Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-18

Almost halfway through my second week of no treatments and I can honestly say this is not how I thought I would feel. The pain and eye strain these past three days has been some of the worst. Fortunately it hasn’t been constant, but it has really cramped my style. I know, what style? Very funny. I really wanted to go to practice tonight for our Easter services this weekend, but just wasn’t feeling up to it. I finally took a pain pill and let me just say, praise God for drugs πŸ™‚

The speaker I wrote about Saturday was even better than I expected. Michael Franzese packed our church all three services. This guy talks faster than I do (that will shock friends who’ve heard me speak), but stayed on message and had everyone mesmerized. He was a made man in the New York Columbo crime family and making $6-8 million a week when he was indicted and then jailed on racketeering charges. He became a Christian in his tiny solitary confinement cell and today he speaks all over the country about why Jesus Christ is his hero. Powerful story and when you hear him say, “Fa get abod it”, you know he’s the real deal. He wrote a book called “Blood Covenant” about his two blood covenants – the first with the mob and the second with God. He’s had a hit out on his life since he was indicted, is not in the witness protection program and is living an amazingly public life. When I got the picture below I told him that if God could keep him alive I’m pretty confident He can do the same for me. He laughed and said, “Well, if you post a picture with me you may become a target.” He was kidding, right?

Me and Michael Franzese, Mafia Prince

Sunday we stayed after the service and met with one of the small groups who pray for us regularly. They prayed for us while we were there and then I got to pray for all of them, which I love to do.
One of the small groups that prays for us

We are blessed to have so many praying for us. Thank you, Hemmele’s Small Group!

It was Eileen’s birthday on Sunday and she had no idea how everyone knew. When I sent out my update Saturday and shared it was her birthday, I didn’t send the same note to her. I’m sneaky like that. It was hilarious to hear her repeatedly say, “How do these people know it’s my birthday?” πŸ™‚ Thanks to all of you who sent birthday notes. Despite it being “her” day, she allowed me to stay for that picture with Michael Franzese, which took two hours. We didn’t get home until 2:30! I took her out for lobster, her favorite, but I think I still owe her. Mike and Wendy took us out for pie at Baker’s Square after dinner. Eileen’s favorite is lemon meringue and they were out! Then they found half a slice, which I still think is weird. Afterwards I got to play some cribbage with Mike, which was great. I’m hoping to teach Megan to play while she’s here, but just realized that won’t do me much good after she returns. Kelly is my only hope.

It’s official. I’m going to Duke! I confirmed my appointment with them today. We’re driving and will leave here on Sunday, March 30th and arrive there late that night. I have my first appointment at 1pm on Monday, March 31st to discuss treatment options and then a second session at 9am on Tuesday, April 1st to get educated about everything else and could include a psych exam πŸ™‚ We’ll drive straight home after that, so it will be a whirlwind tour. When I talked with them on Monday I got nauseous immediately. Not sure why, possibly a bit of fear, but it didn’t go away the rest of the day. Today I’ve felt much better and I’m excited to have a date nailed down.

Please pray:

– I can move my MRI from this Friday to March 28th and that it shows no cancer

– Our trip to Duke is safe and that the relationship I establish with the Duke staff is personalized, special and aggressive, which is why I selected them

– United Healthcare grants in-network status for Dr. Geoffroy, MRIs at St. Francis and Duke

– The pain and swelling in my head stops completely

I talked to Julie at Dr. McGee’s office today about my pain and we decided that I should just stop taking decadron. If the pain and swelling get a lot worse then we’ll know I need to continue taking it and up the dosage. I’m glad to be done taking it, but the pain and pressure on my right eye severely impact my ability to get things done. I can usually do a better job of sucking it up, but today has been especially challenging. Strangely, the best time today was on the treadmill. Maybe I should move my computer and phone down there and just walk all day πŸ™‚Β  Things have been worse than I’d like, but as I told someone today, I can’t imagine how bad things would be if you weren’t praying for me. You are making a huge difference in my life and one that I’ll never be able to repay, but which I’m praying God will reward in real and tangible ways. Thank you!

I finished listening to John yesterday. What a great book. A few of you said you would accept my challenge to read it this week. I hope you do. Please let me know what God shows you. I love the part about Thomas in chapter 20 because I can relate to it so well.

“Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” I believe and I am blessed! (John 20:24-29)

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

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One Response to “Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-18”

  1. Jim Kumorek Says:

    Hello Don!

    I was the tech director at Northwoods from 2001 to 2003, and Donna and I now live in Cary, NC, one town south of Durham. Please let us know when you’ll be around here, and where you’re staying. We would love to visit, or have you over to the house if you feel up to it. And to Church on Sundays as well!

    Blessings,

    – Jim

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