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Topic: Headaches headaches headaches

Forum: Pain —

Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.

Posted on: Jun 16, 2017 03:48PM

Tpralph wrote:

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.

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 4/10/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/18/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/29/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 1/15/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 16, 2017 04:28PM Lula73 wrote:

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

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/2/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 16, 2017 08:58PM Tpralph wrote:

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.


Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 4/10/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/18/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/29/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 1/15/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 21, 2017 08:45PM Kicks wrote:

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.

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIC, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/25/2009 AC Surgery 10/21/2009 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/11/2009 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/4/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 21, 2017 09:00PM MTwoman wrote:

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!


Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Jun 21, 2017 10:33PM Tpralph wrote:

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

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 4/10/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/18/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/29/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 1/15/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 22, 2017 02:47AM Tpralph wrote:

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!

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 4/10/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/18/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/29/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 1/15/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 22, 2017 03:34AM Lula73 wrote:

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

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/2/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 22, 2017 02:38PM Tpralph wrote:

Thanks kulu

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 4/10/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/18/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/29/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 1/15/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 22, 2017 03:40PM MTwoman wrote:

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.

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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May 6, 2018 10:05PM Djohn wrote:

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

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May 6, 2018 10:07PM Djohn wrote:

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

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