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Headaches headaches headaches

Tpralph
Tpralph Member Posts: 281
edited January 2021 in Pain

i have had almost daily headaches since dx 3 months ago. Told my oncologist who says they don't order brain scans unless there are other symptoms. Not having any other symptoms and the headaches aren't that bad.

I have a history of migraines but have been fairly headache free for the past year up until now.

Advil does help the headache. No increased pain with lying down and the pain doesn't wake me up. Pain is not intensifying.

Initially I thought it was stress due to dx of BC but lately feel better since my surgery is done. I'm still healing from that.

Pain goes behind my eyes to temples and moves around between these areas different data.

Anyone else have same issue? Is it normal that the oncologist wouldn't order tests? She is sending me for bone scan and cheat CT. And CT already done for Diep flap and was ok.

I also wonder if it is they eat I'm sleeping and haven't been sleeping well since dx either. Have to take melatonin or zopiclone (zolpidem in us)

I appreciate help with this as it too is causing stress.

Comments

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705

    I hope your headaches get better. I do think stress has a lot to do with it. Anyway, here's what I know about treating headaches after suffering for years in and off: 1) do not use an NSAID pain reliever unless it's a migraine and a Triptan is not available. This is because they can cause a rebound effect where you get relief now but then the headache rebounds when the medication wears off which causes long term headache issues. NSAID pain relievers are Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen, Aleve. That means Tylenol or acetaminophen is what you should use for headache. 2 extra strength Tylenol should do the trick. 2) if the Tylenol does not work within 30-45 minutes, try taking a sudafed. Sometimes sinus issues can be present and not show any other obvious symptoms. (If you are hypertensive or have any heart issues, talk to your dr before taking sudafed and get his/her ok). 3) if all this fails to relieve the pain and it's not a migraine, the dr should be willing to do a CT scan or MRI at the least. You will need to recount everything you've done so they'd can rule out rebound and the like. Good luck to you

  • Tpralph
    Tpralph Member Posts: 281

    thabks my lulu. I've stopped all pain meds since year am. Have had a 1-2/10 headaches today forehead and behind eyes which shifts from one to the other.

    Will try your advice if it gets worse otherwise an ice bag and relax. I just wonder if anyone which Mets or knows someone who had similar story.


  • kicks
    kicks Member Posts: 319

    I 'never' have headaches. However, about 1 1/2 yr after DX I developed a horrendous HEADACHE around and behind one eye that no pain med helped. It felt like the Spinal Headache (but localized) after 2nd Son was born when they pulled the IV out too soon post surgery. I did some 'looking up' after pain meds did absolutely nothing and found that dexamethazone can sometimes work on headaches and as I happened to have a couple left over from Chemo I took one - it worked pain gone for a while. I was going to a weekend Retreat the next day and knew my PA would be there so I could see her. She had a few more dexamethazones sent over to Retreat from the pharmacy and had me into the Eye Clinic Mon to be sure nothing was going on with eye and Tues in for a brain MRI. It was decided that for some unknown reason that a nerve had gotten irritated/aggravated for no known reason and to take the Dex for 2 weeks to calm it down. It worked - that was 6+ yrs ago and no problems with head pain since.

    You are being sent for a bone scan and a "cheat" (whatever that is) CT - why not include a head/brain MRI? To be on the 'safe side'? All headaches are not related to possible Mets but it does make sense to check it out and get the best outcome.

  • MTwoman
    MTwoman Member Posts: 228

    Lula, Mayo says "Common pain relievers such as aspirin and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may contribute to rebound headaches — especially if you exceed the recommended daily dosages. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) have a low risk of contributing to medication-overuse headaches." http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rebound-headaches/basics/causes/CON-20024096

    I've had headaches during periods of stress, and have found cold, 2 advil and relaxation to be best at knocking them out. I hope you get yours sorted Tpralph!


  • Tpralph
    Tpralph Member Posts: 281

    Kicks: I agree by my mo did not. She thinks I need two SX.

    Mtwoman: yes was using Tylenol at least 1000mg at least two to four times per day ( Tylenol 3 two tabs ever 4-6 hours after surgery for a week and tapered over 2.5 months. Stopped all pain reliever s one week ago and yesterday and today headaches much better. Read that I have to be off them 8-12 weeks for rebound h/a. So hopefully will continue to improve.

