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depression + cancer

Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2005

This is my wife's account but she can't use it. Here is a question I hope someone has experience with. My wife has NSCLC 3b (in remission) and Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia, stage 3, (CLL) also in remission and has been in a major depression since Feb 06. All depression meds have failed to help. The next possible step is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). She is also on Avastin every three weeks to help keep the NSCLC in remission. Anyone have experience with ECT for depression while on Avastin? This isn't simple depression and feeling down this is severe & prolonged depression that doesn't respond to other treatment. Any Psychiatrists out there with lung cancer? She also has a history of Bi-Polar (30+ years) PHIL

reinstones1's picture
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

Hi Phil-- I emailed you about this. I don't have any experience with major depression or treatment with ECT, but I had some ideas for getting you some help with the daily caregiving. Thinking of you.

Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006


Sorry I have no ideas on managing depression than what I've heard about lithium with bi-polar disorder. I'm aware of St. John's wort, but it seems that is more effective for mild depression.

Regardless, this seems to be a condition a medical professional is more competent to answer. Sorry I don't have any answers. But I want to give you and your wife the best and hope she will bounce back from her depression.

Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2006

Hello Lyndawithay, I myself know nothing about ECT but I did see a very intersting story on GMA this week. Here is the link. Hope you can get something out of it. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2458124&page=1 Good luck.

Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2005

Thanks for the tip. It is a good story. I sent it to the kids and told them I was considering ECT. My wife had ECT twice before in 1972 & again in 1992. The first time it worked and the second it didn't.Some memory loss but not like in the story. This time she is taking Avastin which might complicate things. I also asked the cancer doc to make sure there isn't something in her brain that could be causing this. Her next round of tests will include a MRI of the brain along with the PET. The MRI replaces the normal CT for a closer look at the brain. 35% of NSCLC patients get complications in the brain I think.
Thanks again PHIL

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