Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-04

I just got the depressing news and am not sure it will go away today or for a while. Brett Favre retired today. For 17 years there hasn’t been much difference to me between Brett and the Packers. Package deal. I’m a die-hard fan and separating the two is going to be hard. I doubt there is ever another player who will mean to me what he has. So glad I got to see him play at Lambeau. Thanks Nate and Jeff! Were it not for you guys I would have missed that dream.
Bummed that Brett is Retiring

Fortunately I have plenty to distract me and like my friend Nate says, “Let the Aaron Rodgers era begin” (and let’s hope he has some of the resilience of his predecessor!)

Yesterday I had scheduled my MRI at a facility closer to my house thinking the machine was the same as where I had my other MRIs. However, I confirmed today with my friend Elaine that that isn’t the case quite yet, so with the help of Kathy, who I’ve talked about before, I’m already moved back to the better machine. And she is getting me CD copies of all my MRIs and will have a CD made of the one on the 21st so I’m ready to go. I am experiencing God doing stuff like this almost daily! Your prayers are being answered – thank you!

I’ve mentioned Kathy before being so helpful to me when I had my other MRIs. She is truly one of the kindest women I’ve ever met and God has blessed many people because she loves serving as a healthcare professional, possibly none more so than me. Thanks, Kathy!

Kathy - One of the Kindest Women I Know

It was a whirlwind visit, but my former Sun co-worker Suresh flew into Peoria this afternoon and we got to spend a few hours together. It would have been longer, but O’Hare can be pretty tough to get through some times. Suresh is a really smart guy so I’m always learning stuff from him. He claims that goes both ways, but we all know how implausible that is. Though our backgrounds are quite different we have similar values that always makes our discussions enjoyable for me. Even though he was potentially going to be late for his flight he took time to explain his very cool Swiss Army backpack and how he packed all his tech gear. Trust me, it’s enviable 🙂 Thanks for the visit, Suresh!

Me and Suresh

I got only a couple hours of sleep and then walked my four miles before treatment, which may be why I had a 20 minute crash similar to Saturday. I don’t like that feeling, but ignoring it doesn’t seem to work 🙂 I don’t know if the boost radiation is just stronger or the decadron, even at a lower dosage, is causing it, but I’ve had the pressure in my head much of yesterday and today. Amazingly, God removes it late each evening. I should know by Monday whether the meds and radiation are the culprit, which is what I’m hoping. On a positive note, I bet losing an hour on Saturday night won’t be a big deal to me, since I’m not sleeping much anyway 🙂

God’s second blessing to me today, and it was huge, was having a good call with United Healthcare (UHC). I know, it’s hard to believe, but it really happened. Was I talking to an angel? I mean her name was actually Angela, I’m not kidding 🙂 I had actually been avoiding calling them because I’d tried several times and hadn’t had my typical phone success. Some of my close friends and family will find that very hard to believe. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it 🙂 Anyway, I had four big items for Angela and she helped me through all of them.

The biggest news of the day is that we’ve decided to pursue Duke. We are continuing to pray, but barring a revelation that UCSF should be considered, Duke is a pretty overwhelming favorite, other than cost.

  • They have twice as many clinical trials
  • They have a vaccine
  • They treat more aggressively – standard 12 months of chemo vs 6 months at other places is just one example
  • I’ve had personal interaction with two of their doctors, Samson and Friedman
  • They are closer and I could drive if necessary, which is much cheaper, especially if Eileen and Mike both went
  • They have allowed bi-weekly treatments to be done here, which could happen with me and would greatly improve quality of life (UCSF told Mike they’d probably want me out there every 2 weeks for treatment)
  • Dr. Geoffroy has relationships with Duke and strongly recommended them
  • I have a number of friends living in the area and who would gladly provide housing

Like I said, it’s overwhelming and I’m not even sure I listed everything. The plan is to call Duke tomorrow, figure out how to start our relationship and plan for our first meeting. God has given me a real peace about this and more importantly peace about this next phase, which I absolutely didn’t have. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have a God-directed plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?” Psalm 116:12

I intend to provide compelling evidence to UHC such that they will make an exception in my case and grant Duke in-network status. I believe God will do it and started today working with Dr. Geoffroy’s office to make it happen. Please pray for this BIG item with me.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

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


4 Responses to “Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-04”

  1. Gene and Carol Smith Says:

    Dear Don,
    In case you don’t remember us, we were with the Macomb group that visited your church with your parents about a year ago. We are temporarily living near Cedar Rapids where we can more easily give support to our son and family as they are having a difficult time right now. We had a nice visit from your parents yesterday and hope to possibly see them again before they return to Macomb. They are so very proud of you and all you are accomplishing. We think of you often and keep you and your family in our prayers.

    With our prayers for peace and healing, Gene and Carol

  2. Kim Morris Says:

    Okay, so you really scared me with starting the blog about having some bad news. Don’t do that again. I mean I know you really like Brett Favre but come on, the guy is almost eligible for AARP–just kidding. I am sad for you regarding Brett.

    I am excited that you have the decision down regarding your next step in treatment. Sounds like Duke is a good choice. Thanks for continuing to keep all of us updated. By the way, do you prefer us to leave our comments on the blog or by email? Just curious.

    Praying BIG,

  3. Eric & Caren Hoehn Says:

    Don & Eileen

    We have something coming your way, so watch your snail mail. It is by one of our favorite people, who happens to have been my youth pastor at Willow.

    Prayers from Round Rock, TX
    Eric & Caren Hoehn WIU alum – Navigators

  4. Ken O'Berry Says:

    Woo hoo, so far, Duke it is… wish the circumstances were better, but am glad you’ll have no choice but to accept my hospitality 😛 I’m looking forward to seeing you and Eileen soon!


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