I can't taste anything

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Hpv + scc / just received my second chemotherapy and finishing the fourth week of rads. My taste bud must be completely fried as I can't taste anything. Do any of you have suggestions on what I may still be able to taste without burning my mouth. I've been eating a lot of oatmeal and chicken noodle soup....any help would be greatly appreciated.

Brian

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  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
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    Hi Brian
    At the point where you are in treatment it is normal to lose all taste, but don’t let it worry you it will all come back again after treatment stops

    All the best
    Hondo
  • Bkanter72
    Bkanter72 Member Posts: 39
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    Hondo said:

    Hi Brian
    At the point where you are in treatment it is normal to lose all taste, but don’t let it worry you it will all come back again after treatment stops

    All the best
    Hondo

    Sure hope so
    Thanks, Hondo. I can't tell you how much I miss the taste of pizza and tacos...the things we take for granted. I'm trying todo this without a peg but almost everything, including water, taste horrible. Any suggestions on what may good food choices on the journey?

    Brian
  • fisrpotpe
    fisrpotpe Member Posts: 1,349 Member
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    In some ways
    In a strange way that this sound I am trilled you are into week 4 and still eating lots of oatmeal and soup. So there is some good news. No matter how bad it gets make sure you keep your swallowing up, even if it is baby sips many times an hour.

    I agree with Hondo, most everyone head down the path you are on.

    All the best for you and keep in touch with this wonderful network of survivors.

    John
  • pmj2011
    pmj2011 Member Posts: 25
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    Hi Brian
    Its gonna be a rough road eating for a while. I was able to eat cream of wheat and eggs up till almost the end of treatment. I had a peg and used that for the better part of 3 months. The good news is the taste will get better after treatment. I had a double cheesburger with the works yesterday and tasted it! Good luck and god bless!
    (I am 3 months out of treatment) Paul
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    DelMonty Jarred Sliced Peaches
    In lightly sweetened syrup....

    One of the few if only things that I didn't seem to lose the taste of....

    Best,
    John
  • tnsilcncer
    tnsilcncer Member Posts: 64
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    Taste?
    I remember laying in bed and dreaming about ham and potatoes and the day I would be able to taste them again. I don't know if you have a PEG tube, but I got to the point where I used mine for nutrition and then just took what I could tolerate by mouth to keep my muscles from seizing. Once my saliva glands went, it was much harder to swallow but chicken broth, herbal teas because you can smell them so it's not the same as tasting but works, and bottled water were what I was able to tolerate. The chlorine in tap water was horrible and actually burned eventually. About 2 to 3 weeks after you finish radiation, you start getting your taste back and I'm here to tell ya, you wanna shove everything you can into your mouth just to see if you can taste it. Salty came back first for me, I'm 11 weeks out and have most of my taste back except sweet which is there but not quite right. It will get a little worse, but don't get discouraged, it gets better!

    Prayers!
    Karen
  • Irishgypsie
    Irishgypsie Member Posts: 333
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    More than half way done!!!!!
    Your more than half way done; forget about taste and what you can't eat for now; it's survival time and your just about to the 4th quarter. Start doing ensure plus, yogurt, apple sauce. Overall, ensure plus, you can thin it with water to help swallow. 6 ensure plus a day and water, water, water!!
    Don't worry taste comes back. 90% taste back 10 months out!! You can do it!!!!

    Charles
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Taste?
    I remember laying in bed and dreaming about ham and potatoes and the day I would be able to taste them again. I don't know if you have a PEG tube, but I got to the point where I used mine for nutrition and then just took what I could tolerate by mouth to keep my muscles from seizing. Once my saliva glands went, it was much harder to swallow but chicken broth, herbal teas because you can smell them so it's not the same as tasting but works, and bottled water were what I was able to tolerate. The chlorine in tap water was horrible and actually burned eventually. About 2 to 3 weeks after you finish radiation, you start getting your taste back and I'm here to tell ya, you wanna shove everything you can into your mouth just to see if you can taste it. Salty came back first for me, I'm 11 weeks out and have most of my taste back except sweet which is there but not quite right. It will get a little worse, but don't get discouraged, it gets better!