    Thanks

  • Tpralph
    Tpralph Member Posts: 281

    So tonight I'm a bit light headed like I have hypotension. Has been a bit on low side since surgery. Anxious thinking of my upcoming scans and waiting for results. Can't bear to go into mo office and have her tell me any bad news. And occasionally feels like my ears are under water. Could this be related to anxiety? I would take a Lorazepam but afraid it will lower my BP even more. Headache very mild maybe a 1/10

    Oh can someone tell me I'm just too anxious and that is all that is wrong with me? Man I hate this!

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705

    tpralph- the ears underwater feeling you mention makes me wonder if you've got a sinus and/or ear infection. That symptom could be caused by fluid trapped behind the eardrum which can also cause a chronic headache that may or may not be alleviated with pain relievers. I'd call the dr and lust the symptoms and see what they say.

    MTwoman- interesting article from mayo. Cleveland clinic, webmd, Newport Beach neuro, ament headache center, the migraine trust and many more organizations list all classes of Analgesics as a potential for rebound headaches. Upon further personal research, it seems to happen from overuse of one particular analgesic no matter which one it is. So the old adage 'too much of a good thing' is true. If you're using an nsaid for relief and suspect rebound headache switch to acetaminophen and vice versa

  • Tpralph
    Tpralph Member Posts: 281

    Thanks kulu

  • MTwoman
    MTwoman Member Posts: 228

    interesting Lula, I agree too much of a good thing isn't always good :) My Dad took advil (dosing per package instructions, while he waited for his hip replacement surgery) which increased his blood pressure significantly. Switched to another OTC, no bp problem.

  • Djohn
    Djohn Member Posts: 9

    HI Tpralph,

    Did your headaches subside? If yes, what worked for you in the end. I am 6 months out from active treatment and having an awful time as my headaches are now constant and are now accompanied by face and neck pain. I never had headaches until I was diagnosed. I also had them at various times throughout treatment as Neulasta and Taxol were not kind to me. Was also on Lupron for a few months before starting Tamoxifen in December. Imaging for the head is all clear but I have some arthritic changes in spine which could be contributing. Trying various prescriptions and due to start PT soon. The constant pressure in my head is taking a toll as my QOL is now less than when I was going through treatment.


    DJohn

  • Djohn
    Djohn Member Posts: 9

    HI Tpralph,

    Did your headaches subside? If yes, what worked for you in the end. I am 6 months out from active treatment and having an awful time as my headaches are now constant and are now accompanied by face and neck pain. I never had headaches until I was diagnosed. I also had them at various times throughout treatment as Neulasta and Taxol were not kind to me. Was also on Lupron for a few months before starting Tamoxifen in December. Imaging for the head is all clear but I have some arthritic changes in spine which could be contributing. Trying various prescriptions and due to start PT soon. The constant pressure in my head is taking a toll as my QOL is now less than when I was going through treatment.


    DJohn

  • lexie2002
    lexie2002 Member Posts: 59

    Tpralph

    I have been experiencing the same headaches. Forehead, temples. My ears do bother me and I yawn to make them pop. I've been doing sudafed, tylenol and generic flonase. Doesn't seem to be helping. My MO wants to do a head CT and I'm pretty nervous. Did your headaches resolve?

    HUGS

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,988

    Lexie - most of these posters have not been on BCO since 2018. However it looks like the OP has posted on other threads this year so maybe she's still tied here.

    I'm pretty sure I've commented on another thread where you are posting and I thought everyone said YES do the CT. Good luck.

    Edited to say - yup I just checked your posts and you're scheduled for a head to knees CT. Hope you're at peace with this now.

    p.s. - saw the pictures of the limbs & trees down in Los Gatos with the big wind earlier this week. Hope you & your family are OK.

  • lexie2002
    lexie2002 Member Posts: 59

    minus two

    I'm not sure when you can or can't post. Do people still see old posts? I'm still not navigating or completely understanding how to use this site. I'm trying....... I was coming across posts that were really worrying me regarding my headaches when I found tpralphs post. I know I said I would do the CTs but I was still interested in finding maybe someone who had headaches that turned out to be nothing.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,988

    Lexie - You can post anytime & anywhere except the Stage IV threads. Although there will be some that have no relevance for your state. I just wanted you to know it was unlikely you would get an answer.

    If you look at the top of each post it has the date the post was made. In order to see if those people are still active, click on their name and you'll see their latest posts. You'll notice that no one answered the questions by Djohn in 2018, so the last active post was 2017. Sometimes threads can be revived, but sometimes no one answers.

