weird chemo taste buds

Hi ladies
I thought I would start this lightweight thread to collect stories about how your taste buds have been affected by chemo. You read about weird and wonderful cravings on this site occasionally and I thought it would cheer us all up to share them. We can all do with a chuckle.

Personally straight after the first chemo session (I posted this elsewhere before) I started craving the roast chicken you buy ready made at the rotisserie counter. You know the one with that lovely brown glaze still hot from the oven? Yummy! Couldn’t get enough of the blasted thing. OH had to buy two in one session, and of course HE had to eat it too. (I have calmed down now).
I also fancy Twiglets and Marmite (which I never bothered with previously).

Can’t drink normal tea anymore. The thought of green tea (which I started drinking after my op because I read so many good things about)makes me heave. On the other hand I really fancy Bovril (eh?). I’ll be going to football matches next…

Oh…and I have kind of gone off sweet things. I was partial to a good muffin/slice of cake before chemo hit town but now it would have to be a cheese scone.
Anybody else out there wanting to share their cravings (or things they have suddenly gone off)?
Lulu XX

Steak! A nice, thick, juicy steak with all the trimmings - onions, mushrooms, chips, etc. Something that I never usually eat. As I didn’t have steak in the house (now there’s a surprise) and didn’t go shopping (rather less of a surprise) I never did satisfy that craving.

Maybe after the next chemo session …

Lulu and Tarragon so far 2 savoury lots of cravings and on the salty side too.Whilst I don’t (didn’t) have a sweet tooth particularly I too craved savoury salty things more than ever plain salted crisps, marmite on toast and chilli con carne. The only sweet things I wanted were fresh pineapple (still do)and sherbert lemons (not any more)Lulu nice to see a light hearted thread to cheer us up. I remember saying to my d-i-l that they may need to add seasoning to a stew I had cooked and I had to explain why.Later at the table youngest g-son, aged 6 (on the right of my pic) at the time, said 'Do your taste buds stop working when you get old?'We had not known he was there and listening.Love Jackie

Haribo cola bottles, ice cold cola, cola ice lollies, you can see the theme! Foodwise, nothing tasted right, everything had a strange aftertaste, even just water was foul! All back to normal real quick. X

I’ve been vegetarian since I was about 10, so I can’t even really remember what meat tastes like. But when I first start to feel better after chemo can’t get enough of meaty things - veggie burgers, sausages, hotdogs, mince, pate. I have never eaten meat substitutes and now can’t seem to eat anything but. Haven’t actually thought of eating meat but v strange all the same.

I felt very sick after fec Chemo and could not eat or drink anything red. To boost red cells on tax I drank guiness, always hated it before but now really enjoy it seven weeks after last of thecsix Chemo cycles!

Great new thread Lulu. I am fascinated by whats happened to my taste buds. Basically nothing tastes good but am constantly putting things in my mouth to get rid of dry sensation in mouth. Every day my taste seems to change and and I am eating things I would not have liked in the past. The only drink I consistantly like is original lucozade, oh and hot chocolate often works too. I used to love tea and havent had a cup since started chemo. Loved the juice you made this morning Lulu - it was delicious and healthy too. Unfortunately when I left you I went in to town and suddenly craved a Greggs Sausage Roll - but it did taste good! Anything with a mild taste makes me feel sick. I so agree about water, even the flavoured type - horrible. Have eaten loads of soft fruit every day. Twister ice lollies are favourites and fruit jellies are easy on sore throats. Twiglets have been great too. It is a constant struggle to find balance between what is healthy and what relieves the discomfort, even for a minute. Any other recommendations?

