Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-10

Had my first day without treatment and it was great. I “slept” in until around 8:15 and then walked. The best part of today was that the pain I’d been feeling since Friday was gone. I was a bit worried because I ran out of my decadron on Sunday and was forced to reduce my dosage when I felt I needed more. God had me covered. So the good news is that I’m down to 2mg of decadron per day and could be off it by the end of the week!

The swelling and pain wasn’t constant from Friday to Sunday, but it was pretty strong. As I’ve said before I don’t know if the decadron helped or hurt, but I do know that cold helped a lot. One of the things that felt incredibly good was this huge red rice bag Eileen made that we keep in the freezer. It may look strange, but it actually provided some very welcome relief. If only it didn’t lose its coldness so quickly.

Big Red Rice Bag

Unfortunately, I’m getting fat. OK, fatter. I can’t say I like it, but I’m not worried about it. Why? I already have the girl – KIDDING honey! πŸ™‚ It’s definitely not because I’m not getting any exercise. I’m pretty sure it’s the decadron. I know, blaming it for yet another “side effect” seems unfair, but it makes me hungry all the time. If I’m right about this nasty steroid next week I should be sleepng better, more “regular”, having less head pain and eating more normally.

Yesterday our good friends Todd and Lisa came over for dinner and helped Eileen put up my Brett Favre Fathead. I got it as a gift from my friend, John Fontana. He heard about my poor eyesight and said, “I need to get him something big. I know, a Fathead” πŸ™‚ He knows I’m a HUGE Packer fan and love Brett, but he had no idea I’d been wanting one for years. It looks AWESOME.

Click on the link to see the other pictures of Eileen, Lisa and Todd putting it up. My office was already a Packer shrine, but it’s so much better now. Todd was pretty funny. At one point he said, “I can think of so many things I’d want to put up before this.” He’s not much of a sports fan and said he’d rather have Dr. Who. I don’t even know which team he’s on πŸ™‚

I got to talk to Diane at Duke today and she said doing my MRI only two weeks after radiation ends should be fine. I also confirmed with Saint Francis that my package of medical records should be there tomorrow. Duke wanted stained and unstained slides from the tissue samples and they’ll get both, but will only process the stained ones for now to help me save money. Frugal! I love these guys. I hope to know yet this week whether they think I’m a good fit as a patient.

We’re trying to figure out when to go down for a visit. One option is to go the week of March 24, but that’s our spring break and not necessarily preferred. Another is to leave later in the week, like March 29 or 30. If we do that I could move the MRI out by a week, which might be good. I’ll get Duke’s input on both the visit and MRI tomorrow. Please pray I’m accepted as a patient at Duke and that the timing of the trip works for both our family and Monahan’s.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed a lot since beginning this journey is praying for others. I’m just one of many praying for these people in my notebook, but seeing God do incredible things builds my faith and encourages my soul. A 12 year old boy had a tumor doubling daily and then within a week it miraculously reduced by 90%. A 4 year old required surgery that the doctors said would only allow them to get little of the tumor, possibly require severing both optical nerves and even seriously damage the pituitary gland. They ended up getting 75% of it with no optical or pituitary damage! People prayed BIG and God answered BIG!

But today I felt like God answered me directly about a little girl named Genna that I’ve been praying for since mid-January. She has an autoimmune disorder called ITP and if her platelet count drops too low she has to have a transfusion. I’d been praying for her counts to be above 80K, but for many weeks it has been dropping and last week was at 23K. It looked like Genna would be going to the hspital soon. Of course I pray for complete healing, but I was also praying she would never again need a transfusion and that God would install a special platelet factory and the count would rise above 80K. Not sure why, but God put Genna on my heart in a big way and I have literally been crying out to the Lord for her. Today I got a note from her dad, Patrick. The count was 110K! I couldn’t believe it. I wept. Oh, it’s been that high before, but not this year and not for a while. God answered the prayers of many people, not the least of whom are Genna’s parents, but oh did I feel like He was answering me.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

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

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4 Responses to “Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-10”

  1. Eric & Caren Hoehn Says:

    Oh now this is absolutely CLASSIC! You have a twin: http://www.caringbridge.org/cb/photos/photodir1/betsyhelbing1/large/16cb2437116ac38f39b62a5.JPG
    Love the Fathead too. UNFORTUNATELY it’s a Packer…wait…EX-Packer. FORTUNATELY it was my favorite active player. UNFORTUNATELY he was simply on the wrong team. Do you think we might have not given away the SuperBowl if we had him last year? (Don’t EVEN get me started on that topic) Ok, you can tell where I’m from. Brett the bridge builder.
    Still praying BIG down here in Austin and at http://www.hcbc.com
    P.S. I’ve asked Betsy to pray for “y’all”

  2. Drew Says:

    Don,

    A friend forwarded your blog to me and, after reading this post, I had to respond…for a couple reasons. The first is that I wanted to wish you the best with your treatment. About two weeks ago, I finally recovered and got off all of my medication for chronic kidney stones. Your condition is obviously much more serious than mine, but after two years of pain and madness, I finally got a reprieve and feel much better for it. I’m sure you will too. Best of luck to you with everything you have to go through.

    The second reason I’m writing is that I’m the Senior Writer at Fathead and we’re looking for bloggers for an upcoming project. Your writing is very succinct, not to mention moving and I would be honored to count you among us. Unfortunately, there isn’t any money involved…just a free Fathead. I’m looking for two types of bloggers: product reviewers to post on their own blogs and also “reporter” types who can watch the games in their home town and report back on the players represented by Fathead. We’ll need two posts a week max from the latter, one from the former. If you’re interested, you can email me back at realbignews@fathead.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Drew

    P.S. If you’re not interested, but know someone who is…send ’em my way!

  3. Eric Norlin Says:

    Don-
    I’ve been reading along and keeping you in my prayers, but i just HAD to respond to the packer stuff. πŸ˜‰

    All of the pack nation has been in mourning (of course), and trying to find a way to cope.

    Yesterday, my wife surprised me with an autographed brett favre game-ball (with a personalized note, and a pic of him signing the ball). You can actually see the sweat/dirt on the ball from where he gripped it! Needless to say, I’m like a child on Christmas morn….

    Get healed! You’re in our prayers…..
    ejn

  4. My Friend John and Fathead « Wizard of IdM’s Weblog Says:

    […] for Fathead. John is a professional writer and quite talented. When I posted pictures of the Fathead of Brett Favre (before he unretired), which John sent me as a gift, Fathead’s Drew Bufalini saw it and asked […]

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