Monday, January 23, 2006

January 23, 2006 - In the Zone

For each of the past four mornings, I’ve been taking my prescribed daily dose of the steroid prednisone – 100 mg, which I’m told is a pretty significant amount. I’m done with that now, until my next round of chemo: which is a good thing, because today I’m starting to feel the side effects, and they’re not pleasant.

The first thing I noticed was increased appetite. Feeling vaguely nauseous for the past three or four days, I’ve had little interest in food – until last night, when Claire, Ania and I were sitting in the living room. Ania went off to finish her homework, leaving a half-finished snack bag of cheese doodles on the coffee table. Suddenly I felt like nothing would taste better than a couple of cheese doodles. Next thing I knew, I’d finished the bag. This morning, I made myself a big breakfast of oatmeal, eggs and couple leftover pancakes. Lunch was a frozen portion of lasagna, a buttered bagel and a handful of cookies. I could have eaten much more, but held back out of a sense of caution (the memory of the last few days is too recent).

This is still not a huge amount of food, but compared to what I’ve been eating in the past few days, it’s a feast.

More troubling are the psychological effects of the medicine. This morning I awoke at 5:00 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’m jittery, filled with nervous energy, and am feeling anxious about a host of unfinished tasks. But even with all that energy, it’s hard to focus. I’m spinning my wheels: jumping around from one task to another, without getting closure.

I think it was Superman who said to Lex Luthor, or some other comic book villain, “If only he could use his power for good!” That’s the way I feel about my newfound prednisone powers: if only I could channel them – such as in the direction of that stack of unpaid bills I’ve been meaning to get to...

I’m in the Zone now, for sure. I wonder how long it’s going to last?

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