    Back to Los Gatos... when I was growing up in the Bay Area (in the dark ages), the only way to get to Carmel was through Los Gatos. Lovely area.

  • smc123
    smc123 Member Posts: 30

    Lexie2002, Last October, 2020 I was having the worse headaches of my life. The pain was night and day. Advil did not help at all. I went to an urgent care and was treated for a sinus infection. I gave the antibiotics a week but still wasn’t helping. I was miserable finally went to the emergency room. A CT with contrast revealed nothing not even evidence of a sinus infection. I was treated with a migraine cocktail and left. The migraine cocktail helped a little but the next day the headaches were back. I had an already scheduled appointment with my RO in early November . She ended up putting a referral to a neurologist but I couldn’t get an appointment until January 8th. I was still miserable and knew I needed something until I could get in with the neurologist. I called my primary care doctor, he’s been out of the office since COVID-19 started but we scheduled a zoom. He ended up putting me on anti anxiety medicine and prescription Tylenol. That did the trick...I have never been on anxiety medicine before. I finally met with neurologist, via zoom, he changed the type of anxiety medicine but it’s still working. I don’t know if this was helpful but I wish you luck.

  • lexie2002
    lexie2002 Member Posts: 59

    MinusTwo

    Thanks for explaining a few things about using this site. It helps :)

    Yes people cut thru Los Gatos when 17 is backed up. I don't live right in the old town. Alot of complaints about an app that's having them do this to avoid traffic. The Bay Area is way too crowded and congested.

    By the way, how are you doing? I hope things are good.

    Hugs

  • lexie2002
    lexie2002 Member Posts: 59

    Hi smc123

    The funny thing about this headache is it's been in my temples for about a week. My ears are plugged and I just can't get them to unplug. I noticed that wasn't a symptom for you? So happy your scan, etc turned out ok. :) I am very nervous about getting mine on 1/26. (Also chest and abdominal) ct too. I posted about this a few days ago because of my worries. I have Lorazepam 0.5mg that I use sometimes for panic and or sleep. So it can be used for anxiety. You mentioned prescription Tylenol? So you aren't just taking the OTC tylenol. The tylenol, sudafed and generic flonase aren't doing a thing for my symptoms.

    You are so kind to respond, thank you.

  • jhl
    jhl Member Posts: 174

    Hi Lexie,

    I, too, lived in the area for 33 years and know Los Gatos well. You mentioned you are still taking Sudafed. You might consider stopping that medication because it really dries out the mucous membranes and will contribute to a headache. Our dew point has been very low (prior to the storm we had & the ones headed our way) so our air is very very dry with low humidity. Unless you have complete head congestion, you might try to wean yourself off that. Sudafed will cause a rebound congestion after stopping so expect a runny nose for a few days. By getting your mouth, nasal passages & Eustachian tubes back to their normal moistness, your ears might feel better. Also, do not forget to drink lots of fluid. With our dry air and needing to wear a mask, lots of people mouth breathe. We lose lots of fluid by mouth breathing all day.

    There is a bit of misinformation on this thread. NSAIDs will not cause a rebound headache. The medications that will are the ones that contain caffeine such as Excedrin, Anacin, Excedrine Headache, etc. Also, you should not exceed 3 grams per day of acetaminophen. So, try alternating an NSAID with acetaminophen, drink lots of water & perhaps sleep with a humidifier until our weather is less dry.

    All the best,

    Jane

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,626

    minustwo,

    Going over Hwy 17 to Hwy 1 is still a lovely way to get to Carmel. Quite a few teachers at my school, and in my district, live over the hill (Santa Cruz Co.) and make that commute over 17 everyday.

    I live in downtown San Jose now but still teach in Los Gatos and lived there for about 20 years. Small world, no?

    As to headaches I sincerely hope relief and a reason for all who suffer from them comes very soon I find headaches to be debilitating. My hat is off to all ofyou for even being able to function . Take good care

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,988

    Totally off topic in the small world - when I was a kid we drove from the Peninsula (when it was just brown hills & cows) to Santa Cruz or Carmel for many Easter vacations. In 1955 we had to stop at "the" service station in Los Gatos because my baby brother desperately needed a stinky diaper change. Funny what you remember. Some of my best vacations have been walking the beaches & the hills in Carmel. I've been in Texas since 1974 and BOY to I miss the 'real' ocean.