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Taste, Swallowing

Montreal's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi, I just came back from my 8 weel checkup and I am all good.  I finished 6 weeks of radiation and six sessions of chemo Nov 15 2012.

I still am not able to taste sweet. My doctor said it takes about 18 months to get back to my new normal.

I strongly suggest that any one with some dry mouth watch what they eat; one can easily have food stuck in their throat.

I recently had a stranger in a restaurant perform the Heimlich manouver on me.


Health is Wealth

The best to all

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4336
Joined: May 2012


Heimlich Maneuver, now that is a first for me. So far I have been able to cough or hack up anything which gets stuck.  Smaller bites and lots of liquids is what has worked for me.

I can eat just about anything, but tasting is from minimal to fair.

Hey, was it a stranger who helped you and was it like you see on TV or was it more scary and freaked you out (just wondering)?

Every day I am improving and learning the new normal.


Montreal's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi Mat,

It was just like in the movies..luckily the lady was sitting right next to me. She saw I was having a problem and she asked me I wanted the Heimlich Maneuver...... Unable to speak I nodded yes and 3 squeezes later, I spit it out. Learned a lesson..I will not eat steak again. I will never forget that birthday party.

She learned how to do it at work. She is part of a medical respnse unit at her job in a Vinyl plant.

I was very fortunate ......I could have choked to death.



fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Montreal,

I was fortunate that for whatever reason, I never lost my taste. The dry mouth and swallowing were a different story. I've not choked on anything and like Matt, I've been able to cough up anything that seems to get stuck. While I have about 50% of my saliva back, I still need lots of water to eat and help me swallow. It's "chew, chew, sip, swallow" and small bites.

Glad someone was there to help you!

Positive thoughts and prayers


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4336
Joined: May 2012


Steak is one of the few things which taste good to me.  I am very cautious, but accidents do happen.  I am very happy for the stranger who helped you.  I guess we need to wear a medical ID bracelet “H&N, no taste, give water or Heimlich”.

For me food felt terrible and I lived on smoothies (90%) for 7 months.  Those days are behind me now.



phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

It's good for 3 bites and then all taste is gone.....I keep giving icecream every chance to come back to my life...but so far, to no avail. 

As for the swallowing....that exact thing happened with me and boiled chicken....all of a sudden it was stuck in the very back of my throat, and I couldn't breath.....scared the crap out of me.  I managed to hawk it out, but decided I wouldn't be eating meat again when I was alone.


Viilik70's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: May 2012

  It defininely scares the tar out of you to the point you feel like your eyes are going to pop out of your head! I have the same trouble with meat, especially stupid hotdogs, but they smell so good off the grill! I still from time to time spray my food all over myself so don't feel alone when it happens just be happy when you're the only one there and your family is not around, but my family is very understanding : ) still mordifies me though :( I'm so used to almost choking that for the most part can control it except for the big ones! Great advice on the smaller bites, but I just can't control myself sometimes when I'm really hungry and have been able to eat normal for 39 years so it's a hard habit to break at 43! God bless : )

Posts: 839
Joined: May 2013

I'm certainly glad that stranger was there and knew what to do!  


I actually only have had dry mouth when I first wake up.  Otherwise, I've had too much saliva!!  Sweets taste horrible to me and leave a terrible aftertaste, but I'm loving salads, bbq and green beans.  Weird.  I finished tx on June 21


I hope you continue to improve daily! 

Roar's picture
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2013

1- I am almost 9 months post treatment

2- I could not eat steak or any solid meat for months after treatment- it was not until recently I learned I could start to eat meat again but it had to be sliced thin and very rare

3- sweet has not returned yet- however last night my wife cut up this incredible candy caramel apple and gave me a slice- my first bite I thought my taste was back as I could actually tasts the sweet, but after that it went back to being a salty type taste 

4- I don't travel anywhere without my water bottle- every meal I have has water with it- small price to pay for life

5- I had my first bag of salt and vinerger potatoe chips yesterday with my egg saiad sandwich and I could actually taste them

6- last week was actually able to taste wine for the first time since my operation 

7- I still have to constantly clear my throat and have this sticky substance on my tongue and roof of mouth 

8- when I work out or compete I have to keep my throat moist as the throat dries out fast when exercising

so i think the 18 month scenario your doctor gave you is correct

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