For anyone that knows me well, I am a bit of a coffee fanatic. It was my business to keep coffee shops in business my teenage and college years. I love the stuff, I dream about it, I even bought a fancy Keurig coffee maker for my office at work so that I could have the good coffee happiness at my fingertips at all times (which now lives at my house and super awesome Joan bought a replacement to keep in the office so that I could be properly caffeinated at all locations). Chemo ruined coffee.
My week has been a process of learning what tastes good and what doesn’t taste good. My tastebuds were mildly impacted last round of chemo, but this round definitely kicked the “funny taste” into high gear. The best way I can describe how it makes certain things taste is that regular water tastes like swamp. I have heard it described as metallic taste, but for me, pure unadulterated swamp.
Coffee had already started to taste funny, but yesterday I found myself unable to finish a single mug of the stuff. It wasn’t really a conscious avoidance, I really took notice at the end of the day when I had half a mug left and the realization that I had never refilled. It just wasn’t drinkable.
The medications they have me on leave me hungry most of the time (good thing I am walking on the treadmill 30 minutes every morning – yes, lots of people gain a lot of weight while on chemo). I even woke up with a gurgling hungry belly in the middle of the night a couple of days ago. I have found that snacking on something every 3 hours or so curbs the appetite and teensy teensy bit of nausea that I did feel the first few days after chemotherapy. They really do have the nausea stuff under control as they promised, the side effect that I notice the most is just being tired and fuzzy headed (chemo brain, of course I got it). I forget things in the middle of a sentence and I have to write things down. It doesn’t actually impact my IQ, but thinking about more basic things takes a bit more energy than I am accustomed to.
Certain things taste just as delicious as they used to. I find Mexican and Italian foods taste great to me. Certain sweet things taste absolutely horrid, so far the worst two were grapes and key lime pie. It really is a bit of a gamble as so far there really doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to what things don’t taste good.
Now if cheese starts tasting bad we are in real trouble (my other fave on the food charts).
March 19, 2011 added note: Coffee started tasting good again! I figured I would try it because water seemed a little less swampy. It seems like my tastebuds may only be swampy temporarily, not the whole time. Yay!.