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Metallic smell after treatment

Lyn70
Posts: 56
Joined: Jan 2021

I have just finished day 8 of 28 external radiation treatments. I was not prepared for the strong metallic odor I encountered on my person after treatment. Originally, I thought the odor was in the house somewhere at first... my cats, the trash etc. Then I realized it was attached to me.I thought it was in my clothes since I do not change into a hospital gown but that doesn't seem to be true. It seems to emanate from me. I shower but am told not to scrub off my marks. I have a very sensitive nose and this is upsetting to me. I have told no one about this until now. I wonder...can others smell this? Am I crazy? 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1795
Joined: Jun 2015

Lyn, I didn't have this experience but I remember someone posting about the exact problem a few years ago. You might want to try to search under 'metalic odor' and see if anything comes up.

So, no.... you are not crazy! It happens. 

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

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cmb
Posts: 723
Joined: Jan 2018

Good memory Cindi! This may be the link you were thinking of:

https://csn.cancer.org/node/235947

There are a lot of comments about a metallic taste in the mouth that can come during treatment. I had this and stayed away from things I really liked, such as coffee, during that time. I was afraid that I would turn off to those things permanently, just like I did with limes after an unfortunate encounter with vodka gimlets over 45 years ago. Frown

I was sensitive to external smells too. Grocery shopping was difficult because the food smells in the store made me nauseous. But I didn't notice an unusual body odor.

The bad news is that I did lose about 90% of my sense of smell completely after chemo and radiation ended. I didn't notice it right away since I've never liked perfumes or other strong scents and always bought unscented products. But I did have a couple of balsam-scented candles that I used to use at Christmas. The first Christmas after treatment I couldn't smell them. Then I noticed that I couldn't smell most things, unless it was something really strong like a turkey roasting the oven for several hours.

My doctors haven't been able to explain why this has happened. Obviously, I didn't have radiation to my head and the chemos I had don't typically cause this side effect. An MRI of my head didn't show any issues that might be the cause. So I just live with it, making sure that I keep my smoke and gas detectors in working order since I might not smell a gas leak or fire.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1795
Joined: Jun 2015

Yep! That's the one! You are so great, CMB! 

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

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Kaleena
Posts: 2064
Joined: Nov 2009

Lyn

Had the same thing.  I also had this sweet stinky odor after each of my chemo treatments.  I noticed it more when I was in bed.  I also would have what I called vubratuons.  My whole body would feel like it was vibrating and then I realized I may have been cold 

Kathy

Lyn70
Posts: 56
Joined: Jan 2021

TY, Ladies. Cindi, I shall search under metallic again. It does seem most often to occur in head and neck radiation. cmb, you are a great search historian. Thanks, again.

Kathy, TY for telling me you had the same experience. I notice the smell more at night, too. Maybe it is because there are no distractions. I assume this improved for you. I am grateful I have not lost my sense of smell or have a worse experience. Some posts mentioned a strong Clorox smell.

I bought some French Lilac spray and feel spraying this on my tshirt near the neckline may help during radiation. HUGS.

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