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Drinking wine post treatment?

cadharose's picture
cadharose
Posts: 51
Joined: May 2013

Hi everyone. I'm 16 days out from treatment and doing very well. Some taste has even started to come back. I wanted to know if anyone is able to drink wine or enjoy it post treatment? I am a gourmet cook and used to really enjoy wine with dinner. I'm afraid now I will never be able to again. I don't mean do you have permission from your doctor to drink it; I mean does it taste good to you?

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 570
Joined: Feb 2010

I can't remember if I tried wine, but I did have some beer and it didn't go down real easy. If your worried about your taste for wine I would try it and if you lost your taste for it don't worry, it will more than likely return it will just take some time. They told me that during and after treatment I may lose my taste for certain things and I should never force myself to drink or eat whatever it is, otherwise you may never get taste back for it. My thing was coffee, I love it, lost my taste for it at the start of radiation to the extent I got the dry heaves smelling it brewing. About 5 months later I started slowly drinking it again and now I am back to normal. Or abi-normal according many of us on here.

      Jeff

yensid683
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2012

It's too soon to worry about what may or may not come back.  I found that about 2 weeks post that taste started to recover, but it has taken months for some tastes to come back, and it may be for you as well. 

I am 1 year post and my taste is almost back to normal, but the journey was very slow and gradual.  I love the taste of lemon, always enjoyed lemonade, lemon Italian ice, and my favorite candy "lemonheads".  The lack of saliva though impacts how I perceive sour.  I recall seeing a TV show about sour candies, the body's response to sour is to flood the mouth with saliva, since it's not there, sour was impossible for me.  I loved the taste of Coke and Pepsi too, but early on, the taste (acid component) was too much to handle. 

It is improving as my saliva comes back,  I'd estimate that it is about 50% of what it was and some lemon tastes are now do-able and Coke is not as nasty.  I'm thinking that it will come back, but it will take time.

You will need to give it time, with tastes coming back at just 16 days, I'm thinking that eventually you will get there. 

My RO said that it could take up to two years.  Don't get discouraged, recovery from rads is not like healing from stitches or a simple cold.

meaganb's picture
meaganb
Posts: 237
Joined: May 2012

It deoends on the wine. I was not that much of a wine drinker before treatment. I prefer a really good beer anyday. But, I tried a red wine about 7-8 months after treatment & it was horrible....like drinking straight rubbing alcohol. I tried a white wine a few months after that & it was delicious. Maybe I just don't like red wine?!? Anyways, there is hope you will be able to enjoy it again. Just give it some time!

meaganb's picture
meaganb
Posts: 237
Joined: May 2012

It deoends on the wine. I was not that much of a wine drinker before treatment. I prefer a really good beer anyday. But, I tried a red wine about 7-8 months after treatment & it was horrible....like drinking straight rubbing alcohol. I tried a white wine a few months after that & it was delicious. Maybe I just don't like red wine?!? Anyways, there is hope you will be able to enjoy it again. Just give it some time!

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1131
Joined: Jan 2013

I tried a little white wine at a party two weeks ago (8 weeks post Tx) and it burnt the heck out of my throat. I love wine but I'll wait a while before I try that again! However, I read a few posts where a glass of wine was enjoyed via a PEG tube. I have mine until August...Hmmmmm 

"T"

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1131
Joined: Jan 2013

12 weeks post treatment...

Tried a cabernet.... wonderful bouquet and flavor.... that is AFTER THE BURN SUBSIDED! ~lol~

No go on wine..... :(

"T"

 

cadharose's picture
cadharose
Posts: 51
Joined: May 2013

But the burn should eventually go away when your throat is no longer sore. 12 weeks out is still very early. Also too early to judge whether saliva will come back - my doctor yesterday told me that mine may not even start to come back until 6 months out.

amy_h414's picture
amy_h414
Posts: 98
Joined: May 2012

My husband is about a year out from treatment. If he drinks wine, it's generally red. White doesn't taste good to him, especially sweeter wines. I think the "sweet" part of his taste buds were the most affected and have not gone back to their previous state. He's starting to tolerate more spicy foods, so maybe sweet just needs more time. So I would say all is not lost when it comes to wine, it just might take some time to get to a point where it tastes good.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm not much of a wine drinker. beer is goood though...

Like mentioned, with time I'm sure you'll be good to go on the wine of your choice.

 

Sweet..., seems for some of us to take a long time to get back..., or at least to the poinrt of not losing it after one taste, LOL...

It took nearly two year to get my sweet back completely..., so tell him to don't give up on it Amy.

JG

mikeev
Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2012

I have been trying to drink wine for about 4 months now, started with about 1/3 glass filled with wine then topped up with lemonade I was able to drink this reasonable well but with a little bit of burning in my throat, I am now able to drink the occasional glass of wine with no lemonade in it, but it depends on the wine does not matter if its red or white it can still sometimes burn dependant on the vinyard, have been able to drink champagne without topping up with lemonade.

My normal drink is a lager/beer similar to Peroni(Italian) /cobra/kingfisher (Indian lager) or any beer similar to a Becks or Budweiser occasionally a british beer but these are to hoppy for me and really can iritate my throat.

I am now 11 months since completing my RAD and Chemo treatments

 

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Hello,

As you see by the posts, everyone has a different twist on how taste returns. I am in an unusual situation as my sense of taste has returned fully about 150% what it was. I too, very much like to cook and eat, and there are advantages and disadvantages of having hypertaste. First, the fresh raw natural subtle tastes of all foods is absolutely incredible. Zero salt is necessary to enhance any flavor. IN fact, salt really burns the taste so nearly all prepared foods and packages are last choice these days.

