Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-05

Sorry if any of the rest of you were alarmed by how I started my last update, like my friend Kim, but Favre retiring is depressing. Oh, and I really appreciate you Bear fans showing me a lot of sympathy. We’re not gifting you two games next year.

Treatment today was a bit painful again. The strangest part was that for the first time in 28 treatments I didn’t hear the radiation during the third of the five beams, and I *always* hear them. Ashley assured me it happened and I’m sure she’s right, but it bugged me.

The pressure and pain during parts of today was a lot more than usual. At times it felt like the bones on the right side of my head were being moved. Not fun. I actually increased my decadron thinking maybe I wasn’t taking enough to deal with the swelling. Yes, I prescribe my own dosages now 🙂 You wouldn’t believe some of the medication combinations I’ve prescribed myself – not without flashes of Heath Ledger after the fact! OK, maybe you would believe it. Anyway, I’m still hoping to be off decadron by Monday, but I may need more pills now to do it right – bummer!

Monday I got permission from Dr. Geoffroy to have my teeth cleaned. I guess when you have your teeth cleaned it can unleash an incredible amount of bacteria and clearly that could be bad for someone whose immune system is weakened. Not me, but someone. When I got to the dentist I told Allison that I never wanted to be an older man who dental hygienists dread seeing, but I wanted her to be forewarned. I had not had my teeth cleaned for at least five years. See how I’m getting over this pride thing. Now I have low self-esteem because my family pretends not to know me 🙂

Allison cleaning my teeth

Amazingly, she said my teeth and my gums were good, but the cleaning felt incredible. Unfortunately, I have a hairline crack in a tooth that needs a crown, that is until I saw how much it cost and how little Metlife pays. I appreciate UHC a bit more now 🙂 Know any dentists that want to barter?

Have you visited Great Harvest yet? I had to go out after the dentist and get their high fiber bread. Sam was working this time, so I payed for my bread first and then got him to take a picture with me.

Me, Sam and my high fiber bread

Sam’s battled cancer twice now and he and Stephanie just did an ad, which is good and funny, for Illinois Cancer Care, where Dr. Geoffroy works. Someone from Montana contacted Sam and Stephanie to tell them that some guy was blogging about their store! 🙂 You gotta love Google Alerts. Tell Google you care about XYZ and if anyone, anywhere mentions XYZ you get an email with a link to it. Sam, I wasn’t really trying to hold you as tight as it looks. I was just confirming that eating Great Harvest bread gets rid of your love handles. Promise! 🙂

We contacted Duke today and the speed of their responsiveness was encouraging. I’m hoping to have a longer conversation with them yet this week, which could impact when I have my MRI. If they say waiting three weeks is fine, I may move it out a week. Traveling to Duke after our spring break (week of 3/24) might be better anyway. There is even a chance Mike and Wendy would join us, which would be great, especially after I found out tonight how easy it is to beat her at cribbage. She won’t like me saying that and is pressing me for access to my update email list to defend herself, but I’ll spare you the whining 😉 Hey, Rob, can you and Kim handle four of us? Mike will make Wendy behave.

I usually listen to the bible on my ipod (Sorry, Amy, it’s mine now) when I start walking. Today I listened to Proverbs and was really struck by Solomon’s words about wisdom:

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”

Pretty sound advice from the wisest man of all time. Being upright, blameless and just may seem like lofty goals, at least they are for me, but the benefits of victory and God’s shielding and protection make the pursuit compelling. Yes, I love the word compelling 🙂 Thank goodness real victory has already been achieved for us in Christ.

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

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