Blame it on the prednisone …

April 17, 2019
  • April 17, 2019
  • Living with Cancer Blog

By Rod N.


Ten days after my first chemo treatment I had planned a long walk with my wife to celebrate that things had gone pretty well.  I tolerated the treatment well-enough and the pre-treatment tension at home had dissipated. Unfortunately, this June day was  particularly ugly: rain, cold, drab.

My wife and 18 year-old daughter perked-up when I proposed, “Let’s get dressed-up and go for lunch at our favorite French restaurant”. We needed an indulgence and a distraction. And I was hungry – really hungry. I had stuck to a vegetarian diet during treatment to minimize the “pooping rocks” side- effect caused by some drugs. I was still taking prednisone which made me hyper, distracted and hungry like a teen athlete. Now that my system had returned to normal, I was not going out for salad.

We are infrequent but loyal customers of a small French restaurant where the owners get to know the diners. The bistro was quiet, with one other small group not far from us. When the owner came over to chat and take our order, I told him I was really hungry – I needed meat. I was looking for the satisfaction you only get chomping on something, molars thrashing and jaw muscles flaring.

That is the prednisone effect.

I went for a cassoulet and a glass of red wine. Time to live again!  Duck, lamb, sausage, beans in a rich sauce. It was big but my drive for satisfaction was unrelenting. I had no trouble mopping up the sauce with bread.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel so good.

My stomach’s signal had finally penetrated my fog-filled brain. The message from my weakened herbivorous stomach was: too much, too rich, too difficult to digest. As the sweat formed on my brow, I informed my wife I needed some fresh air outside.

Three staggered steps from the table and I was walking on a cloud. I heard “Monsieur! Monsieur!” as the room went black.

Slowly I came back to consciousness, my eyes focused on several ankles and shoes inches from my face, I heard voices and felt a soothing cold ice pack under my head.  I realized where I wainline_818_

I was on the ground and I was embarrassed.

A quick body scan confirmed nothing had leaked or been expelled during the unconscious lapse, leaving me just enough dignity to wave my arm “I’m okay!” like a downhill skier recovering from a wipe-out.

The price for that indulgence was a nice lunch, an EMS visit and flowers for the bistro.

PS. I took it easy on lunches after that.

L’addition SVP! 

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