To explain: me and Cazza have become chemo buddies thanks to this wonderful website (I realised Cazza was from the same town so contacted her). I invited her this morning to my house and we had a juicing session (I have resurrected my juicer after 10 years!). Mercifully I haven’t gone off fruit and neither has she! Plus I have to counteract all the Bovril, twiglets and all other “evil” things I am ingesting.
Disappointed about sausage roll though, it has got to be said, after all the health offered in a glass…
Still, who gives a damn, eh?
BUT WHY do we all fancy meat, even the vegetarians?
Very strange!
Lulu XX

Hi Ladies
My first time on this site, so here goes

My taste buds have gone nuts, I never used to eat between meals, now i pick all day long. First week after chemo, I eat anything cold, ice cream,yoghurt and now have a major sweet tooth where before only wanted savoury, so chocolate is bought on every shopping trip
I must have put on at least a stone in weight by just eating junk
hope i get back to normal, only 2 chemo to go and cannot wait to get back to the urge to eat a curry

I tell you something I have noticed which may sound a bit silly but much of the food/drink I fancy at the moment is much the same colour ie yellow/orange/brown! Pineapples, red meat, ritz crackers, sausage rolls (sorry Lulu!) oranges, bananas, marmite, jellies in those colours, lucozade, and others are mentioning steak, stews, coke. On the other hand milk, water, yoghurt, cakes, do nothing for me. What do you think? I think I may be on to something here - a scientific breakthrough! There is probably the makings of a PHd in there for some bright student! But remember - you heard it from me first - can anyone think of an appropriate headline? ‘Chemo recipients prefer blondes’ - no perhaps not!

BBQ pringles- just two or three hourly to stop the nausea. Toast with jam but not too dry. After eight mints and bourbans. From day 10 anniseed balls or fruit pastilles-- All so healthy!!!

Have lost half a stone on first cycle which I hope to repeat for all six. On target so far…

Andi x

Hi there
some of you may already know that I was off on holiday in Norfolk 2nd week in from first FEC. Taste buds also went on holiday for a few days. Me and OH had a good laugh when I said in all seriousness when in a fave eatery ’ How does your chicken taste?’ OH: ‘Its really nice’
Me: ‘I must be enjoying it then’ I went by texture, but taste buds made a welcome return soon after.
I ate loads of sweeties and cakes. Have had to stop now cos its not the healthiest of diets. However, dark chocolate Leibnitz biscuits are hard to beat!
x sarah

last year i had epi-cmg and had different likes and dislikes with both chemos…

after epi i had a furry tongue so like fizzy juice and drank gallons of pepsi max, also liked fruit jellies with sugar on which helped get rid of the fuzzy tongue… and on the day after chemo which was friday i always had a chicken pasanda… yum yum yum! spicy things were best.

water and tea tasted nasty… also chocolate didnt taste nice… i remember eating minstrels which tasted like stones out the garden LOL and melon which tasted great the day before chemo but tasted like perfume the day of chemo… also nearly half poisioned my sis with salt in the home made soup… i just couldnt taste the salt at all… oops!

but never got any mouth ulcers on the epirubicin.

when i went on cmf i couldnt eat my yummy curries cos my mouth was too sore and i did get some ulcers with it… was only really able to eat blander food, but my appetite did increase and got major munchies and put on a stone.


If it’s any help to tea lovers, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t drink tea at home yet could drink it at our local while having a meal. After questioning them what tea etc. they were using, it turned out that they were using long-life (UHT) milk (which I’d never liked before). Tried it at home and BINGO not quite the same as before chemo but as near as dammit!! Good luck all of you. xx

Oh the chicken thing -Yes absolutely, couldn’t get enough of the stuff, and still can’t 5mths post chemo!! Also during chemo, I couldn’t get enough of melon and crumpets, lots and lots of buttery crumpets! The only things I could drink was cranberry juice and very strong tea.
On the bright side, my previous love of cakes has virtually gone and even biscuits taste so sweet now I just can’t eat them. Mind you, my waistline has improved so I’m not complaining.

i finished my FEC in Feb this year.

When i was on chemo, i was ‘addicted’ to sprouts, with lots of gravy and cottage pie. I was even having it for breakfast. (ha)

Then everything was tasting creamy- regardless of what it was.

Since finishing FEC. my tastes have changed. Now i cant stand sushi, or kippers, but i love turkish delight choc , raspberries, and mayo which i didnt like to eat before.