A woman of no taste.

I’m getting a bit fed up of not being able to taste things. Food is usually such a joy but so much of it is passing me by now. Chemo attacks the lining of the gullet and mouth and taste is often affected. Thankfully, it only lasts for about 10 days each cycle. About the half the time. For those 10 days my mouth is dry and sore and everything tastes like cardboard.

Last week I made a chicken korma and everyone said it was lovely. I could taste a bit of cumin but that was about it. 2 hours of cooking and all I got was a hint of cumin and the pulp of a naan bread.

Another day I really fancied a marshmallow and nothing! Couldn’t taste sugar at all and all a marshmallow is is sugar. I can taste pickled onions though so I had what we call Grandma’s stew (lamb stew) with pickled onions for lunch. It’s disheartening not to be able to taste and hard to carry on with a meal that seems to be just pulp and vinegar.

Sometimes tastes break through like the cheese in this Stilton and Steak pie my friend made for me. Oh but I am not supposed to eat blue cheese because of the risk of infection. Yeah, well.  Sometimes you just have to say sod it and enjoy your dinner.

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As a society food is everything, or at least it seems to be. Endless cookery books, blogs, cooking programmes. It’s how we define who we are and who we want to be. What explanation can there be, other than upward social mobility, for the prevalence of quinoa?

All our food must be free range, healthy, thrifty and aspirational. I am not saying I don’t go along with some of these. I certainly make sure I buy free range meat. Check out little black pig for fantastic meat!  It just seems to me that everyone has something to say about diet and being a cancer patient seems to mean you are expected to be even more obsessed with the health implications of what you eat.

I can’t keep up with it all. High protein, low carb, lots of veg, no sugar, super foods, everything brown. It seems to me that once I add it all together all advice seems contradictory. I figure if you just go along with what is actually an old fashioned notion of eating real food rather over processed crap then you will probably be ok.

I’m going with my Mum’s advice of everything in moderation.

Except the cream buns my friend brought before my taste buds abandoned me. I didn’t eat those with any sense of moderation at all.

9 thoughts on “A woman of no taste.

  1. yeah…I’m not much of a foodie but even I appreciate tasting good food. That’s really one joy deprived.

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    1. It’s funny but when you lose your taste you appreciate tasting all food. I even wish I could taste a Findus Crispy Pancake.

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  2. I agree with you and your Mum – good fresh food and everything in moderation. Something is very awry in our society’s relationship to its food. Can’t imagine your taste-bud blight – perhaps focus on variations in texture? Keep up the great blogging x

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    1. Texture is problematic as the lack of taste is accompanied by a painful mouth. Basically I need to eat soft mushy stuff. I eat soft mushy cardboard tasting stuff. Still, at least I eat. The 4 days I spent eating nothing at all due to nausea left me grateful to be hungry regardless of what I can taste.

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    1. I heard that too. I must admit I have avoided peanut butter on the days around chemo. I wouldn’t want to end up disliking peanut butter.

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  3. I empathize on your fighting cancer. My Grandson, Michael, had brain cancer at the age of two and survived it. It affects your life and you start looking at things differently. I blogged on it. If you give it a read maybe it will give you some comfort. I look forward to more of your blog. Keep your spirits up and enjoy life and food.

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  4. I hate to be preachy, but I’ve heard that an alkaline diet can do wonders for people undergoing chemo… It’s a lot less fun than stilton-laced pies and cream buns, as well as being a pile of quacked-out charlatan-esque crap, but since you can’t taste very much researching it could very well be worth a shot…

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    1. I know where you’re coming from, I just think that anything other than a mixed, balanced healthy diet is probably not that important. It always seems to me that, other than perhaps vegetarianism and veganism,to cut out entire food groups and only eat certain types of food can’t actually be good. I mean. I don’t suggest anyone eat only Stilton laced pies and cream buns either. That would be just as fanatical as never eating fat and only having carbs on Tuesdays.

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