As was pointed out by one of the folks who follows this blog, I didn’t talk about what I planned to do after the visit with the second TMS doc.
With the move to the new cocktail, my depression is almost entirely controlled. To evaluate the efficacy of TMS treatment as it progresses, I need to be depressed. If the cocktail I’m on now continues to work, TMS doesn’t make sense. However the side effects, major jaw clenching, mild continuous nausea, and sleep cycle problems may force me off the cocktail. I’m working with the docs to get the side effects to an acceptable level. The cocktail may also lose potency and become irrelevant.
If/when it turns out I become depressed again, I probably will try TMS. The risks and side effects sound minimal with moderate potential for significant improvement. The biggest downside appears to be cost, but that’s something I’m fortunate enough to be able to handle. Regardless, I remain mindful of my radiation treatments where no side effects except minor fatigue were predicted, but I wound up with one of the worst experiences of my life. If I do go forward with TMS, I’ll likely stop at the first hint of any side effect more serious than a headache.
Please don’t interpret my plans as a path you should take. Treating depression and cancer is highly individualized. Work with your medical team to develop a treatment plan tailored for you.