Don Bowen Health Update 2009-09-23 In this update: Last week’s update, Current Health, 25th Anniversary, Megan’s Play

(from Wendy)  This blog was started after the last MRI and now includes the last treatment.

2009-09-14

Don) The MRI on Tuesday night went well.  It was not uncomfortable. It was pretty painless and quick. We got results on Friday.  We anticipated getting chemo on Friday but a lot of things changed.  The results of the MRI showed increased enhancement meaning potentially more tumor.  As a result it was decided we would once again change the course of treatment.  It was expected that this would begin immediately but insurance denied this request.  As a result, we will begin the new treatment this Friday using Avastin and. carboplatin   Carboplatin is new but I took the Avastin for a year.  Avastin is pretty harsh and has a number of strong side effects.  I would appreciated your prayers about the side effects that include mouth sores, fatigue, weakness, decreased white blood count, headaches, loss of appetite.  My biggest concerns are my mental state, lack of exercise and overall weakness.  By weakness I mean that when I sit for a while, which is all I seem to have energy for, and then get up I often can’t make it to my destination.  This is scary for me and for Eileen and the girls.  Going up and down stairs is the worst of course.  I wish I had a funny story to tell about these moments because I enjoy laughing at myself but it’s really not very funny.  Of course some people could make a joke or two about lying on the bathroom floor but if you ask Eileen she will tell you it’s not funny.

My parents came and spent the night last week while Eileen went to Indiana with Amy to move her in at Indiana Wesleyan.  She is transferring there after attending ICC last year.  Katy Garber also goes to IWU so Eileen and Amy traveled in caravan with the Garbers.  They moved the girls in and stayed for orientation activities.  Amy is already having a great time in college.  She participated in a cardboard regatta boat race.  Her group’s boat won and she stayed dry while all the others ended in the water.  Amy is studying media design which is no surprise as she has been creatively filming and editing video around the house for years.

Speaking of school, Megan has begun her senior year at Bradley on her way to becoming a dietician.  She is appearing later in September in Bradley’s musical, The Pajama Game.  This is especially fun for Eileen as the Pajama Game is her favorite musical and also Eileen’s mom’s favorite.  Megan plays Gladys and will be singing and dancing.  Can’t wait to see it.

Kelly is a Junior this year at Dunlap High.  She is singing in the Northwood’s choir now.  What a blessing to see her helping to lead worship and use her gifts for God.  Lauren is in eighth grade.  Christian Center soccer has just started and Lauren made the first goal of the year for her team.

One highlight of the weekend was Megan’s 22nd birthday.  She asked a few friends over and my parents came too.  My dad, her grandfather, was the dealer and the bank for a rousing game of Tripoly for coins (supplied by the bank).  Dad did this for us back when Eileen and I were dating 27 years ago.  Everybody had a good time and Liz and Joey seemed to be the big winners.  The Monahans came and Wendy brought a carrot cake for Megan because carrot cake is healthful.  (Wendy thinks that 2 Cups of carrots cancels out the 2 Cups of sugar.)

(Wendy)As usual we waited for the moment when Don would say his famous line, “I don’t really like cake but this cake is good.”  He always says this and has for years.  He’s not a “cake person” he’s a “pie person.”  However, after hearing this line every time we have cake I have decided that he is a “pie person who likes cake.”  The thing that makes it funny is that he always acts like it is the first time he’s ever said it.  As most of you know I am helping to facilitate the writing of the update.   The feedback must be positive since, as you all know, Don wouldn’t let me anywhere near the blog if it wasn’t.  We haven’t played any games lately so he’s not bitter about being beaten.

(Don)  I need a miracle, I’m expecting God to deliver one, pray big.

Don

(Wendy) And now for today’s update 2009-09-23 In this update:  Health Update, 25th Anniversary, Megan’s play

(Don) On Thursday night we went to see Megan perform in The Pajama Game at Bradley University, in which she had a leading part.  We have been anticipating this for many months.  She did a fabulous job as Gladys which is a demanding role with singing and dancing.  The last performance is Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm.

On Tuesday we celebrated our 25th wedding Anniversary with a very spontaneous little party after Lauren’s soccer team won their game.  Lauren scored again.  Thanks to all who sent us well wishes in the mail, email and Facebook.  Of course we had Dairy Queen ice cream cake to celebrate.  The Monahans and Garbers were here along with Liz and Joey and Megan’s friend, Jake.  I’m sorry I could not invite everyone to share it with us.  You are all very special to us.  We really appreciate the part all of our friends and family have played in the past 25 years.  We also appreciate the yummy food you have been bringing. It sure makes Eileen’s day when she doesn’t have to cook.  Thanks to Michelle Gasper for the two nice meals this week.

I had a check-up with the doctor today because we have been concerned that my pain medicine is too strong but that was not the determination.  I will get another check-up on Monday to see if the trouble I have been having is part of the disease.  Still concerned about weakness, strength and mobility and confusion which we will continue to monitor.  For now the meds will remain the same.  Next check-up on Monday and treatment on Friday 10-4-09.

(Wendy)  Don has been experiencing a lot of confusion for the past week.  At first it was mostly at night but now he has trouble during the day also.  He tried to explain to me how he was feeling and I cannot imagine how terrible it is to not know where you are.  This coupled with fatigue has made for some pretty hard days for him and for Eileen and it is scary for the girls.  Please be in prayer about this, friends, and for Eileen as she continues to be wife, mom, household manager, caretaker, etc.

(Don)Things are hard these days but God is still in control.  He is good all the time.  I really want you to know that I am praising Him as He walks with me and with my family through this journey.

I need a miracle, I’m expecting God to deliver one, pray big.

Don

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3 Responses to “Don Bowen Health Update 2009-09-23 In this update: Last week’s update, Current Health, 25th Anniversary, Megan’s Play”

  1. Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING Says:

    Wendy, PLEASE PLEASE call me or email me. 309-240-5042 angiekeepbelieving@gmail.com. I have been down this road and know exactly what your family is dealing with. I would love to come pray for Don and any of you if you would like. I would love to bring a meal if you would like. I would love to come clean some bathrooms if they would like. I would love to come vaccuum or pull weeds or anything that the family needs. I live in Dunlap, too, so it is easy for me. PLEASE contact me.

    KEEP BELIEVING

  2. Pat Patterson Says:

    Hi Don – sorry to hear it’s such heavy going right now. The thoughts of all of us are with you – hang in there, mate!

  3. Bob Geraci Says:

    Was waiting to see a new blog entry and you did one! Good! Think of you all the time and always wish you well. Hope the side effects of Avastin are minimal since it is such a powerhouse. Best to you and your family

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