Don Bowen Update: 2007-12-29

If you are saying, “update about what?”, here is a little background. On Thursday 12/20 I found out that I have a brain tumor. I had been having headaches for over 3 weeks and starting having weird vision problems. At first the doctor thought it was stress, but the MRI told the rest of the story. The tumor is in the occipital lobe of the brain, where the visual processing is done. It’s about 3.0cm x 2.4cm, a bit smaller than a golf ball, and located on the back right side of my head. The doctor said it’s aggressive and believes it’s malignant, but fortunately we won’t know for sure until it is removed and analyzed. Let’s hope he’s wrong. It’s impacting my vision so I can’t drive. The headaches, which was what caused me to go into the doctor in the first place, have gotten a bit worse as has my vision so the sooner the better for the surgery.

One of the bigger issues was not having my insurance in place due to losing my job in December. With the help of both Sun and Ceridian (COBRA processing company) I am now fully insured by United Healthcare (UHC). We also didn’t think either of the hospitals where the surgery needed to take place were in network, but it turns out the best one, St. Francis, is. God is good!

We had hoped to do the surgery next Friday, which is still possible, but it does appear Monday, Jan 7th is more likely. It all depends on getting a quick determination of whether my neurosurgeon is in or out of network.

Today we met with my neurosurgeon’s nurse and discussed the details of the actual surgery. The only positive thing I heard was that I’m going to be heavily sedated most of the time. Let’s hope so. One thing she shared that really blew me away was that when she told the doctor I might not have insurance he immediately said he would just waive his fee. Unbelievable!

I will end up with titanium screws in my head. I was hoping this also meant bionic parts, but sadly it doesn’t. It will mean I can have MRIs and won’t set off airport screening devices. I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details.

I know many of you have been praying for me, Eileen and the girls and we really appreciate it. God has been answering and his goodness has been incredible. If you’re like me, having some direction on exactly what to pray for can be very helpful, so here are some things I’m praying:

Before Surgery
– Complete healing. They will do another MRI before surgery and I know God can do it, so I’m asking right up to the last minute
– That my doctor will be classified as in-network
– That surgery will be Friday 1/4, but if not then Monday 1/7
– That my headaches, which have been getting much worse, would go away and I’d make it to the surgery date
– That my confidence and trust would be in God and that I would have no fear
– Strength and a sense of peace for Eileen and the girls
– That we would get very good, very quickly at letting people help us and that in return those same people would be blessed

After Surgery
– Incredibly successful and smooth surgery and complete removal of the tumor
– That the tumor would be benign
– Quick recovery – that I could go home within three days
– Minimal pain so I can avoid pain meds as much as possible

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have moments where I’m anxious and even fearful about what the future holds, but they are only that – moments. God quickly reminds me that he is still in heaven and this didn’t catch him by surprise at all. He didn’t forget to tell someone to look after me 🙂 This is all part of his plan and I’m good with that. I’ve felt tremendous joy in the past week that is just impossible to describe. A big part of it is the outpouring of love and compassion from friends and family like you.

Thank you,


Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us.”


3 Responses to “Don Bowen Update: 2007-12-29”

  1. Old Update Emails Posted « Wizard of IdM’s Weblog Says:

    […] a better way, but I put them on the dates when the real email was sent out. So the first was on 12-21-2008.  Nothing that exciting, but they do include more of my poor attempts at […]

  2. gbmpatientwife Says:

    one of your friends posted a question about you on brain tumor forum. this was my response. god bless you

    your friend could probably start drawing Social Security Disability Insurance. my husband was immediately approved, began drawing checks in 6 months. he has to do the COBRA thing too, but will be eligible for medicare in two years. He’s 43.

    also, he recently began a clinical trial at the national institute of health in bethesda maryland. if they accept your friend into a trial, he will not have to pay for any of his medical treatment and they will pay for travel and hotel. we had to pay for the first trip out of our own pocket, but they are paying for the next trip. my husband has GBM IV. was dx in april 07 and it’s recurred twice. this last time it was inoperable and they told us that there was nothing else that could be done. I got on the internet and started searching for trials. bethesda was first choice, Duke university second.

    please contact me at if you have any questions or if I can help. Wishing you and your friend the best.

  3. Thank you, Don | dc=nawilson,dc=com Says:

    […] weekend, Don Bowen passed away, nearly two years after being diagnosed with brain cancer. His battle certainly had its ups and downs, but his faith in God remained strong and was truly an […]

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