout your struggle. A lesser person would sucuum.

Chas

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I went on SSDI a couple years ago at age 57. Personally going to the SS Office to sign papers was one of the worst days of my life. Never did I expect to have to be on SSDI at 57. Gregg- I don’t know how old you are at this moment, but after being on SSDI for (I believe) 18 months makes you eligible for Medicare. Also, as a vet, you may be eligible for VA health. If you haven’t already, I recommend you apply. I never thought I’d be eligible due to wife’s income, but I was approved. For services I have to pay max co-pays, but that amount is minimal compared to other plans. Especially for medications. You can do it online and it only takes 20-30 minutes and decisions are relatively quick.

As far as not working, this has provided a great opportunity, allowing me to focus on my self-care. The cancer center in Santa Fe has a Holistic/Palliative care center that I’ve been utilizing. The people/programs offered has helped me greatly with my quality of life.

Best of luck and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

Brian

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Thanks Brian. It does bother me that I will be going on disability. It's depressing quite honestly. I've worked hard all my life and the guy at the Social Security office even complimented me on that when he saw my account on the computer. I just turned 60 and thought I'd be working at least another 5 years, maybe 10 although I don't work full time.

I do have VA health care and was also surprised that I was eligible. I had a next door neighbor that was also a vet and he just kept bugging me to do it. aSo glad I finially listened ot him. I also have Kaiser which is very good. I can't afford both so I'm leaving Kaiser and will only have the VA. I'm a little nervous about that because I don't know the VA too well, but so far they seem like they are doing a good job. I'm really glad that if I'm approved I'll be able to go on Medicare.

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Funny how fellow vets with health benefits give you the boot up your arse to apply. Had two friends do the same for me and I’ve also done that for an Army buddy I met back in ‘76. Good to have our brothers look after us. And remember, you’ll get Medicare 18 months or so after you go on SSDI, so there’ll be extra coverage.

BTW- I’ll be turning 60 in May. Also been dealing with PCa for 15 years. Plan on living at least another 15 with good quality!

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Good luck Gregg and enjoy your retirement! I also worked hard and got my disability/ssi due to early onset arthritis. Too much heavy labor too early in life.

Anyway the Medicare was a life saver.i wish you sucess!

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Good luck, Gregg! Keep up the good fight.

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Good luck Gregg! There is nothing better than a good fight, I’ve been at it since ‘06 with surgery, then radiation in 08’ and Mets showing up 2014. I guess that puts me at St 4 so that puts me into another fight mode. I’m curious about SSDI, how do you qualify? I’m 73 and have been on SS since 63 1/2, I can use extra income since I just lost my help with Xtandi.

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I'm not sure how it works if you've already started taking Social Security or if you can get it that point. I woud call your local office and find out. There is also a good book I would recommend called "Get What's Yours". It's all about Social Security and how to get the maximum benefit.

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At full retirement age (FRA) SSDI changes to regular social security.

FRA varies from age 65 to age 67 depending on birth year.

Joe M.

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Stage IV Prostate Cancer is in a special category for SSDI -- pretty much automatic with basic documentation. Use it, and just treat it as retirement. And overall see it as an opportunity (like you seem to) -- to enjoy the fruits of your labor all those years!! You will be astounded at the inane paperwork SSDI provides! But once you set up direct deposit, it's great.

Note that you do have to wait *5 months* for SSDI to kick in. Our state, thankfully, has mandatory short term disability, which covered that 5 months. What they expect you to do for 5 months otherwise is beyond me, but that's the way it is. They do have a good program, though, where you can return to work on a trial period, and other options, and you can keep your overall "claim" open (you don't have to file again).

Getting your ducks in a row is a good idea -- even without the prostate cancer. The more you have set ahead of time, from medical directive to your will, the more your wishes can be followed easily. The disease is a good nudge, but really, it's good to have your wishes in legal writing regardless.

Enjoy your retirement!

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Good luck Gregg but this desease is all a long process i have learnt so far so you will be around for a while yet & as for the social security,that sounds easy compared to down here in oz,they couldnt care less here,in fact i think they prefer you pass away so the gov can handle what you leave behind for your loved ones in what they call Probate

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In the US, we have to pay into this all of our working life so they are just giving us back some of our own money. I think I've paid in around a couple hundred thousand by now. Besides that, our healthcare here is so expensive, you can easily go bankrupt from the costs, especially if have something like stage 4 cancer. But I am grateful that I can get this.

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Of corse & especially if it is your money in the first place. I wish you well.

Here we pay into health funds & that can be very expensive but when it comes to the operations the doctors get their money up front so the service is good but no health fund means you will wate years for that opp in the public system.

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So why do we call it social security when all it is is a reverse life insurance policy that hopes you die early? "Social" my ass. Sorry for beating around the bush.

Good Luck and Good Health.

j-o-h-n Sunday 12/17/2017 10:57 PM EST

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Well, as I have posted elsewhere, current drugs and medical options have allowed me and many others to live at least 10 years after initial diagnosis (mine was in early 2008 and I'm still here - obviously).....mets in lymph nodes and bones now which appeared for the first time this year (2017), but I'm still driving, still working part time, still playing golf until 2 weeks ago with the first snowfall here in Connecticut. I will probably start basic chemo with Taxotere shortly. Am hoping for at least 2 more years of good quality life, maybe more if I try some new drugs....meanwhile all end-of-life stuff is planned out and documented for my loved ones...so, no worries these days...only a few bucket list items left to do, after buying a new Camaro, flying in a B-17 bomber, and trying stand-up comedy at an "open mic" club....(made two static line parachute jumps years ago on a dare - so no need to repeat)....regards to all.....hang in there.....Ron

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Good luck to you with SSDI and with your health. Best wishes for the holidays and the new year.

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Good luck Gregg. I was surprised to hear you use fatalistic terms, you're generally so upbeat and positive. A guy in my support group just turned 70 and was diagnosed stage IV at age 54, gives us all hope. Keep on fighting!

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I met a guy at Radiation who was dxed stage 4 ,14 years ago, he was doing radium. Still has not done chemo.

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I work hard on being positive. But there are moments of despair, despite the effort. I have to be honest about how I feel sometimes and acknolwedge it. It's easy to push those feelings down because they are not positive, but not healthy to do that. I'm hoping for a lot more life ahead. So far I haven't seen any reason not to expect that. Lot's of people make it a long time with disease. Hope everyone here is in that group.

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I was approved for ssdi at the age of 50. It’s fairly straight forward. A little confusing navigating Medicare. I was approved very quickly and actually received a lump sum from the date of diagnosis. It’s not a huge sum of money but I get $3175 a month which is helpful.

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You can’t be dienied if you’re #4..And fastracked also. Best thoughts thru the holidays. Medicare a shoe in also. I’m grateful for help..

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Welcome to the club. By chance I found out I had ps when I went for my free checkup with medicare. PSA was over 100 & I hadn't a clue.

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Can you elect a survivor benefit? I am 58 and have one more year for 30 years.

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