What’s That Smell ??

Life After Cancer — By on July 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Throughout my life I have always had a heightened sense of smell. And that sense in particular has always been very connected to my memory. Some of my favorite smells are my Amarige perfume, lavendar, buttercream scented candles, fresh linens, my grandma’s gravy (what we italians called sauce, oh how I miss it), my husbands cologne, and the smell of the ocean. Some of the smells I hate are bandaids, cigarette smoke, fresh cut grass, the inside of a hospital as well as the more obvious ones!

Whenever I enter a room, or my car, or even outside its often the first question I ask. And depending on what it is I will be flooded with memories. When I go to Sloan for my checkups the second I enter the office building the smell nearly knocks me down…the familiarity of it. Its a stark reminder of what I have been through. It brings all fear back to me. By the same token though the smell of my husbands cologne lingering in the house after he leaves makes me smile and feel a comfort. When I was growing up my grandma made gravy every Sunday. I miss that smell. It always made me feel good in a house that was riddled by fighting and yelling. On some Sundays when I make that same gravy I smile and think of her.

During my treatment I would bring something with me that smelled good to me, like a piece of cloth doused with my favorite perfume or lavendar oil. It helped me to deal with the smell of sickness all around me in the hospital. Sometimes it worked and other times it didn’t but I felt it was worth a try.

Do you find that certain smells trigger your memory? If so what are they? How do you deal with those smells that trigger unpleasant memories?

I am the author of Breastless in the City.  Visit me at cathybueti.com

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