Of the many side effects of chemo, one relatively minor one is that it effects the way things taste. Many people report that foods have a metallic taste, or that using metal utensils imparts such a taste on the food. I have not had the metallic issue, but holy moly, my taste buds have gone haywire.
First, there is the dry mouth problem. That’s another of the more minor side effects – chemo is drying in general, and in particular dries out your mouth. This is one of the first side effects I’d noticed. It is uncomfortable, but it does encourage me to hydrate more. It also makes me crave moist foods, especially brothy soups. During Chemo Round 1 I had a hankering for soup dumplings that I was finally able to assuage; phở is also high on my list.
But the real problem I’m having is that everything tastes bland. I’ve never been an over-salter, but I sure am now. Just about the only things that seem to have enough salt on them are potato chips and saltine crackers. Sweet things are not sweet enough. Mildly bitter things are horribly bitter. When in doubt, shake a jar of cayenne pepper or a squeeze of Sriracha sauce on whatever I’m eating, and it becomes tolerable. Two foods that are very disappointing right now: cheese and chocolate.
Even water is not cold enough; I’ve always been a room-temperature water drinker, but now everything has to have ice in it.
Tad recently came home with some “hot & spicy” Asian instant noodle soup bowls. I guess I’ve been out of college for too long because I’d completely forgotten about the existence of ramen noodles. Totally hits the spot.