Herceptin headaches

After the car accident that I was in over 10 years ago, I suffered from migraines and headaches for years.  I saw many different doctors of varying types and tried tons of different medications.  I eventually figured that it was something I needed to live with for the rest of my life.  A few years later, I changed my eating habits and started walking regularly.  I woke up one day and realized that it had been a week since my last headache.  I couldn’t believe it!  I have struggled with headaches and the occasion migraine since but nothing compared to what I once lived with regularly.

After my Herceptin treatment in March, I woke up the following morning with an intense headache.  It lasted all weekend and Tylenol did little to ease the pain.  This treatment, the same thing happened only the headache didn’t go away in 2 days.  It lasted for 5 days and woke me up at night with its intensity.  Tylenol took the edge off but only briefly and I spent a few days suffering through it before finally calling my doctor.

I called and asked to make an appointment prior to my next treatment because of the headaches and was transferred to the nurse instead.  She was kind and asked me lots of questions before relying to the doctor.  I was asked to get a CT scan of my head and sinuses to ensure nothing crazy was happening before deciding how to go about treating the headaches.

So Friday afternoon, I returned to the place that I originally found out that I likely had a form of breast cancer.  It was odd, walking into that building and recalling the memories from my visit last July.  So much has changed, in so many ways.

As I laid there and the machine whirled around me, I couldn’t help but feel anxious. I was relatively confident that the headaches were caused by the herceptin but I was also confident last year that I had mastitis and not cancer. It was hard not to worry.  I put my fears aside and enjoyed my weekend. Team Gina kept me busy and having a blast so I didn’t think about it.

This morning my nurse called.  I immediately felt my blood pressure rise despite how confident I had been.  The “what if” creeped in and my heart raced.   My oncologist reviewed my scans and everything looked PERFECT.  ALL CLEAR. NOTHING OF CONCERN.  The sigh of relief was intense.  Even my nurse said she was hugely relieved.

It’s unclear what is causing the headaches but I feel pretty sure that it’s from the herceptin, simply because of the timing in which they come.  I was given some tips on how to avoid them but also offered a script if needed to help alleviate the pain.  Hopefully they won’t grow in intensity but if they do, I’ll get through it.  Because my scan is all clear.

4 thoughts on “Herceptin headaches

  1. I’m going through the same thing right now. I have had a headache now for 19 days with no relief. I’m getting a brain scan on Tuesday, but like you, I believed it’s the Herceptin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry to hear that!! Are you doing the shorter infusion time? The 90 minutes instead of 30 helped me tremendously! Good luck on Tuesday, hopefully it is just a check and will confirm it’s the herceptin. The headaches from herceptin are horrible!


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