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Brain Tumor in the Air Force
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Brain Tumor in the Air Force

Does anyone know of a situation in which an active duty service member had a brain tumor removed and was allowed to stay in the military? I have read regulations and policies until I'm cross-eyed and understand the situation is going to be anything but clear cut. Many factors involved, but just started the MEB process and need to know more of what to expect. All details from the surgery and work situation aside, having a similar case to compare with would be extremely helpful. I understand this is a generic question, but in need of better resources..

Thanks in advance.
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Sorry I can't give you a similar situation... in the brain tumor department. I knew a girl who had Ovarian cancer and was able to stay in (AD AF) after treatment and a relapse. If you are really looking to stay in I would talk with legal. They should be able to clear up all the legal mumbo jumbo they put in regs. Good luck with your surgery, and God bless,
I don't know about your specific situation either, I was active duty AF for almost 12 years before I met the MEB and was out.  I do know that sometimes a factor involved with the MEB is your career field--no ****.  You know how it is...the needs of the AF come first.
Are you in a highly needed career field?  If yes, the more likely the AF will retain you because it costs too much to retrain someone else.

I hope your surgery goes well and your recovery is quick.

As soon as you are able...get a FULL copy of your active duty medical records.  This is very important if the AF is successful in the MEB process for you.  You will need these records for a later VA me on this one.
I assume MEB is the AF equivalent of what the Naval Department calls a medical board for determining if a member should be medically discharged.  It's good that you've read up on policies already and you've already answered your question that it's a personalized process and therefore cannot be clear cut one size fits all.  Some factors will include the effect of the surgery itself on you as well as post-op prognosis.  The DoD will not act selfishly on any medical decision they make, it'll likely be based off of how they believe you'll be able to function and if keeping you could have the potential of posing a risk to another service member during the remainder of your contractual obligation.

You should have a case worker who is trained in these matters to assist you as you go through this process.  The best thing you can do is to be honest with everyone including yourself.  Let the professionals make the professional decision and should your career end prematurely, you should use their decision to help guide a medical compensation claim through the Dept of Veterans Affairs at your nearest VA hospital.  As mentioned get a copy of your medical records for future claims.  Though the VA is well oiled machine, you'll still need a copy for your own personal records.

Best wishes
There are different sizes of tumors, different kinds of tumors, and they end up in all sorts of places. Some are easily removed. Some are not so easily removed. Sometimes there is a lot of damage after removal. Sometimes there is no damage.

A lot depends upon the post-operative evaluation.

If you are flight status, clearly this will mean an end, at least temporarily to your career.

You may have to change military occupational specialty to stay in.

If they want to get you out there is an appeals process, and even if you have a problem that technically disqualifies you, you can often obtain a waiver.

Many people have completely uneventful recoveries from such surgury.

Good luck.
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