Throat Blog — Poor Taste


Ok, maybe you though I was going to talk about my sense of humor. A good guess, but no, this post is about how chemo has altered my sense of taste.

Around the end of round 1, I started having altered taste, and now it is pretty extreme. The altered taste falls into one of three categories:

  • Taste is modified to something usually bitter or bad in some other way.
  • Taste is muted to neutral “mush” taste.
  • Taste is amplified.

Example, most Mondays I go to a favorite Italian restaurant and get a cup of clam chowder and a Lance Armstrong (that is a side spaghetti with one meatball).

The noodles tasted fine. The marinara tasted metallic, and the meatball tasted like it had been soaked in acetone after the acetone had been used to clean engine parts.

Sweets and salts tend to be amplified. Umami flavors (mushrooms, cream, etc) tend to taste OK.

So, that, combined with a general lack of appetite and early satiation have me fighting to maintain a bantom weight of 121.7 lbs. As a point of reference, I weighed about 134 before the first cycle started on 8/23.

Doctor prescribed Dronabinol which is a man-made form of THC. It is supposed to help with appetite, and does not get you high. I’ve been trying it since Saturday and it might be helping a little…my weight has plateaued at 121.7 lbs. Hopefully it will stop dropping, now. I’m getting “crepe paper” skin all over.

I don’t feel particularly great, but also not particularly bad. Somewhere in the “meh” zone. No real nausea…but I’m sure if I kept eating after my “full” signals started firing that could quickly change. So, also trying to spread out the calories. Going to switch to some other side pasta (maybe Fungus Fettuccini). And, keep on keeping it down.

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