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Topic: Extreme headache after first chemo, advice?

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: May 5, 2018 09:20AM

Liven5 wrote:


I just received my first chemo Monday, from Tuesday on, I've had a headache, which is just getting worst.  I called the doctor yesterday, and she gave me a script for Ibuprofen, 800 mg., and to take Claritin.  Neither has helped.  I called yesterday after 2 hrs. from taking my first dose, telling them this, and she said after 3 doses should be better.  Well, it's not.  The pain is so great, by my temples, it's so bad I cry at times.  Today's Saturday, do I just get thru it as I have been, in great pain, or go to the ER?  They said it was from the cyclophosphamide, and next time they will slow it down.  Why did they take a chance this time?  Any help, recommendations? 


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May 5, 2018 01:10PM Kiks1 wrote:

I always suffered from weekly migraines prior to my dx. My biggest fear was how to deal with headaches during chemo. I had posted on this forum to ask for help in preparing myself. I did get the worst headache/ migraine after my first chemo. Even with sumatriptan (a migraine med) nothing really helped. It lasted almost 6-7 days. The first 3-4 was the worse. However, that was the only time I did get a headache through chemo. I went through the next 3 treatments with nothing else. Since chemo, I rarely get migraines anymore, perhaps, one of the best things after dx. I am sorry I do not have better suggestions but I hope the rest of your treatments will be as uneventful as mine.

Dx 11/30/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/17/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 2/5/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2016 Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 5, 2018 02:57PM SpecialK wrote:

Were you given by IV, or orally, any Zofran to take for anti-nausea? One of the side effects of this drug is a brutal headache. Also, some people receive a loading dose of chemo, and it causes a headache on the first infusion, subsequent infusions don't come with the headache.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3
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May 5, 2018 03:37PM Moderators wrote:

It really sounds terrible. We strongly suggest staying in communication with your treatment team, letting them know that your meds are not effective. Have you tried ice or cool packs? SpecialK and kiks1 bring up some good points. But maybe your doctor can continue to help you!

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May 5, 2018 06:47PM - edited May 5, 2018 06:52PM by buttonsmachine

I bet it's the premeds you're getting. Do you know what they are? I had a brutal headache from certain types of anti nausea meds - worst headache of my life. It was from Aloxi and that class of drugs.

There are other options for nausea medicine though. Talk to your MO. In my case we left off the Aloxi from subsequent infusions and it was much better. Best wishes to you.

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/27/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/30/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/9/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 6/30/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/14/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 5, 2018 10:46PM NotVeryBrave wrote:

I also had an absolutely horrible headache after my first round, although it didn't happen until about a week later. I have a history of migraines, but it didn't feel like that and none of my usual meds worked. Vicodin helped the most while I was in the hospital with low WBC's.

I'm happy to say that it didn't happen with any further rounds and I rarely get bad headaches any more!

TCHP x 6 with pCR. One year of Herceptin. DTI pre-pec surgery. Quit Tamoxifen after 3 months. Dx 11/21/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/18/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/19/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/8/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 9/8/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 8, 2018 05:08PM Liven5 wrote:


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May 9, 2018 10:02AM TWills wrote:

I had the worst headache of my life after my first round, it lasted 4 days and nothing helped. MO gave me meds in case it happened again but it didn’t and hopefully yours won’t either.

Dx 11/2016, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 2/1/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/9/2017 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 7/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Surgery 8/27/2017 Hormonal Therapy 11/7/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/1/2018 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap

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