Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-18

Today was a good day – a very good day. I got my walking in before my treatment this morning, which I sometimes do, but felt so good I bumped up my speed and distance. Why did I wait to have cancer before I started exercising regularly? Because I didn’t think it would kill me not to be in shape, but now I know differently! 🙂

I told you I was worried a bit about how the pain would be now that I have no “cushion” left,. Hey, it WAS a cushion! Anyway, it was no problem. I think I could lay there for hours, but the Prostate Club would not be happy. No pain is nice. Afterwards I wondered if the radiation would cause the swelling pain I had last week to return, but it hasn’t all day. God is answering prayer in a BIG way.

I was really looking forward to getting my blood work done and I wasn’t disappointed. My weight was down three pounds, but I’m pretty sure most of that is the difference between the clothes I wore. I was a wrestler and I know a LOT about what clothes weigh. For that matter, I know how much you can lose by chewing gum and spitting, but I digress. My blood pressure was also down.

Here are my counts with all three weeks listed.

All the highs were lower than last week and all the lows were higher. Dr. Geoffroy wasn’t worried about any of my numbers. My platelets were up 55,000, which I thought was impressive. Until he shared that when people need higher platelet counts to get in a trial they are told to go run some stairs. I guess the platelets fall off the cell walls into the blood stream and the count increases. All these neat little medical tricks 🙂 He was in rare form, though admittedly I can hardly say I know him well after three visits. He’s very personable and I like his sense of humor. We talked about his kids, his son’s basketball team and other parent stuff for a while. The he got me up on the table, did some physical tests and checked my breathing. Even I was impressed I could still take both extended hands and touch my nose on the first try , though I wonder if he saw that I actually hit the right side of my nose with my right hand. Probably not, my recovery was cat like 🙂

Then I brought up Duke or UCSF and what we needed to do to start pursuing being part of one of their clinical trials related to their vaccine. We agreed again that Duke was the place we’d pursue and he said he would get his team right on it. Please pray I DO get selected and DO get the vaccine . If God doesn’t want me to have it, He’ll close the door. We talked about how Duke was closer anyway and he said, “Duke does have a problem. They lost to Wake Forest and are definitely going to slip in the polls” 🙂 I really like this guy.

Before we finished I asked him, “How do you think I’m doing?” He doesn’t seem to be prone to superlatives (like some people), but he actually said, “I think you’re doing fantastic!” Me too 🙂 I feel as good as I look below. Isn’t that incredible?!

Me and Dr. Geoffroy

On all three visits with Dr. Geoffroy we’ve been in this same room. Maybe this is his room, but I think of it as mine. I asked him what the chemo would be like after the radiation and he made it sound like it won’t be much worse if any, though the dosage will double. He seemed to think anti-nausea pills would be able to deal with it. Having only five days of chemo and no radiation is sounding pretty good. By then I’ll have my mask at home and be able to show people how it feels. Anyone interested? 🙂

I told Wendy (Mike’s wife) that this radiation and chemo are like Popeye’s spinach for me. Just makes me tougher and stronger. Spinach is much cheaper though. Without insurance I simply couldn’t afford to stay this “healthy” 🙂 But in all seriousness, I know what’s really going on. God is holding me in the hollow of his hand and answering your great many prayers. Thank you. Keep it up.

I confess to thinking that I am humorous at times, but I got an email from my friend Beth today that reminded me I’m a piker. She wrote, “I pray for you every morning as I arise! So, you could say that you’re one of the first things on my mind each morning! AND it is a privilege to bring you to the foot of the cross and dump you there on your head!!” That is funny and she is one of the funniest. Thanks, Beth! Almost as funny were some of your responses about my cutting my feet with a carpet knife. OK, said like that it doesn’t sound good. One of you said, “I’m praying for Eileen!” and another suggested that since I was determined to use insurance maybe I should do so on a podiatrist instead of the emergency room. I’m rethinking the whole thing. Thanks! 🙂

A real highlight of the day was a visit for dinner by my daughter Megan, her friends Lauren and Liz, and Liz’s boyfriend Joey, in town from NY. Last year when Megan and I hosted the local Purity Ball, Megan had invited Liz along and I adopted her as my “daughter” for the evening. She knows about my boyfriend interview and asked if I would interview Joey. I was honored. After dinner the five of us sat around the table and talked about making walking with God a priority and not needing cancer to do it. It was fun to pass on to them things that God has been intensely teaching me in the past few months.

Then it was time for the interview and Joey and I had a good chat. He’s a good Christian guy and a very straight shooter, which scored points with me. I asked hardball questions and was impressed with his truthfulness and openness.

Megan, Lauren, me, Liz, Joey

After they left I called Liz on her cell phone and told her she forgot to ask me the most important question. “Oh, yeah, how did he do?” Well, she was close. “You have my permission to date him” 🙂

I was reminded by my friend Karl last night why God would use someone like me to have an impact for Him:

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27 I’m happy to be both foolish and weak for the privilege of being used as a tool in His hand for whatever purpose he sees fit.

It’s true that things are going very well, but don’t change the channel and don’t stop praying. Let’s celebrate the early victory and thank God, but this battle is far from over and your prayers have made and will continue to make all the difference.

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

One Response to “Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-18”

  1. Shesh Says:

    Hey Don,

    Great to know your reports are coming out good. And, Great to see you in good spirits.
    Lets do a video chat using your new mac sometime when you are upto it.


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