Valentine’s Dinner - Big Increase in Taste

Swoosh13
Swoosh13 Member Posts: 74 Member
edited February 13 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

Hi All,

Tonight my husband and I went out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day at our favorite steakhouse. We have not been there since May 2023 prior to his diagnosis of SCC BOT HPV +16 last July followed by 33 rad and 7 weekly Cisplatin finished 10/24/23.

He had been at around 60% taste bud return up until recently (keep in mind he is only 15 weeks post treatment. He has also regained around 20 of 30 pounds lost during treatment.

So with that being said here is what he had for dinner tonight: appetizer Calamari; main dish chillerean sea bass; side of mushrooms split with me; Parmesan potatoes; asparagus; small side salad with cucumbers and tomatoes; rolls with butter; crab on top of sea bass. Club soda with lemon (he doesn’t drink alcohol).

He literally said (for the first time) “Everything tonight tastes like it should.” I mean wow! He said with this mix of foods he could taste maybe 80% for the first time.

I know things will fluctuate depending on what he eats on any given day but SO grateful he enjoyed everything.

February 19 is his first PET/CT scan and praying for NED.

I love this man so much!

swoosh13/Gail

Comments

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,273 Member
    edited February 11 #2

    Well, it surely sounds like you folks had a wonderful evening and a wonderful meal.

    I would say your husband has gotten over a major hump if he can eat all that variety and have 80% taste to boot.

    God has Blessed you folks greatly.

    I celebrate with you...

    Take Care, God Bless

    Russ







  • scoleh
    scoleh Member Posts: 34 Member

    Congrats to you and your man, Swoosh! I’m about four months behind you husband in my treatment and am so looking forward to a steak on the grill.

  • Swoosh13
    Swoosh13 Member Posts: 74 Member

    Thanks much Russ and Scoleh!

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member

    Hi Swoosh,

    That is great! As we all know getting one’s taste back is the wholly grail of H&N cancer treatments. It was something that I spent a lot of time trying to get back to what was “normal tasting”. I didn’t get back to eating like a normal person for around seven (7) Months. But, I was always was trying everything. Similar to your husband I had Stage IVa, SCC, BOT, one Lymph node, HPV+ (surgery, radaition & Erbitux).

    Even today I am still surprised at the taste improvements I am still experiencing. Keep your mind open to everything and be satisfied with what ever you end up with. Now go have some ice cream and a piece of pie on me.

    CivilMatt

  • scoleh
    scoleh Member Posts: 34 Member

    So Matt, can you share a little more what those seven months were like for you?

  • Swoosh13
    Swoosh13 Member Posts: 74 Member

    Thanks much CivilMatt!

    Scoleh,

    Also, I'm sure CivilMatt will write back to your question above, but also wanted to tell you that my husband started taking 50 mg Zinc Sulfate as a supplement to hopefully kickstart his taste coming back. I bought it on Amazon (brand GeriCare). His PA said to take that amount/kind, and that it couldn't hurt. He probably started it a few weeks after he finished treatment. Also, what we found helped him regain his taste more quickly was (as I stated above) trying as many different foods as he could. We LOVE to go out to breakfast, and since he wasn't working during treatment, we would go out to various restaurants 2 or so times/week. Generally because breakfast portions tend to be so big, each of us could bring half home and have it for dinner as well. I didn't realize there was such a thing as Maple Bourbon Bacon out there, but now we're both hooked. And ham (for him). Because meats were the first two things that went BAD during treatment (first bacon then hamburger) he's happy to have those back.

    My husband is also the "chef" in our family and got super sick of me making "crap" as he called it during his treatment (mac 'n cheese, soups, smoothies, etc.) which was the only things he could get down back then. I knew he turned a corner after treatment when he told me he wanted to take "his kitchen" back (which I gladly let him do)!

    Hope that helps!

    Swoosh13/Gail

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member

    Scoleh,

    Well, since you asked. As I mentioned it took me a solid 7 months (actually, it was 221 days) before i was able to eat and enjoy foods like most everyone else. I tried everything, a bite here a bite there ,but almost all food tasted bad, like wet cardboard or worse. I made a point of having my Sunday dinner with my parents every weekend. It was usually some thing like a spoonful of mashed potatoes, a small bite of chicken and a few green beans and a smoothie for my nourishment. One time my Dad asked me why I did not eat more. I told everyone in the family who wanted to know about my extreme aversion to 99% o f all food

    My wife and I still went places and she would eat whatever she wanted too, but for me it was whatever I stuffed in my little igloo cooler. My igloo cooler went everywhere with me. Then, on one particular trip (221 days into my recovery)with my boss as lunch time rolled around and I did not have my cooler, I had forgotten it instead I ordered a ham sandwich from the menu and it turned out to be pretty darn good. From that time forward I was back trying to eat

    That is a short version of my 7 months.

    See you around,

    CiviMatt

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member

    Scoleh,

    I just noticed a portion of my story got deleted when I posted I. So, here it is,


    ...extreme aversion to 99% of all food. Then I went to the kitchen and picked up a can of Crisco shortening and brought it back and set it on the table and I said “this is what food tastes like for me.” The can of Crisco may not have been the best example I could make, but it got the point across to them.


    Extra thoughts from civilmatt

    One thing my wife and I never understood was that I liked to eat popcorn from just about day one of recovery. Another thing is, I always drank atleast10 glasses of water a day during treatment and I continued that practice for years afterwards. I felt like that had to have some positive outcomes for my recovery. I never got mad about my eating or not eating, I was just happy to be around and enjoy life. It was a challenge for me to do and try everything I could think of get back to the “world of eaten”.

    Later,

    CivilMatt

  • scoleh
    scoleh Member Posts: 34 Member

    Swoosh and Matt: Many thanks to you both for your further remarks. I chuckled, Swoosh, when I read that your husband is the chef of the family. I am too and though my wife is capable of making crappy meals, I'd never have the gumption to let her know. LOL! And I appreciated your remark about Crisco, Matt. I wouldn't have come up with that analogy on my own, but I get it. Yuck!

  • Swoosh13
    Swoosh13 Member Posts: 74 Member

    Scoleh,

    When I told my husband your comment about “crappy meals” he bust a gut laughing.

    Our dog and I were living on Dominoes pizza and toxic bell deliveries when he was in his last couple of weeks of treatment. Glad those days are over!

    Swoosh13

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,273 Member

    Oh no, now I am hungry for a piece of pizza...

    Take Care, God Bless

    Russ