Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-11

Well, I started week three of the battle today and one third of the way through this I’m very optimistic. I actually walked my three miles before going and felt good and didn’t have a headache!

This is what I call the “scary door”. I’m the only one in there when that red light in the ceiling goes on. I guess it means “stay out!”

What does that red light mean?

You can’t tell, but that sign saying “X-RAY IN USE” is not really lit up. I found that incredibly funny. I mean, X-rays are dangerous, but compared to HIGH RADIATION??!! 🙂 What did they do? “Hey, could a technician come and put a “DEADLY RADIATION ON!” sign in the ceiling warning people that their life would be in jeopardy if they opened this door?” And the union healthcare technician came and said, “I’ll just put a little red light in the ceiling. These people are smart, hopefully they’ll figure it out.” DANGER! 🙂

Mondays are a longer treatment because they do X-rays (wonder if that sign really lights up?), which take a bit longer. It really goes fast for me so I guess you could say I’ve settled into the routine.

They did tell me that this may be the week my hair starts falling out. Now there is just nothing that brings out my competitive nature, even when I have zero control :-), than when someone lays down the gauntlet like that. Almost before they finished saying it and before God could remind me who will make that decision, I said, “We’ll see about that!” Ok, so I guess that cockiness is still in there and going to come out once in a while.

I meet with my radiation oncologist once each week and that’s usually Mondays as well. I really like Dr. McGee. Very laid back and willing to take any and all of my questions. I love being in the presence of greatness and this man is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Trilogy radiation machine that is helping save my life.

Me and Dr. McGee

He is very nice and incredibly soft spoken, as I’ve said. Our conversation this morning was short as usual. He asked how I was doing and I said very well, other than the increased headaches. I told him, since I’m part chemist/pharmacologist now, that I had increased my dosage of the steroid decadron from 1mg to 2mg twice a day. He said, “That’s fine.” 🙂 So then I asked him how he thought I was doing. “Things are going well”. I wanted a bit more, so I asked, “Am I doing well because you are monitoring something that tells you that or because you are monitoring what I tell you?” He smiles and says, “I’m just monitoring you.” So, I guess I’m doing well 🙂

Every other Monday I meet with my medical oncologist, Dr. Geoffroy, who handles my chemo and will help with treatment beyond my radiation. But every Monday I go out to where he works, a different site, which is very new and nice, and have my blood work done. I now have two weeks of numbers, for which I requested printouts, and can see exactly what is changing. I have no idea what it means, but I know when a count goes up or down. I should have asked for a spreadsheet.

Here are some of the numbers. My white cell count (WBC) went from 6.50 to 11.00 and is now high, outside the range 4.26-9.66. My red cell count (RBC) went from 4.53 to 4.86 and is in the range 4.20-6.02. Hemaglobin (HGB) went from 14.3 to 15.5 and within the normal 14.0-17.5. Platelets went from 191 to 197 and are well within the 133-382 range! 🙂 Oh, WBC and PLT are in thousands. RBC is in millions.

Hey, see for yourself. If you click the picture you can get a larger version on flickr and read it yourself. If one of my identity expert friends thinks I’m exposing myself to some kind of sick CBC identity theft, say the word and this pic will disappear! 🙂

CBC after two weeks

I’m thinking Mike will have them in a spreadsheet, graphed and analyzed within a few hours of getting copies for his file. Just kidding, Mike! 🙂

I’m trying to fight getting this cold, but I think I’m losing. You know how you feel in your throat when it is coming on? Yeah, well I got that going on big time. Getting phlegm (what a disgusting word) in my throat and doing some coughing, but it isn’t bad yet. Please pray that it passes. The mask will not partner well with a cold, as I’ve said before. I can’t even scratch an itch under it, which I found out today 🙂

Headaches have been pretty good today, basically until tonight, so thanks for your prayers. When I think of how little I’ve had to endure compared to so many that get treated for this nasty thing called cancer, I realize how incredibly blessed I am. God is so good!

I need a miracle, God specializes in them, pray BIG!


2 Responses to “Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-11”

  1. John Frye Says:

    Don, Have been praying continually and following the blog. While reading my mail today I saw this this from the Pacific Institute. It really hit home as I thought of you and how much I have admired you over the years, none so much as now. Please know as you read this how much you have impacted my life as you bare witness to your faith. I hope you can feel all of our prayers, each and every one, and as you know, much better than I, no man is an island, but some are in fact a rock of faith and lighthouse to the rest of us.


    “No Man is an Island”

    “No man is an island.” A statement of truth for each of us, for we are not alone. We are not separate and isolated. We are as fingers of the hand with our connectness to the palm, uniting us in strength and connecting our very being with each other and with God.

    It is when we feel and act alone, as if denying our connectedness, that we being to suffer the feelings of helplessness and fear. Within each of us is that connectedness, for the spirit of God is within us, ever there for us to
    draw upon. We are not alone.

    Whenever we feel the burden of “going it alone,” we can become overwhelmed. Whenever we withdraw within ourselves and deny our connectedness, we falter. Deep anxiety and fear seem to manifest themselves, unasked, as unwelcome visitors.

    It is in the reaching out beyond ourselves that begins the flow of strength and connectedness, and an awareness of all that is good and loving. It is only in the giving out of ourselves that we are filled. With the outpouring of self, whatever the endeavor, we must have something greater than ourselves, something beyond ourselves to strive for and commit to – whether it be family, friends, ideas, visions, noble purpose or simple caring.

    For it is in the giving out of ourselves that we gain within ourselves. There is an endless flow of all things good and loving, waiting to be born into our lives. It is we who choose what purpose, if any, we live for beyond ourselves to start this endless flow of goodness from within to without. And all of us are deserving of this reality.

    Diane Tice, sitting in for Lou Tice
    The Pacific Institute

  2. Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-13 « Wizard of IdM’s Weblog Says:

    […] Bowen Update: 2008-02-13 I updated the blog entry from Monday, but wanted those of you who receive this as an email to know I have completed just one […]

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