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New Member Here -- Strange Smell a Chemo Result?

bamboushay
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2001

Hi everyone - my 65 year old husband was diagnosed in early July with non small cell lung cancer, left lung, right in the middle of his chest -- about the size of a baseball, completely blocking his airway into the left lung. The cancer has not spread anywhere else. He started treatment two weeks ago, 7 total weeks of radiation - the first 6 days, combo chemo and radiation, then more radiation, then another 6 days combo chemo and radiation, then more radiation. The drugs are Cisplatin and Etoposide - getting the Cisplatin on the first and sixth day, and the Etoposide on every day of the 6 day schedule. Then finishing up with taxotere, 3 treatments 21 days apart. Anyway, first two weeks down, and things are pretty good. They gave him lots of fluids, steroids, anti-nausea drugs, and other good things in every 3 hour chemo session, and he never was sick. The biggest problem at this point is that he smells a terrible smell everywhere - most foods have this putrid odor -- the house smells like it, he says -- his hands and body smell like it he says. But, of course, no one else can smell it. Even the soap smells gross -- I think maybe this is coming from the chemicals in the chemo or the tumor "frying" after the radiation. Has anyone heard of this sympton??? It makes it pretty hard to keep his nutrition the best, when you never know what will have "the smell". Meat definitely has "the smell" so that's out. Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has experienced this sympton.

loulou
Posts: 66
Joined: Sep 2000

Ohh Yheaa!!!! It's from the chemo, and the steriods. You can not get away from it. Almost like you cant stand the smell of your own house. I was asking everyone who came into my house "can you smell that? "smell what" they would say. My kids would get so mad that they would say "Mom, it's you, only you thinks it smells in here", stop asking us. Soap, colgne, prefume, I could smell mildew all around the house (especially in the basement, I couldn't go down there). It's very real for us that are going through this. I think people started hated me being around, because I would always ask "do you smell that". Hang in there, after treatment is done, it does get better....

Very, very good luck with treatment.
loulou

bamboushay
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2001

Thanks loulou for coming back on this - I talked with some people over at the cancer center today, and found some who had the same thing. My husband is just finding it difficult to eat the amount of food he needs to now, before his throat gets real sore from the radiation, as everything has "the smell". Anyway, it sounds as if you have had a very good result so far -- is everyone mis-diagnosed??? -- my husband had the sympton of coughing with some blood, and they said it was his blood pressure medication, did a chest xray in May, and it says no lung problems of any kind. Only a CT scan in early July caught it, and we had to raise "h" to get that done. I have been coughing myself since 1985, and every doctor has said it is bronchitis, and then asthma. Even though I have never smoked, it is scary, as my husband quit in 1972. I don't want to even think about that right now, but when my husband gets better (and I am believing that he will), then I will get a CT scan of my own. Anyway, glad you are feeling well, and "the smell" is gone...

bamboushay
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2001

Thanks loulou for coming back on this - I talked with some people over at the cancer center today, and found some who had the same thing. My husband is just finding it difficult to eat the amount of food he needs to now, before his throat gets real sore from the radiation, as everything has "the smell". Anyway, it sounds as if you have had a very good result so far -- is everyone mis-diagnosed??? -- my husband had the sympton of coughing with some blood, and they said it was his blood pressure medication, did a chest xray in May, and it says no lung problems of any kind. Only a CT scan in early July caught it, and we had to raise "h" to get that done. I have been coughing myself since 1985, and every doctor has said it is bronchitis, and then asthma. Even though I have never smoked, it is scary, as my husband quit in 1972. I don't want to even think about that right now, but when my husband gets better (and I am believing that he will), then I will get a CT scan of my own. Anyway, glad you are feeling well, and "the smell" is gone...

loulou
Posts: 66
Joined: Sep 2000

My cough started from a regular upper respiratory cold, but the cough continued to get worse. After 7 wks. they took a chest e-ray and they didn't see anything. They then treated me for bronchitis, but the cough continued. Then my doctor sent me to a pulmunary doc. They started me on antibiotics for sinus infection, plus inhalers for asthma. But, the coughing continued, infact I even broke a rib while coughing (found that out later during a bone scan). Then they did some kind of breathing test, and they discovered I had something blocking my breathing, so they did a ct scan. This all happened like the week of christmas, so I have to say I had good doctors, who acted quite fast. On Dec. 24, doctor called and said that my lymph nodes were huge, and there was a very small spot on the right upper lung. They really weren't worried about the spot, because I was only 40, supposedly I was to young for lung cancer. But, by that afternoon they had me scheduled to see a surgeon the day after christmas. I had surgery that week with the results non small cell lung cancer. All doctors were shocked! As my family was.

I was very blessed with good doctors thourgh out this experience. Also, blessed that chemo didn't make me sick, or radiation. My throat did get sore the last week of radiation, so I feel I can't complain about that. I did have trouble with "the smell", and "the taste", at the end of radiation. I found warm 7-up using a straw helped, and lots of potatoes (mashed, scalloped) mainly comfort foods I found were easier for me to eat. Well, have a great day! "Believe"
loulou

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