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South Louisiana Food

spector551's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 2013

Well, I'm starting to get bummed about food. I am born and raised in South Louisiana and food is life here - and now I'm starting to totally lose the taste of things. So, I have two questions:

With my radiation for tonsil cancer, will I ever be able to eat spicy foods again? Crawfish? Gumbo? Hot sausage?

How long into treatments did you get before the taste was just gone?


God bless,


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4317
Joined: May 2012



This is an area where we (H&N) are all over the place.  While my taste is still diminished, I can eat spicy foods as I did before treatments.  I was never a fan of “drop dead” spicy or hot, but like a little activity going on and now with hit-n-miss taste buds the spice is more important to me.

For me my taste buds started checking out during week 3, but it was the nasty feel of food which plagued me for 7 months.

While most of us enjoyed eating before treatments, we are very opinionated about eating post treatments.  I would just be prepared to follow where ever it leads and be happy without cancer and with life.

I am now happily eating whatever I want and my taste is fair to great.



Posts: 839
Joined: May 2013

I lost ALL taste after my first week of rads.  I am 5 months out and still can't eat anything hot or spicy.  Now, we are all very different in how we react to treatments, so you may do better than I have.  My favorite things include spicy chicken and I haven't been able to tolerate any of it yet.  I hope I will again one day, though :)

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Me to punish you, don't you, LOL....

Well I'd like to say yes, you will definitely be able to eat spicy foods, or actually anything and everything you ate before..., but I can't.

Myself, I definitely have 100% of my taste back, with no limitations... a few aren't as fortunate, but I feel given time, most get there.

Now that being said, it might take awhile..., for me it was two years or so. But in reality, I had a pretty good percent of taste back in six months or so... Saliva took awhile to get back.. Get used to a bottle of water with you 24/7 for several weeks to several months.

Eventually I got back around 95% of my saliva, just drying a little at night during sleep.


Oh yes..., now your punishment, or encouragement, LOL..., depends on your outlook.

Low Boil with plenty of Old Bay...


Grouper Chowder...

grouper chowder

Stone Crab....


I'd say...yep, life is good..

You'll be chomppin Sac-a-Lait, and Boudin before you know it...




j4mie's picture
Posts: 218
Joined: Sep 2013

you like to punish all of us! That looks incredible! I say we plan a CSN get together and you're in charge of the food! Laughing


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Sounds like a plan....

I'm just making up for all of the lost time that I endured, drooling imaginary drool, and recording all of those Food Channel Shows for several months..., while I was sucking down only water and Ensure.


dunedintech's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Apr 2013

Jamie - the taste started heading south around week 3 for me. It was about this stage I was thinking that I would never be able to taste food again. However now I am 7 months post treatment all is back, bar sweet. I can also eat spicy food again which is handy as I live in Singapore. I would not try to think about it too much. It varies for all but things do come back for the majority of us, albiet slowly.

Positive vibes from Singapore.


spector551's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 2013

Wow, it really is all over the place! Yeah, I'm in my third week and it is starting to take the big dive. Tasting very little now.

Skiffin, you are terrible... but doesn't it all look so yummy!! I can't wait to be able to eat such things again!

Dunedintech, you don't really have much choice but to consume some spicy foods, eh? My wife is a Chinese Malaysian that grew up in Singapore. I have been out your way many, many times and I love it! Can't wait to be able to eat the food there too!!


God bless,


lornal's picture
Posts: 428
Joined: Sep 2013

I lost my taste at about 3 weeks.  (My radiation was 2 weeks - 1 week to heal etc.)  Chocolate milk stayed flavored the longest.

After treatments, I was getting IV w/ potassiom  - long and tedious. SO, I found a sports drink with it that stayed down.  Then one day, about 6 weeks after treatment, I woke up had some of that sports drink - my taste buds were back - and that drink was disgusting.

As far as spicy - ketchup is too much for me.

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Everything through tx tasted salty to me but I never lost my taste. My journey started nearly 2 years ago and I still don't do too well with spicy. Like Lornal, ketchup somedays but not others, same with blue cheese.  Early on, I ate allot of crab legs because the melted butter was so soothing on my lips. Trial and error but don't ever quit trying the things you love. I love chilli and have learned that I can still enjoy it if I make it with a very limited amt. of spice. Magic Mouthwash helps me when there is something I know might burn but I simply can't resist. I lost 65 pounds and my husband gained 15 or 20 because he ate everything that I thought I could eat but couldn't. I can do Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce but not some of the others. Once you are thru tx, try a buffet. That's a good starting point to find out some of the things that work and others that don't. 


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

Jamie, i had rads in 8/09 and then neck disection and laryngectomy in 2012.  i never liked spicy foods before those tx but now the spicier the better.  i just started being able to really eat and taste within the last 7 months.  because i can no longer smell since the laryngectomy, it has really taken a long time for the taste of food to come back.  i still can't taste alot but like i said, i can taste and tolerate the spicy.  i hope you will be able to enjoy it again once tx is way in your past.  never give up, just hang in there and keep tying new foods.  like candi said (i think it was candi), try a buffett, that way you can try many different foods at one sitting.  good luck and happy eating.

God bless you,


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1648
Joined: Dec 2012


As you see, cancer treatments affect each person so differently there is no way to predict how your taste will hold up or return. In my case, I lost at most 50% of my taste and never got any off tastes, just muted. Then everything tasted hyper-sensitive and any salt was too much and dry foods such as bread and crackers were just too dry.

Tastes did return to normal levels and now at 5 months post, I'd rate my taste buds about 95% fully restored. The remaining 5% is tolerance for spice. But that 5% is beyond 90% of the American population. I can just about tolerate the hottest and spiciest dishes one can be served in a restuarant. My head sweats profusely which it never did before. At home, I am now throwing in spoonfuls of chili powder back in dishes and enjoy the zing. Still afraid to chomp on Thai birdseye or Habanero chilis but I suspect I'll get there again. Seeded serranos are comfortable now.

Sit back and enjoy the smoothies for awhile, things will improveover time. Don

spector551's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 2013

Thanks guys, ya'll are the best.


I'm almost finished with my third week. I can taste still, at around 50%. The blander (unfortunately) the better because the most powerful tastes of the bland foods I can taste better than foods that have complex ingredients. BOOOOOOOOOOO! In any case, I'm glad to still be able to taste some things at this point.


God Bless,




Ps> I'm getting waaaay better being under the mask now. Thank you Jesus for that. I have found that the key for me is prayer. Nothing has even come close.

Posts: 57
Joined: Oct 2012

I lost all taste. I'm 17 mo post tx and taste is fairly normal now with the exception of pop. It tastes terrible. I can just about tolerate pico and mild chili. They both burn a little but go away after 15 mins or so. I used to love spicy food but can no longer eat anything above a very mild heat.

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