    Prayers!
    Karen

    Sweet
    Sweet took a very long time for me, and some has never came back.....but I adjusted, LOL.
  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,031 Member
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    Skiffin16 said:

    DelMonty Jarred Sliced Peaches
    In lightly sweetened syrup....

    One of the few if only things that I didn't seem to lose the taste of....

    Best,
    John

    Peaches or fruit cocktail
    Brian,

    Not much to add as the others have pretty much touched on it. Your taste buds are fried for now. Anything that I ate or drank tasted like either cardboard ( Food ) or aluminum ( Fluids ). One thing that I did figure out was to eat and drink everything at room temperature. The coldness and heat seemed to bother me more so then the room temperature foods.

    Soft boiled eggs worked for me as well as scrambled eggs with sugar free syrup poured on them to make them slide down easier. Again at room temperature. Oat meal, yogurt, anything smooth and easy to swallow. I did have a PEG Tube to fall back on. I tried not to use it, but eventually had to rely on it for a spell.

    My Best to You and Everyone Here
  • tnsilcncer
    tnsilcncer Member Posts: 64
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Sweet
    Sweet took a very long time for me, and some has never came back.....but I adjusted, LOL.

    I can live without sweet...
    It's funny that just being able to taste ANYTHING again would make you so happy! Every day it seems like I can taste a little more. I never realized what a big part food plays in our lives until I went through this! The last day of treatment, everyone wanted to celebrate and the normal way to do that would have been to go out to breakfast or lunch.....well, not that day. So I settled for buying a couple dozen cupcakes with pretty spring flowers for all my friends at the cancer center here and, making them all smile after they put up with me for 7 weeks was reward enough for me! It gets worse before it gets better but then it does get better. And I've found that the after better is even greater than it was to begin with! You sure appreciate every taste more than ever!
  • sweetblood22
    sweetblood22 Member Posts: 3,228
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    Brian
    I too am thrilled you are still able to eat food at 4 weeks! I was on my peg tube after two weeks, side effects hit fast and hard for me.

    Can you still smell? Sometimes you can kind of fake yourself out by smelling something you find super yummy. For me it was almond extract, ginger, coffee beans, and McCormick curry powder. All strong smelling items that I love the smell of. I would open them up right under my nose when I had to eat stuff that I couldn't taste, or that the smell of made me sick.

    Some soft foods you can try might be soft boiled eggs, mashed potatoes with unsalted butter and or marscarpone cheese, oatmeal and instead of sweet oatmeal for a change make it savory if you like- with home made chicken broth, green onion and chopped fresh herbs. Chopped fresh herbs like basil, thyme and parsley might help.

    I got to the point where everything burned my tongue even water. If you haven't tried the l-Glutamine, I really recommend that. It helps with mouth sores, and tongue burning. You can buy a jar of the powder in a vitamin store, like GNC or order it on line. Put 5grams (heaped spoonful) in a bottle of water and swish and swallow. If you would like to read more about it, I have a few links about Glutamine in the HNC Superthread.
  • Greend
    Greend Member Posts: 678
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    Brian
    I too am thrilled you are still able to eat food at 4 weeks! I was on my peg tube after two weeks, side effects hit fast and hard for me.

    Can you still smell? Sometimes you can kind of fake yourself out by smelling something you find super yummy. For me it was almond extract, ginger, coffee beans, and McCormick curry powder. All strong smelling items that I love the smell of. I would open them up right under my nose when I had to eat stuff that I couldn't taste, or that the smell of made me sick.

    Some soft foods you can try might be soft boiled eggs, mashed potatoes with unsalted butter and or marscarpone cheese, oatmeal and instead of sweet oatmeal for a change make it savory if you like- with home made chicken broth, green onion and chopped fresh herbs. Chopped fresh herbs like basil, thyme and parsley might help.

    I got to the point where everything burned my tongue even water. If you haven't tried the l-Glutamine, I really recommend that. It helps with mouth sores, and tongue burning. You can buy a jar of the powder in a vitamin store, like GNC or order it on line. Put 5grams (heaped spoonful) in a bottle of water and swish and swallow. If you would like to read more about it, I have a few links about Glutamine in the HNC Superthread.

