We met in November. The air was crisp that day – interrupted only by my persistent, hacking cough. I was two days into my new life with cancer, and I desperately needed relief. Relief from the coughing. Relief from the constant reminder of what was growing inside me.
When the doctor introduced us that day I had no idea how much you could help me; nor did I know how much you would demand.
We started at 40mg, but our relationship quickly escalated to 60. Oh, we were in our prime. You quelled the inflammation and let me breathe. You let me focus on something other than cancer. You let me sleep.
But after only six weeks our honeymoon was over. We started growing apart – 40mg, 20mg. And each time I pulled away you made me regret it.
You haunted me with my own cough – a reminder of your power to give breath and take away. But I persevered; each day determined that you wouldn’t hold me hostage forever.
At 10mg you issued your warning. You said I couldn’t do it alone. That I had driven away my corticosteroids and would never again be able to produce them. That I couldn’t live without you.
And then, one day, I bumped into my old friends – my corticosteroids. I was spending less time with you – 10mg one day, 5mg the next. I suppose we both saw the writing on the wall. My corticosteroids and I started hanging out, reminiscing of the old days, talking about a family reunion. I knew they would come back now, that I just had to show them how much I appreciated and loved them, and how wrong I was to ever think they could be replaced.
At 5mg you officially declared war. You screwed with my hormones, devastated my body, and made me curse the day we met. You filled my days with fatigue, my nights with insomnia. My eyes welled with tears for no reason at all.
And now, as we near the end, you are more determined than ever to prove your worth. But I know I can get through these days. I know that once we break this tie my body can begin to recover from the havoc you’ve wreaked. And three months from now, my puffiness will be gone and you will be nothing but a distant memory.
Yes, it’s been a short and tumultuous affair, dear prednisone. This Friday I will take my last dose and be done with you. Perhaps not forever; no, I would be foolish to think I won’t take you back some day. I know that in my darkest hour, you will be there to help me breathe. And all these awful things – the price you demand – I will gladly pay.