One of my doctors believes in the short strong bursts of prednisone, like your doctor, and another one believes more in the slow tapering off method. I find I have a much easier time weaning off it gradually, less of a shock to my body, but then the side effects from the pred last longer, which I really hate. (Weight gain, cravings for sweets, emotions all over the place). So there hasn't been any real strong preference to either approach for me.
If it helps, I found that every time I had the 40mg for 5 days, I was reasonably back to normal within a week. (Well, as normal as I get anyway!) So you should be okay by Friday. Just give yourself extra time to rest, listen even more to your body right now, and take special care of yourself. I'm glad you're on vacation now, that will help.
In the meantime, keep thinking about the wonderful time you are going to have, with the kids and grandkids!
Lupus, you have no chance!
Love and hugs,
(mom to my little Chihuahua, Brandi)
Diagnosed with SLE, Sjogren's, Reynaud's, Celiac, and arthritis November 2006.