Loss of Taste: Curse or Blessing?

Loss of taste was one of the signs that I had cancer and then when I started chemo, it was also one of the side effects.  During my cancer battle, while I was hospitalized one of the amazing nurses brought me my favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate and I was so happy that I opened it with much anticipation.  As I got the spoon and scooped up a spoonful of creamy chocolate ice cream and placed it inside my mouth, I was expecting for my taste buds to cheer with joy.  Sadly, my taste buds as well as I were devasted with the lack of taste.  I could feel the cold, smooth soft creamy texture of the ice cream on my tongue, yet I could not taste the exquisite, indulgent, decadent chocolate flavor I knew and loved.  I was so crushed by this realization that I thought to myself “great another joy in life that cancer has taken from me, this feels like a curse.”

Throughout my cancer journey, I had a few days in between chemo treatments where I could actually taste.  Well, let me be more specific, I could taste only certain foods.  During these days, I not only was able to taste certain foods but I would also feel hungry and crave certain foods.  One of the foods that I could taste was fried chicken, therefore that was one of the foods that I would crave during my good days as I would call them.  Before I was diagnosed with Cancer I would occasionally eat fried chicken but it was not my favorite and it was definitely not a food that I craved at all.  Therefore, I found it quite unusual that now during my cancer battle it was quickly becoming one of my favorite things to eat and crave.  My taste buds had changed drastically and I was learning to enjoy different types of foods during my good days where I could actually taste food.  I found that during the good days I was eager and willing to try different foods that I normally wouldn’t eat.  Every bite I took was like an unexpected party in my mouth. Even though I had originally thought the loss of taste was a curse I soon realized that it was a blessing. Although it was another adjustment in my life it was a blessing that caused me to become more adventurous in trying different cuisines with an open mind. It allowed me to broaden my horizons and savor each morsel as a flavor explosion in my mouth.

Although, it was difficult at the beginning to adjust to having one of the joys in life taken away by the horrid cancer, it then opened the door to new flavors.  At the time, I perceived it as a negative side effect, but then I saw the positive that resulted from this negative.  Now, I have continued the adventure in continuously trying new foods and flavors that have broaden my taste buds.


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