I've officially had a headache for nine days in a row. I don't have it all day, but it lingers around for most of the day. I'm keeping a "chemo diary" of sorts, so I can track trends and watch for side effects. That's how I noticed that I have had a headache since June 17th. That's the first time it was noted in those notes. I'm a little slow at connecting dots sometimes, so it wasn't until the past 5 days that I've really been trying to figure out what is triggering the dang things.
I thought I may have cut caffeine too quickly, so I added some back. It's not caffeine. I thought it might be from one of my medications, but I haven't taken any medications in over a week. It's not medication. I thought that it may have something to do with lack of sleep, but I've been taking a sleep aid two out of three days, and am now getting plenty of sleep on those nights. It's not lack of sleep.
I started noticing, over the past five days or so that I don't usually wake up with it. Maybe I have NEVER had it first thing in the morning, but I'm slow to connect the dots (or sometimes even recognize the dots,) remember?
So I've been pouring over my short-hand type notes, and trying to figure it out. I noticed that I got it not long after eating a square of lasagna yesterday. Kevin and I discussed that it could be cheese or some component in that dish, so I decided to note what I have recently eaten when this stupid headache shows up.
This morning I had no headache. I always feel so good as I head out to work! Plenty of energy and no headache. When I got there, I put in a couple of hours and decided I was hungry. I ate some cantaloupe that I had cut up and brought along, as well as a trail mix granola bar. Not even ten minutes had passed before my head started to ache.
The headache was still there at lunch time, so I thought, "In for a penny, in for a pound!" and ate my leftovers. By the time I hit the eight hour mark, I couldn't take any more and I headed home. I've been in bed since I got here, wishing my head would just STOP already.
My final observation is that my head didn't hurt while I had all the other side effects. Remember what I ate during that time? Nothing, unless I forced down chicken noodle soup or mac-n-cheese. Bland foods. I'm now wondering if it will stop hurting if I switch back to only bland things. That will be the next thing I try, if left to my own devices.
I hope that I won't be, though. I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow morning. I'm going to talk this out with her and see if she has any ideas. A week or so ago, I joked, "Well, at least I only have to deal with this for 16 weeks." It's not funny anymore. I can't do this for (now) 14 more weeks. Most days, I would rate the pain at a three or four on the 1-10 pain scale. Today's was easily an eight or nine.
Nope. I can't do this. Well, let me correct that statement. If I had a choice, I would say that about breast cancer. "I can't do this." However, I can do this, and I am doing it. If I find no relief, I guess I'll have no more say about the headache than I do about cancer. However, as amazing as my health care providers have done in preventing or minimizing side effects, I'm sure they'll have something I can try.