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Sense of smell

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Okie Girl View Drop Down
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    Posted: Aug 26 2009 at 4:51pm
Just wondering if any of you have lost your sense of smell after chemo?  I have noticed that I can't smell things very well - my favorite candles, lotions,terrible odors, etc. are very faint and I have to almost have my nose on things to smell it.  This is very ironic because during chemo I could smell everything to the max!!  I hope you gals don't think I'm crazy - just wondering if anybody else has noticed changes like this? 
dx:1/11/08 Stage IIa, 2/1/08 bi-lat mast.,no node involvement, 3/4/08 4 rounds of A/C then 4 rounds of Tax., 9/14/08 reconstruction with expanders, implant exchange 2/25/09, nipples 8/11/09
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Lillie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 26 2009 at 5:19pm
Hello Okie Girl,

During my last 4 chemo treatments (taxol + gymzar) my smeller broke down completely. My husband's sunscreen, which I didn't even smell before chemo, made me almost throw up everytime I got close to him after he had just applied it. The smell was so strange and awful.

Also I bought a new box of Este Lauder bath powder (my favorite, "Youth Dew"). I could not smell it at all. My husband said it smelled wonderful as usual, but I thought something was wrong with the powder because I couldn't smell it. I kept it and a few months after I finished chemo I got my sense of smell back. The bath powder did smell wonderful and I could no longer smell the sunscreen.

That is two incidences that really stand out in my mind. Hope this helps. That chemo does some strange things to our bodies, doesn't it?

Love in Christ,

Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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HappyGoLucky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HappyGoLucky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 26 2009 at 5:27pm
Hi Okie
 
You're not crazy....
 Mine was on overdrive , not lost and the worst taste was water believe it or not.
My nose has been in overdrive, very hypersensitive to bad odors, funky odors even mice odors and when i think i am going crazy  and i walk in the halls of my apartment house and smell the  cooking of diff families , I have to hold my nose and run into the house or get so queazy. Its either too much or too little. In noticed tho that now thatI am on Taxol and avastin for 12 weeks the nose has improved. A/C and avastin was seriously bad news for me. 
 
 
my tastebuds went into a disappearing act and mouth was so tender I could not eat crispy, spicy tangy foods. THe cancer society's booklets say creamy, smooth bland and that works for me.  Applesauce, rice pudding and yogurts are treats and pasta and mac and cheese. So different from the way I usually eat.
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unklezwifeonty View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unklezwifeonty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 26 2009 at 8:32pm
Originally posted by Lillie Lillie wrote:

.....During my last 4 chemo treatments (taxol + gymzar) my smeller broke down completely....


Hi Lillie,

I am led to believe that AC (4 cycles) + T (4 cycles) is the standard care. I am guessing you had AC before getting T. Wondering what the rationale was to add Gemzar (spelling?) to the mix during the T phase. Please advise.

Love,

Dx: Jul/09. Age: 37. Grade: High. Size: 3cm. BRCA: -ve. Lumpectomy: Aug/09. Micromet 1/9 node. Chemo Start: Sep/09. Kicked from E5103 due to Taxol reaction. Now on AC->Abraxane. Zometa (S0307).
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Lillie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 27 2009 at 4:38am
Hello Unklezwifeonty,

You are correct in that I took AC (4 cycles + T & gymzar (4 cycles).

Reason for Gymzar: I was part of a clinical trial back in 2006 in which gymzar was added to see if it makes any difference in recurrence. They will contact me when I am 5 years away from diagnoses to see what has been going on in my life. The oncology clinic I go to has an employee whose job is to follow the clinical trial studies. She keeps all the information on my follow-up exams for the first 5 years. I don't know all of the ramifications of taking the gymzar, but hopefully it did make a difference.   

Love in Christ,

Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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Nancy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 27 2009 at 10:13am
Dear Okie Girl,
 
A few months back I edited the chemo tips to add a few posts by some of the women on the "sense of smell". It is very interesting to hear how many different products/things smell so differently when one is on chemo. Of course your sense of smell then affects your sense of taste. Nope you are not crazy at all, and it is the chemo causing this.
 
If you want to get an updated version of the chemo tips, just click on the TNBC News, Resources & tips forum...right on those words, and then scroll down the page to foum topics, and go to page 2.
Hugs,
Nancy


Edited by Nancy - Aug 28 2009 at 6:16am
Nancy
DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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unklezwifeonty View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unklezwifeonty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 27 2009 at 6:25pm
Originally posted by HappyGoLucky HappyGoLucky wrote:

.......In noticed tho that now thatI am on Taxol and avastin for 12 weeks the nose has improved. A/C and avastin was seriously bad news for me.....


Hello HappyGoLucky,

I am also in New Jersey! Question for you: what was your diagnosis and what made them decide to add Avastin?

((Hugs))




Dx: Jul/09. Age: 37. Grade: High. Size: 3cm. BRCA: -ve. Lumpectomy: Aug/09. Micromet 1/9 node. Chemo Start: Sep/09. Kicked from E5103 due to Taxol reaction. Now on AC->Abraxane. Zometa (S0307).
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claudialarsson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote claudialarsson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 05 2016 at 10:41am
Hi all,
with AC portion of treatment am constantly nauseous and smells are magnified 100x.  I cannot tolerate any sweet, dense type of cologne - not to mention chemical smells.  I feel like a blood hound or a mold sniffing dog as every smell is isolated and magnified.  cannot wait for this to end...Confused


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Lillie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 05 2016 at 9:39pm
Dear claudialarsson,
It has been 10 years since I had AC, but I can vividly remember my repulsion to odors.  The worst one was the smell of my husbands sun-screen.  He had to wear it everyday because of his tendency to skin cancer.   It was so bad that in the mornings he gave me a good-by kiss before putting on the sun-screen.  My favorite for years, Estee Lauder body powder (youth dew) had to be removed from the house. 
It does end when the chemo stops, so there is a silver lining after all.  So glad you posted about this problem.   It give an opportunity to share this information with other ladies who think they have become "blood hound or mold sniffing dogs".
Love and God Bless,
Lillie 
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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