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Odd Smell

tommyodavey's picture
Posts: 574
Joined: Nov 2011

Just a quick question for you all. During and now after my rad treatments whenever I bend over and stand up I get a weird smell. It's kind of like burned something and I can't say I've ever smelled it before. I'm assuming it is from the radiation burn to my sinus'. And this morning I had a sneezing fit due to the fierce winds and also smelled it right after.

My sense of smell has been really hyper ever since I had my first tongue surgery. I told my doctor then that I could smell a flower 100 yards away. He said that my nose has nothing to do with my tongue, but the fact remains the same. It is back to normal now but the funny smell still intrigues me.

Anyone else get a funny smell after RT?


Sooner79's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Jan 2012

I often described my sense of smell the first few months after radiation as "bionic smelling" because it seemed amplified about 10x. Not sure why that happens but it went back to normal after a few months.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

There is the bionic nose...where even the smell of the rubber on the nurses stethescope is over powering, I actually cover my nose....but then there is perverted smells like your burnt smell (I only call them perverted because they don't exist)...a smell of garbage, and I'll look around and there is nothing coming from the wastepaper basket, nothing on the bottom of my shoes...and then it's gone.

I thought maybe the rads were making me hyper sensitive , or possibly because I have NPC, that the tumor getting shrunk is returning a sense of smell that I may have lost?? I can tell you that food has not smelled this good since last fall...and it's not because I'm hungry...


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

as what you are describing.....my kids laugh at me and say I can smell anything anymore ...and it seems like my sense of smell is much stronger ....but I do not get the burning smell you describe ....

Tim :)

tuffenuff's picture
Posts: 277
Joined: May 2012

oh geez! i already have the bionic nose... i cannot imagine what it will be like after treatment lol!

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Don't worry about the smell Tommy....the wife and kids will get used to it, LOL....

Just teasing...

It reminds me of when I had to wear the pump for a week, each cycle of chemo for the 5FU.

I normally take showers, but with the pump attached (running to the port), I took more long hot soaks in the tub.

I could always smell a difinte odor coming from me whan having that pump sending 5FU into me every 30 seconds or so 24/7 five days in a road.

My wife said I smelled the entire house like a big medice bag..., LOL. I thought it was more putrid, like cat urine....ugh. Sorry, but then again, we have dogs as our fur children.


Ingrid K's picture
Ingrid K
Posts: 813
Joined: Mar 2011

Tommy, YES, I too had the "bionic" nose. I am now one year out from last rad treatment and I can STILL smell anything from miles away. (I told Phrannie I can give our golden retriever a run for his money with this nose, lol). My doc told me that since my taste buds are still a bit compromised, that my other senses have stepped up a bit and that is why my sense of smell is now so extra sensitive. that is not always a good thing ! My doc says it will go back to normal once all of my taste is back. In the meantime, everyone smells like they have really bad breath.

tommyodavey's picture
Posts: 574
Joined: Nov 2011

Obviously I am not alone with the hyper sense of smell. Today I woke up with a cold or really bad sinus problems. Every time I blow my nose that weird smell is there. Phrannie said it was like garbage for her. Mine is a little like rotten cabbage with that sweet tinge to it.

It is something I can live with. Just glad to see I'm not the only one with a dogs nose. Now that reminds me of a recent story. My dog was very sick about a month after my first surgery. We didn't know what it was and already had an appt with the Vet. When I got down and smelled her I told my wife that it was a yeast infection. She asked me how I knew and I just said "I can smell it". That's what it was. No more wheat products for her.

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Please remember those who sacrificed all so we could fire up the Barbi. Sounds kind of funny using the word "Happy" when we honor our fallen soldiers.


jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Yes Tommy, Jim had bionic smell for awhile after RADs but seems to be normal now.

Praying you heal fast.


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