Sorry for the delay since the last post. It's not because nothing has been happing, rather, it's because so much has been going on.
First off, I had my last chemo treatment the week before last. Yay! That was number five of the post-treatment rituximab infusions as recommended by Dr. Ruiz.
Next, I did start a course of professional neuro-stimulatoin, employing both tDCS and pEMF. This is part of my "everything against the wall" technique. I've been using Dr. Tiff Thompson at Theramind in Santa Barbara. This company has several offices in the USA. After about three weeks of treatment, I'd estimate my average daily pain has been reduced to about a third of what it was prior. Likewise, I've also been able to begin my decrease of daily medication (so far, 1100 mg/day tegretol before treatment, down to 800 mg/day as of today).
Dr. Thompson said that the goal of this treatment is to encourage neuroplasticity and neuroregeneration. She told me to read a book called, The Other Bain. Wow, how interesting. I must say that I don't understand some of it. And reader beware, the part about MS hit me hard and without warning. It's not padded or written with any level of sensitivity towards a potential MS patient reading it.
Each time I drop the dosage, there's some added discomfort for a day or two, but then I seem to recover pretty easily. I make sure to do a reduction on days when I can lazily hang out around the house for a couple of days, and if necessary, I boost my MMJ for a bit. My goal, of course, is to get off tegretol, which prevents me from spending time in the sun.
The treatments are expensive, and insurance doesn't pay any of the cost. But you can't put a price on pain. In fact, I've since forked out a few grand for my own professional NeuroField tDCS unit, which I'm learning to use at home. This is only half of what I was getting at my doctor's office treatments, so I'm hoping it does the trick. Of course I'll update with future results.
UPDATE: I bought my own tDCS unit, and I've been using at home now for four days. It's much more convenient than schlepping down to my doctor's office every work day, and now I can use it on weekends. Neuroplasticity requires regular stimulus to change.
I am not a doctor. I am a scientist (engineer) who has had MS since March 2013.