Help! I need flavour!


Help! I need flavour!

Hi.  I'm a head and neck cancer person... have just had 7 weeks of radiation plus 3 chemo sessions involving sitting in that chair for 5 hours each time 😞


I am one week out of treatment.  Yes I'd say this has been the worst week for me.  I can actaully handle the pain - I use slow release painkillers via arm patches - but taste is non existent most of the time and the absolute worst nightmare I am enduring is that thick phlegm/stringy mucous that clogs up my throat and like a well trained goalie, tries to block everything I try to swallow...


At present I can't even swallow my supplements - they get stuck in my throat.  I'm pretty much on a liquid diet.


which brings me to my question - today I made a beautiful lamb and vegie soup - the plan being even if I can't eat the meat, the vegies will become really mushy and slide down and I will still get the benefit of the protein and vitamins etc in the soupy part... BUT despite seasonings and herbs, my once favourite soup has become tasteless.


so i added a whole large container of beef stock and extra seasoning.  Nothing.

So I added a sachet of French Onion soup.  Nothing.

So I added another sachet of French Onion soup.  Still nothing.


It tastes like varying degrees of mushy cardboard pieces in a tasteless warm liquid of unknown origin!


What else can I try adding that might add flavour???


My taste is weird.

I can drink (and slighty taste) apple juice.  

but I cant eat stewed apple - tasteless and won't go down.


I can't drink orange juice with LOTS of ice blocks (otherwise it stings my throat)

But I cant eat orange pieces!


I can also drink Pineapple juice - but can't eat pineapple pieces.


I can barely taste and enjoy spearmint flavoured milk and choc milk - but no other flavours.

But I can't taste real chocolate.


I can also taste lemon flavours - but can't drink it because it stings.  Thought i'd be smart and try a lemon cheesecake (plan to eat the cheese part and not the base)... but I couldn't taste a thing!  😞


Last week I could taste scrambled eggs but this week I can't.


I can eat tomatoes and taste them but ONLY if they are fried or grilled - not raw.


I can also eat and enjoy zucchini slices grilled and thus softened...  but I can't taste other vegies in my soup!  Not even the carrots!


Anyhow, I digress... looking for ideas to put some taste in my soup so I can eat it 🙂



Super Contributor

Re: Help! I need flavour!

Hi Dee58,

I'm sorry to hear about your cancer and the effect that it is having on your sense of taste.

I didn't have those symptoms from my chemo (I had a difference cancer/chemo), but I had different issues.

My chemo went on for 6 months and effected my diet in other ways.


I also noticed that there is now a head and neck peer support group.


Maybe you can find more specific support in there.

Thinking of you.




Re: Help! I need flavour!

Thanks @sch - I did post a similar flavour request on head and neck and got a link but not much else that I'd hoped for so figured Id try the question to the wider group 🙂
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