    Buffets
    God made buffets for folks going through cancer treatment.

    Won't help taste but the variety makes you feel better.

    Hang in there and get ready for a new outlook on food and eating.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Greend said:

    Buffets
    God made buffets for folks going through cancer treatment.

    Won't help taste but the variety makes you feel better.

    Hang in there and get ready for a new outlook on food and eating.

    Buffets During Treatment
    Just as a caution concerning buffets....

    While they do offer a great variety of foods. That also brings a high volume of people around that food. One thing that I tried to avoid especially during treatment. Having a compromised immune system, I really tried to eliminate exposure to germs as much as possible.

    Actually I was told that was one of the places to avoid, along with malls, and other growded locations.

    But yes, once you start eating again, not under treatment and have the need to experience a wide variety of foods, buffets are definitley high on the list for experimentation.

    Just my thoughts on it...

    Best,
    John
  • sweetblood22
    sweetblood22 Member Posts: 3,228
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Buffets During Treatment
    Just as a caution concerning buffets....

    While they do offer a great variety of foods. That also brings a high volume of people around that food. One thing that I tried to avoid especially during treatment. Having a compromised immune system, I really tried to eliminate exposure to germs as much as possible.

    Actually I was told that was one of the places to avoid, along with malls, and other growded locations.

    But yes, once you start eating again, not under treatment and have the need to experience a wide variety of foods, buffets are definitley high on the list for experimentation.

    Just my thoughts on it...

    Best,
    John

    Ok. I feel a little better.
    I deleted my post about buffets. Lol. I'm glad someone else sort of feels that way about buffets. I am not even fond of them out of treatment. My friends/family think I am a little crazy. I have been food safety certified 3 times, and I've seen and read all the horror stories (facts) about buffets. I won't go into it all, but I'm not a fan. I strongly feel they should be avoided during treatment and should be avoided by anyone with a compromised immune system.
  • connieprice1
    connieprice1 Member Posts: 300 Member
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    Peg tube advantage
    Brian, My wife Connie lost all taste for food after week 3-4 during radiation. She was eating less and less so she opted for the tube. The tube has been great and she has received the nutrition she needs daily through the tube. For the last 2 months she has been 100% tube fed although a person can eat orally while on the tube if they desire and are able. Don't deprive yourself of nutrition because of the stigma of having a tube because it is very easy to operate and really helps. My wife also wanted me to mention that water tasted bad also till she tried a brand called Fiji water. It comes from springs on the island of Fiji and she drinks nothing else. So give it a try, she has drank this water throughout treatment and this has kept her swallowing going which is good throat exercise. Of course, all decisions are yours to decide but I hope everything goes well for you. Wishing you the Best, Homer & Connie
  • shoeloy
    shoeloy Member Posts: 70
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    I just finished treatment 9
    I just finished treatment 9 days ago today. The last 3 weeks were very difficult and I was only able to keep my calorie intake up by drinking Boost, which I found to be easier to drink than Ensure. Pay attention and get the plus as suggeted. No one told me the difference and I was getting the high protein which has less calories than the plus. It will get better, today I ate a bowl of oatmeal and a small pancake along with my boost. Throat hurts a little but I believe if I can eat I should. Good luck with your treatment and God Bless.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Member Posts: 69
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    food list
    i know this may seam silly but, i made a list of stuff i missed durinng the taste bud outage. Every time i would find myself missing a particular food i would add it to my list.
    As my taste buds began to re-awaken, i would try different foods to see if i could taste them again. It actually was a help to cross a food item off the list. It was another small victory, to conquer each food. I ended up with about 50 items on my list, while surviving on chicken soup and apple sauce. The first item i conquered was my mothers tomato soup. (Funny that tomatoes were the first thing to come back.)3 months out from chemo and rads and i still have a few items on that list that i haven't crossed off yet. not because i coudn't taste them but because they were vegetables that were out of season. i am watching my garden coming in every day, and soon, i'll conquer them too. (think of the wizard of oz, I'LL GET YOU MY PRETTY, AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO !!!) sorry, early morning attempt at humor. lol tonyb