Don Bowen Update: 2008-02-25

It seems like it’s been forever since I sent an update, but I have to say it felt good to get away from my computer for three full days. My trip with my friend Mike and his son Joe to see his mom and dad in Missouri just could not have been better. I have to confess it was hard to leave behind my new Macbook Pro and take no computer, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

We left early Friday afternoon and it had to remind Mike of when he used to travel when his kids were infants. You know, you take the porta-crib, three diaper bags, a stroller, toys, etc. Basically there is no room for your stuff, just your kids. I remember it well and that is what it felt like when I took all my stuff. See for yourself:

All my stuff!

The two small bags on the right are Mike and Joe’s. The rest of the stuff on the left is mine. Yes, I know we are only going for two days, but I have special needs πŸ™‚ It was pretty funny. Oh, and my backpack was in the middle seat!

We got down there in about six hours, which was great time. We passed the time talking and playing the four-letter game. Ever play? You think of a four-letter word and the others try to guess it while you tell them how many letters of each guess is a correct letter in the right place or just a correct letter. The worst guesses are 0-1, meaning you have a right character, but it could be any of the four. Doing it in your head and figuring it out in 5 tries is tough. I may never forget when I thought my word would stump them for a good 10 guesses and OUT OF THE BLUE with no other guess even close, Joe gets EELS on the fifth try. Unbelievable!

As I’ve mentioned before, Mike’s mom, Vi, has cancer and has been fighting it for over six years. This is a tough woman who I admire greatly. We’re in the same club now and a special bond is even more special. Her attitude is inspiring and I enjoyed hearing her talk about how her faith in God has sustained her. She cracked me up when we talked about how fantastic she looks. People say that to her all the time and she says, “How am I supposed to look?!” πŸ™‚

Terry, Vi, me, Mike

You’d have to know how incredible my friend Mike truly is, but if you knew his parents you’d know why immediately.. Their love for the Lord is challenging and they are just fun to be around.

What did we do? Well we played cards, of course. Terry and Vi taught us a new game called 3 to 13, also known as Tick. Great game and definitely a new favorite. You deal hands of 3, 4, and right up to 13 and in each hand the wild card, in addition to jokers, is the number of cards. Jacks for 11, etc. I dominated as we went up, but on the way back down got decimated. Then after the game those who had played agreed you really only play up, not down. What!?!? πŸ™‚

Playing 3-13 or Tick

When we weren’t playing Tick, talking or eating, me and Joe were playing cribbage. He schooled me as I was getting back up to speed, but late Saturday night and again on Sunday in the car I got him good. I’ve heard rumors that Wendy wants to play me now because she is “quite good”. Bless her heart, you have to love that attitude. If only it helped her.

I got a lot of rest during this trip and I actually did get some sleep. The night before we left I got none, so anything was better. Friday night I actually got over three and a half before waking and then got another three. That’s incredible. Saturday wasn’t as good, but I still felt rested. Taking no computer was good. I did read email on my phone, but replied to only one for business. Hey, that’s pretty good for me! πŸ™‚

Both Saturday and Sunday I had periods of pain in my head and they came directly after I took my decadron, the steroid that deals with swelling. It actually seemed like it made the swelling worse, which impacts my vision and is a real hassle. Fortunately I have not had pain during the night for a long time and that is when it could impact me the most. That is answered prayer. Thanks.

Other highlights during the trip were one on one discussions with Vi, including an emotional goodbye hug, having Terry teach us about the life of Abraham, getting Dead Sea water poured on my hand! (heavy, smooth and stinky), and Mike’s brother-in-law Jim’s real Mexican tacos.

Today was a really good day. No pain most of the day, only a bit earlier tonight. I missed walking the past few days and my hour/four miles on the treadmill felt great. Mike and I are starting to work hard on what my next steps will be after radiation, which is done next Friday, March 7th! Can you believe it? It has become obvious to me that figuring it out is my job. We always wanted to know “Who is the quarterback for this game?” and we know – us! Please pray for the wisdom of God as we look into all the clinical trials available for GBM patients at all the different centers, but especially at ones my health plan covers. This includes UCSF, John Hopkins, Sloane-Kettering, Mass General and MD Anderson. I want to get in a trial where there is no placebo/control group and I’m hoping the cost is covered, but life before money, even for this tightwad πŸ™‚

I got my CBC results after 4 weeks of radiation and chemo and they look good. I have a couple more highs/lows than last week, but several highs are lower. More importantly, I feel great! πŸ™‚

CBC after four weeks

Have I mentioned that this is going to be a long fight? πŸ™‚ Every day I put on the armor of God and go into battle. This is a war to me and with God’s continued help I will do my part. I know He is doing His! As I listened to my bible on CD (I bought my own copy for $38, including shipping!) with Amy’s iPod over the weekend I just kept hearing over and over how first Jesus healed ALL and then the apostles did the same.

“A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.” Luke 6:17-19

It’s still coming from Him today. Ask for it and believe it!

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

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