My taste was never lower than 25% throughout treatment; about 3 weeks post it was 100% and at 5 weeks 150%.

Beer, the cheap American crap like Coors and Bud, now have an amazingly fresh and crisp and nice flavor to them. I was a total micro-brew beer snob and these old classics do me fine now. LOL

The one thing about cancer especially on return of taste is it is all over the map, same with ability to enjoy wine. 

Best to you, don.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3088
Joined: May 2012

Cadharose,

My taste buds have been compromised, but they are improving.  Food and drink are a whole different ball game than before

If you are lucky and following donfoo you should be at 82%  or if you are average (like most of us) you will have taste hits and misses.  If you continue if the df trajectory at 52 weeks post you will be at %1325 and your head will explode (let’s hope that doesn’t happen).

I myself can taste a little bit of sweet, salty and sour.  Some sweets and  ice-cream I use to love, don’t work for me anymore, but a good steak is a blessing.

Not only are you now abi-normal, you are a food scientist.

Cheers,

Matt

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

just have to say I really love all your posts, quirky, poetic, witty, sometimes a stab in the back with a smile. I only wish you wouild jump in more often and get dirty down here in the mud. LOL

josh r.
Posts: 209
Joined: Oct 2010

Cheers cadharose,

I too struggled with enjoying wine soon after treament but I refussed to give up! I started over again with the usual light white and off-dry rose and after a year or so I was again enjoying reds "sip by sip". The enjoyment of food progressed pretty much on the same time line. I have been working at a winery for over six years and conduct tours as well as tastings. I am thrilled to soon be harvesting fruit, along with two co-workers, for a third vintage of pinot noir which is for home consumption.  My wife says you might want to come over to have a glass and we'll invite Matt and donfoo over as well to "break bread". Come on guys, let's all be friends. The best to all, josh r.

cadharose's picture
cadharose
Posts: 51
Joined: May 2013

Red, white, and everything in between! Brandy and cognac, too.

Everything I am reading here is encouraging.

That's awesome that you work at a winery, josh, and are still able to appreciate wine. I would imagine you have a very refined palate for the stuff. How about pate, cheese, olive oil, etc. Are you still able to appreciate good food as much? I love to cook french and italian and can't wait to savor it again.

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1254
Joined: Aug 2009

Of Merlot that is, you will be fine down the road, just don't overdo do it, remember two bottles at a time only! LOl 

josh r.
Posts: 209
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi cadharose,

Yes, most of the time it is "awesome" working at a winery doing tastings and giving tours but it's not all scenes from "Sideways" and "Bottle Shock". Someone does have to restock, clean the "dump buckets, restrooms, picinic areas and handle those that have been "over-served". As I am sure you know wineries are usually located in beautiful areas where people come to have fun and where wonderful food procucts are readily available and California's Central Coast is a postcard of such a place. As to my palate it took quite sometime after my treatments, 22 years ago this November, to make any progress just like so many of our brothers and sisters. Like you I have a passion for food and wine and have been "playing" in the kitchen since my pre-teen years, thanks mom, and "flirting" with wine soon after. Soon after treatment I began "playing" with ingredients that I could enjoy and tollerate and progress slowly began. It was the same with getting re-aquainted with wine. It has been a slow but fortunatley sure progress to where I now enjoy both very much. As to having a "refined" palate, no, but I have a happy one. I wish you and all our brothers and sister the  enjoyment you and they desire. Bon appetite, josh r.

Mikemetz's picture
Mikemetz
Posts: 355
Joined: Nov 2011

It was several months after treatments before I could drink any wine.  And, when I did start, it was a long progression to get to where I am today with it.  I am still very sensitive to any wine or food with high acidity--can't drink Cab Sauv, eat tart fruits, or tolerate anything with vinegar in it.  When I could drink wine, I started with chardonney and found that I could handle soft reds like merlot and pinot noir--but it took a while for me to tolerate the reds.  As far as I can tell, my tastes for wine are pretty close to what they were pre-treatment, but it's hard to know for sure.  I know what I can taste now, but don't know if I'm getting 100% of the taste I should.

My biggest loss is my reduced tolerance for spicey foods, salsa, etc.  I am a competitive chili cook and salsa maker, but can't eat either any more.  My wife acts as my "canary" when we're around spicey food--tasting it to gauge if it's OK for me to eat.

When you think you can try wine again, start slow and experiment for taste and tolerance--and take very small sips!  I learned that by more than a few times when I had a mouthful of wine that burned like hell.

Mike

 

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

you in norcal? or central or north coast, hey anywhere-  i'm there. :-) don

CajunEagle's picture
CajunEagle
Posts: 363
Joined: Oct 2009

 

Being 4 years out from treatment, I'm still having burning sensations with any Cabs, Merlots, Zins, etc, but seem to do okay with oaky chards and sav. blancs, so I'm sticking with those especially during these hot and humid times.  I tried using a little club soda in the reds to try and cut down the burning, and it worked.  Didn't effect the taste that much either.

Larry

hrowe
Posts: 51
Joined: Oct 2012

I'm 13 months post tx (tumor near epiglottis) and the taste of wine, that is Reisling which is all I have tried, is terrible. So is draft beer. While not a big drinker I really miss the occasional draft or wine on the weekends when we eat out.

I tried a few sips of my wife's margaritta while out to dinner recently and it tasted fine. No burning whatsoever. But on the first sip the alcohol REALLY slapped my tastebuds in the face before the rest of the flavors kicked in.

Mikemetz's picture
Mikemetz
Posts: 355
Joined: Nov 2011

I can handle the alcohol in margaritas, but the lime burns me badly, so I take them out before I start one.

Mike

 

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