Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-21

Yesterday was another good day, despite lack of sleep. Actually for 3 days now I’m getting under five hours. It’s amazing to me that 10mg of ambien, which used to put me out for the entire night no problem, gives me about 2 hours at 20mg! So, I’m backing down my dosage. My friend Tim was really surprised I was taking two 10mg tablets. Is that better, Tim? πŸ™‚

Tuesday night I went to bed at 11pm, got up at 1, 2, 3 and finally 4:30. Finally at 6:15 I decided to go walk. I actually felt good. I walked for 65 minutes and felt I could have gone for 2 hours. It could be the steroids and unfortunately I’m not kidding. My friend Steve said, “Dude you should take serious advantage of this and really bulk up.” Yeah, that’s I what need. I guess I’m too late to make the Mitchell report.

While I was walking yesterday I reflected on God’s goodness and just became overwhelmed. The blessings He has poured out on me and my family in the past 2 months would fill volumes – blogs even πŸ™‚ I have serious grade 4 brain cancer, but I can think, talk, walk, smell, hear and even kind of see! Maybe it was roid rage :-), but I was filled with a joy that was incredible. Filled. I relish those moments because I know it isn’t always going to be like that.

Check out this awesome passage PJ sent me, which I think does describe what God has done and is doing:

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him.” Psalm 40:1-3

When I got downtown for treatment Wednesday the machine was broken. I just walked right back to the control room, like I usually do, and said, “Hey, where’s Ryan?” πŸ™‚ The women all said, “Yeah, it would be fixed if he was here.” Darn. I know I can miss one treatment a week, but I don’t want to miss any. One of the technicians said she could get me in on Saturday, but I won’t be around so that wouldn’t help. So she said she’d call me later and get me in. Perfect. When they called, Eileen was at an orthodontist appointment and I had no ride. Fortunately my parents had come over for lunch and they were out shopping, but were able to come back and get me there on time. Still haven’t missed a day. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Me and My Parents

For the first time in a long time it was Grand Central Station at the Bowen’s. I had told the Durr’s, who brought dinner to think about eating with us and they did. We also had our best friends Mike and Wendy over for dinner, and my parents, who visited a elderly friend in town, also joined us. Party! Then Amy had a bunch of dance team friends over to work on her senior dance routine for Friday night. Lots of excitement. We had not seen Wendy for weeks because she was sick. I was especially thankful to see her because we played euchre and it was nice to win at cards again πŸ™‚ I’m not saying Wendy and Eileen are easy to beat, but Mike and I seem to always rise to the occasion, though every once in a while we throw them a bone πŸ™‚ Wendy may as well show her cards like Eileen, because I know her like a book.

Mike andI winning euchre again

I have to tell this funny story about Mike and it really shows how much he loves me and is thinking about how we’re going to beat this thing. He said he was still confused about my blog comment where Dr. Geoffroy said, “Duke does have a problem. They lost to Wake Forest and are definitely going to slip in the polls.” Now maybe there are others of you that didn’t get it either, but I thought the word “polls”, as in basketball polls, made it clear πŸ™‚ What is just as funny and more endearing to me is that Mike is a huge sports fan and either he knows what is going on or his son, Joe, tells him. I’m sure he was thinking to himself, “I know Duke does research on this kind of cancer, but I’ve never read anything about Wake Forest.” πŸ™‚ Am I fortunate or what!

After my folks left we got a very pleasant visit from my friend John and his wife Elaine. Elaine is the Director of Radiology at OSF (Order of St. Francis) Hospital where I was operated on and where I’m getting my treatment. Elaine is humble, but John confirmed that she is a very key reason that Peoria, IL has one of the newest Trilogy machines – and there are only 10 others in the world! No coincidences with God. We also found out they play cards! πŸ™‚

John and Elaine

By Wednesday night my eyes were really bothering me. Especially my right one. It could be a lot of things. Too much computer, not enough sleep, antihistimine, something in my head pinched because of swelling, etc. I’m thinking too much computer and not enough sleep, neither of which are easy to fix πŸ™‚ I started to blog last night and realized quickly I was kidding myself and headed to bed.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep again, but rather than push it I rested right until we had to leave for my treatment. My right eye felt a bit better, but was still bothering me. When we got there the Prostate Club was overflowing the waiting rooms πŸ™‚ I knew that either the machine was broke or they were really behind. Fortunately it was the latter. Did I mention that I LOVE the team that treats me? Well, they snuck me in early and finished me in a record 8 minutes! Now, lest anyone think I’m being shorted, the time is basically how quickly they can get in and out of the room changing the black plates that control the radiation beam. These guys are good!

I took it pretty easy for most of the day. Little work, little computer and even a little rest. I finally went to walk around 4pm and my right eye was still really bothering me. It isn’t a pain, it’s more like a twitch and quite annoying. It bothered me that it was bothering me πŸ™‚ I didn’t feel like I could walk hours today, I barely felt like I could do an hour – and shouldn’t have pushed it. Fortunately I could hold on to the handles and walk with my eyes closed for part of the time. Hey, what’s wrong with that? “For we walk by faith, not by sight”, right? πŸ™‚ My left knee is either cramping or strained. As usual, I don’t know how to do anything in moderation. When will I learn?

Soaking prayer was great again. It has been very different each time and makes such a difference for me. I really wanted to hear God tell me something tonight. Not something audible, but something right to my heart that would encourage me and renew me. It came from my friend Tim. He wondered if I was trying to be too busy, do too much and carry too much on my shoulders, rather than just resting in the Lord. My type B personality agreed immediately πŸ™‚ OK, maybe I resisted initially, but it resonated and I knew he was right. Funny, because I almost daily quote to myself:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

OK, God. I hear you loud and clear. Thank you.

I won’t be writing again until Monday. Mike and I are leaving tomorrow at 1pm to visit his parents in MO. His mom has cancer and has been quite ill. It’s a long 7 hour drive, but I’m really looking forward to time with Mike and seeing his mom and dad. They have no internet and I’m not taking my computer. I plan to rest and relax – no, really, that’s what I’m going to do.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. ” Matthew 28:19

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

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