I can’t tell you the happiness involved in finding that food and drink tastes normal again! I feel very sympathetic towards old folks that have lost their sense of smell and can no longer enjoy their food.
Being able to enjoy the flavours and smells of food and talk about food and drink is an important part of my life. I’ve always had quite a good sense of smell which means I can put on an adequate Jilly Goolden impression at wine tastings and point out some interesting flavoured beers at beer festivals.
It’s really hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced chemo, how tiring it can be. The ridiculous feeling of being giddy and breathless after climbing 2 flights of stairs. Not being able to just unload a washing machine without being knackered. Feeling so tired that you’re crying and have to be put to bed like a 3-year-old.
In some ways, the part I found hardest was not being able to eat or drink anything without it tasting like some strange hybrid of food, metal and plastic. I was doing really well at drinking loads of water every day through the first few rounds of chemo but then once everything I drank tasted nasty it was quite hard to keep motivated with that. I think that’s why my nails suffered during the last round of treatment as the chemicals were just more concentrated in me.
The simple joy of feeling alive again is wonderful.
Food, glorious food! Don’t care what it looks like.
Burned! Underdone! Crude! Don’t care what the cook’s like.
Just thinking of growing fat – Our senses go reeling
One moment of knowing that full-up feeling!
Food, glorious food! What wouldn’t we give for
That extra bit more – That’s all that we live for
Why should we be fated to do nothing but brood
On food, Magical food,
Wonderful food, Marvellous food,
Lyrics from “Oliver”