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Oct 28, 2009 09:57PM, edited Oct 28, 2009 10:00PM
This thread terrifes me.
Headaches/migraines have been the bane of my existance for 22 years. The headache pain you ladies are describing sounds similiar to a milder migraine. (Full blown ones leave you vomiting, unable to move, in true agony for 18 plus hours)
A week ago I had a unilatral mastectomy with TE, and just as I feared, the morphine gave me a horrible migraine. I had warned my doctors that I would need imitrex in the hospital but the nurses were too ignorant/busy to understand the dosage so I didn't get enough to keep the pain at bay. I was left with the Sophie's choice of refusing morphine and suffering the surgical pain to keep the migraine from returning, or dealing with migraine and getting surgical pain relief. (But, since migraine makes you vomit then you know there isn't much relief). If you have never experienced a migraine, you might be surprised that I chose to the surgical pain - migraine is the worst pain I've ever experienced and I had one 48 hour unmedicated hard labor.
If you knew me, you'd realize that when I say I was left crying - wailing - in pain in bed waiting for imitrex would be almost impossible. She had it in her hand at 6:00, left to do something and didn't come back until 7:30, leaving me in agony. I don't cry, ever. But it was THAT bad, I completely lost control.
Imitrex is an expensive medication. I only get 9 pills and 4 injections a month, which is not enough, so I also take fioricet and norco on a regular basis, and have for 22 years.
Reading that herceptin can cause a headache terrifies me. Honestly, I don't think I'll get through herceptin treatment unless there is a plan for dealing with any resulting headaches, which for me are likely to end up full-blown migraine.
But, to give you ideas - you might ask your doctors about imitrex and see if it's indicated for people who have not been previously dx'd with migraine. Also, botox has been used to treat head pain/migraine. I have been doing botox for years, first given to me by my neurologist. It stopped working for my migraines but it did at first. (I still do it because it still helps with migraine related vertigo - and cuz I like a smooth forehead now. :) ) Maybe it's something that would be safe and helpful for herceptin headaches. Worth an ask.
If anybody gets treated for these heachaches, please let me know what they give you. I believe I'll start my chemo in November and then herceptin a few months later so I will be researching until then.
Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IVDx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+