Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-03

I’m so excited that this is the last week of radiation. Even more excited that decadron is ending by Sunday or Monday. Didn’t sleep much last night and woke up pretty much every hour. God continues to provide rest though, so I’m very thankful. While playing cards the other day with Mike and Joe I kept yawning and finally said, “I wish I was even close to as sleepy as I sound” πŸ™‚

I was as excited to go get my treatment today as I’ve ever been. I decided last week to get the treatment “team” a gift and deliver it today. So Saturday I went to Great Harvest Bread Company to get eight loaves of their bread. Have you had it? It is the best – the very best. Well, it just so happened that Stephanie Polito, co-owner with her husband Sam, was right there when I walked in. When I tried to pay she wouldn’t hear of it. I’ve said before that God has been teaching me how to receive gifts from others so I didn’t argue, but because it was so unexpected and so generous I was overcome with emotion. Thank goodness for pride! I don’t usually worry about holding it together anymore, but I had to draw the line this time πŸ™‚

Do me and yourself a big favor and go visit Great Harvest. You can sample their goods and see for yourself how incredible they taste.

Get something good for you and just plain good – like the pumpkin chocolate chip I gave out. Great Harvest is easy to find in the small shopping plaza across the street from the Super Walmart out on North Allen Road.

Only three of the eight were available for the picture, but they were excited about the bread, which was a pleasure to give because they’ve been so good to me for all my treatments. Thanks, Ladies! You went above and beyond for me and I appreciated it! [Note: Ryan, your marker is good with me anytime – for bread or anything else.]

Cinnamon and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip!

Got my last blood work done today, at least for this first round of treatment and the results were, in Dr. Geoffroy’s words, “fantastic”. I was concerned that after my Saturday “crash” I might have issues, but Mike said I was obsessing too much about the blood and he was right. For the record I don’t even like the word blood πŸ™‚

To be consistent I am going to post these last numbers. It’s not lost on me how good God has been during this. Many people have issues, which is why they monitor it every week. I didn’t and that isn’t just a coincidence. Notice that I went from eight high/low areas to only five, though the platelet count drop seems a bit steep to me. Not that I’m paying attention, Mike πŸ™‚
CBC after 5 weeks -

We met with Dr. Geoffroy and Duke looks more and more like a better option. Mike had found that Duke sees more GBM patients and has double the clinical trials. They also have a vaccine, which Geoffroy called “sexy”. I hope that just means it is more aggressive and different. Unfortunately no one knows if that is better 😦 Duke is more aggressive and we like that, but cost is a concern. An extra 20% out of pocket is going to be a lot, depending on how it impacts maximums. There is also no travel expense assist for Duke like there is for UCSF. Maybe God is going to use this to cure me of being a penny pincher. You guys really are praying BIG! πŸ˜‰

I scheduled my first post radiation MRI for Good Friday, March 21st. The plan will be to send a CD Fedex, either east or west, and follow it myself the week of March 24th. I’m glad to have a couple “down” weeks of no meds or radiation, especially if that includes sleep and “regularity” πŸ™‚ I’m not nervous about the MRI and though it seems like that would be natural, look what God has done to date. People ask about my prognosis and my pat answer now is, “I’m healed or being healed”. I stand on God’s promises. That MRI will be clean!

Let me update you on what I’d like you to pray. God knows so you don’t have to use lots of words or time. I’m not tryingto stop you from praying more, based on what you know or have read, but these are the big things I want an army praying.

1. Complete healing

2. Restored vision and the ability to drive (safely)

3. No pain this last week of radiation

4. All side effects like lack of sleep, constipation, etc. disappear as soon as I stop temodar (Friday) and decadron (Sun/Mon)

5. Clear direction from God and incredible peace about where to go for treatment, Duke or UCSF

6. A treatment that is aggressive, right for me and if in a clinical trial, not part of the control group

7. Our family would be one, loving toward each other and quick to correct things when we’re not

I haven’t shared much about how my family is doing, but I think they’re doing well, considering. Eileen has been incredibly supportive and helpful to me, but I know this is hard for her. Maybe harder than for me. God couldn’t have given me a better partner. Running our family operation keeps her busy, which helps, but do pray for her as you can imagine what she deals with mentally at times. Our girls all seem to be living life, which is just what we want, though at times it frustrates us – mostly me. This is not always a very calm place. OK, so that’s a real understatement. Disagreements and raised voices are not uncommon and my tolerance for petty is at an all time low. Fortunately, God is quick to remind me that it’s mostly my problem. Does He have to do it so frequently, though? πŸ™‚ Plus, you live with four women, sometimes five, and you are going to get drama. πŸ™‚ Cancer doesn’t wipe that out, which is probably a good thing.

And lest anyone think we are without other kinds of excitement, the refrigerator broke. Fortunately Mike came by to pick up his daughter and did some trouble shooting. It may just be an overheated compressor, but I’m betting the compressor has gone bad. The funny thing was how many of us and how long it took us to figure out how to turn the shopvac into a blower. I’m pretty sure it was Wendy’s fault. πŸ™‚ It was in the 60’s on Sunday, but praise God it is going to be in the 30’s all week. The garage is now a makeshift refrigerator for what wouldn’t fit into the basement fridge! No coincidences.

Maybe a few people will escape it during their lifetimes, but most of us will encounter a testing of our faith. If you don’t like faith, just replace it with foundation. Think of something really tough and then envision Dr. Phil saying, “How’s that working for you?” πŸ™‚ I always wondered if it would happen to me and what it would be. Now I know. God reminded me of these two passages and just how much he wants to grow my faith, which will make me more mature and more importantly give Jesus glory, which is what I was made to do.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faithβ€”of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fireβ€”may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

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

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