Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-01

It’s February and I’m still here! 🙂 Thank goodness Rick Lingenfelter was willing to come all the way to my house and dig us out so we could make our 8:45am this morning. Thanks, Rick!

I actually like going early better. Not that it won’t take some getting used to. I hope I start sleeping better because that will help quite a bit. As I said, I made a peanut butter sandwich and put it by my bed to hopefully be eaten at 4:30am (three hours before the chemo pill at 7:45). The Lord woke me up at 4:29. I hesitated only for a second, smiled and went into the bathroom to eat. I have proof, but Megan has the picture so I’ll share it in the next update.

Going back to sleep didn’t work as well, but that worked out better since I had to take the anti-nausea pill at 6am and since I was still up I didn’t need the alarm. Sadly, Eileen isn’t sleeping much better than I am. Maybe we’re waking each other up like some sick sleep deprivation game. 🙂 I think I got about an hour before I had to take the chemo pill.

Both Eileen and I went out to help Rick and took off early for the hospital. We had the shortest wait yet. Got there at 8:40 and I was on the bed ready to start at 8:50. I was done 11 minutes later.

I had very little pain and it was actually pretty comfortable. I actually think my hair getting longer is 1) helping the pain, 2) making the mask tighter 3) improving my looks 🙂 Really I’d just like to buzz it off, but the thought of my clippers hitting the scab gives me the shivers. If I got much more comfortable I could almost fall asleep, but of course I’d need more than 11 minutes.

For the first time I paid closer attention to what was going on in the room. I’m betting that the cumulative radiation I get during that time is no more than one minute. The rest of the time the technicians keep coming in the room and changing these metal plates out. I saw one for the first time and will provide a picture of one next Monday. The plates are placed into the machine and mask off everything they don’t want the radiation to hit. There are five plates, hence four changes. So, “shooting” with each plate takes roughly 2 minutes. But I don’t want them to hurry! Mistakes could be deadly 🙂 On the way out we were told that UCSF had responded and said there are potentially clinical trials for vaccines available. So we’ll discuss those with Dr. Geoffroy on Monday. Not looking forward to getting stuck for blood work, which will be weekly, but I do want to know how my body is really holding up.

It was great to have the rest of the day open. I actually got a lot done, even some important things. It was hard to think through the pill taking, but now that I’m on this schedule for the next week it should be easier. I think it’s kind of funny that most of the pills are to combat effects of the others. Temodar and decadron are the “culprits”. The ativan is to prevent nausea from the temodar. Pepcid is to prevent the decadron from giving me acid indigestion (and it really does). Then I have that big antibiotic pill, again because of the temodar and possibly effects of radiation. It doesn’t seem like enough given that essentially they are trying to kill you without putting you six feet under 🙂

One week down, five weeks to go! Let’s look at answers to prayer:

– essentially NO side effects, other than the first day when I didn’t take the ativan first

– very little pain and less each day under the mask

– no sickness, which is huge since it is all around me with two daughters sick

– not only maintained my weight, but I put on a few pounds (I feel it too!)

Along with the BIG requests (complete healing/cancer free and restored vision) please keep praying these things. The effects of radiation and chemo are supposedly cumulative. My friend Debbie shared this verse with me that is perfect for this situation. Please claim this promise for me:

“I will make my people strong with power from me! They will go wherever they wish, and wherever they go, they will be under my personal care.” Zechariah 10:12 TLB

What a great promise. I’ll take God’s power and personal care every day.

No radiation Saturday or Sunday, just chemo! I will need the energy for singing at church during all three services. I can’t believe that I’m getting to get back up there after less than four weeks! God is amazing.

For those of you wondering, we ended up just watching The Terminal at our house. I still want to watch Bucket List, but sometime in the future.

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