Don 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 third of my treatments, not two thirds, as I had said. Wishful thinking? šŸ™‚ Three days into the “hair falling out week” and mine is still intact. Like it would really make a difference šŸ™‚

Yesterday was an interesting day for lots of reasons. Halfway through the guy in front of me, who is being treated for prostate cancer (more on the “club” later), they had a motor fail and told us we could go home or wait a couple hours. They also explained that it would be ok to miss one treatment, as long as you get four in a week. I wanted to stay at first, but we decided to head home. We got about five minutes away and got a call that they had fixed it. Excellent! Fortunately the one male technician, Ryan, had paid attention to how to swap these motors out and was able to do it himself.

That’s Ryan holding one of the motors. Pretty cool, huh? My friend Steve said he wouldn’t have wanted to be the first guy in after the fix. But I wasn’t. They still had to finish the prostate guy, not that he came out minus a leg or arm, indicating maybe Ryan should stick to his day job šŸ™‚

Not sure what triggered it, but I had a mental battle a good bit of the afternoon and into early evening yesterday. Hey, straight scoop here, no candy coating. I think part of it occurred when I realized that my thinking I’m definitely going to get a vaccine during the next phase, might not happen to be reasonable. Lots of reasons of course. I might not meet the criteria. I might meet the criteria and get put in the “control” group that doesn’t get the vaccine. Why would I let that bother me? Doesn’t that make sense? That’s the thing with these mental battles. They aren’t logical or even rational. The good news is that as a result they don’t last (too) long, at least they don’t yet. God reminded me over and over, and I finally listened, that I’m either trusting Him to heal me or I’m trusting myself and the system. Easy decision and once again His peace restored me.

During that same mental battle I for some reason started thinking about fear and what I was afraid of, when I allowed myself to be. My guess is that this will change and morph over time, but I told Eileen it isn’t death and it isn’t even suffering, though I really don’t like when I’m in pain. It’s more a fear of being alone. Again, not rational and not even what I experience 90% of the time. God promises to be “ever present” and I only wish you could see now how true He has been to His word. But the reality on the human level is that in some moments on this journey I am alone. And that’s ok. Please know that your emails, calls and visits make a HUGE difference here – don’t stop.

For some reason headaches both yesterday and today have been more painful at night. Tonight is maybe the worst I’ve had so far. Feels like lots of swelling, but it really hurts. Did you know that pain is not just painful, but quite distracting? All these things we’re learning together šŸ™‚ I always say it’s bearable and it really is. Most of you know what many cancer patients go through for treatment. It really impacts their quality of life. My cancer may be more life threatening, but at least to date, other than more “regime” and way too many pills :-), I have a pretty normal life. Pain at this level would challenge me so please pray it subsides soon. Thanks.

Ok, enough for the “Jack Handy – Deep Thoughts” stuff šŸ™‚ Did I mention that I have been walking three miles every day? Thought you might like to see my view on the treadmill.

That’s my prayer notebook. Are you in there? If you asked me to pray for you, yes. Maybe even if you didn’t šŸ™‚

So yesterday I decided that cardio and work on my legs wasn’t enough. I figured it was time to hit the weights.

I keep that 50 pound curl bar in my closet and it felt good to pick it up and use it again. Unfortunately I’m not good at moderation (BIG is not new with me) and it could be why my head was hurting a short time later. See, I am brain dead! šŸ™‚Ā  While Eileen took this picture I showed her the tricep curls.

She agreed with me that lifting over my head and then trying to miss my head on the back side is probably unwise. I didn’t make her any promises, but don’t tell her. šŸ™‚

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you more about “The Prostate Club”. It’s actually funny to see all these older guys all in their hospital gowns, but much funnier to hear them tell stories. They can only get in one at a time, so they must come early on purpose, which is why I think it’s really a club šŸ™‚ A picture will be priceless – coming soon. There are two waiting rooms where you sit until it’s your turn. Very small, no doors and a wall of mostly glass between them. Not even close to sound proof. Eileen sat in one room yesterday while 3-4 of them in the other talked about all their “issues”. She said she just kept her head down pretending to read and tried to avoid laughing.

While reading the first chapter of Philippians (actually I listen to it on CD), I was struck by verses 12-26 and how they parallel, in an analogous way, my experience and feelings. IĀ  was particularly struck by this:

“For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” Phil 1:19-20

I’ll be at Northwoods for soaking prayer tomorrow night (and most Thursday nights), so if anyone wants to join I’d love to see you. I know in the beginning we’ll be praying for a woman who just found out she has lung cancer. Even though I’ve joked about it with people who had cancer before me, this is not really a club you want to join. šŸ™‚

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

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