Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-23

He has risen! He has risen indeed! What a fantastic Easter, tiring, but wonderful nonetheless. Let me catch you up on the last few days.

Friday was a tough day, but I’m not as sure why looking back. I know the headaches and eyestrain were bad, but I think it was more of a mental thing. I was also worried about the quartet we were doing Saturday night and Sunday, which I had just received, so I felt a bit behind the eight-ball. I had a good walk on Friday morning, but by the afternoon I was surprisingly weak. Could working with UnitedHealthcare trying to get in-network coverage have anything to do with it? πŸ™‚ I was told Duke was actually in-network, just not a Center of Excellence (which gives me additional benefits), but when I called to confirm I was told they are out-of-network. I now have Dr. Geoffroy’s office, who themselves haven’t been granted in-network status, pushing the issue. If I didn’t have God on my side I could possibly become discouraged πŸ™‚

I went to the church to practice Friday afternoon and though I felt better about it afterwards, I was still a bit overwhelmed. My faith was weak, but fortunately your prayers were strong! Friday night, despite pain and poor vision I enjoyed snuggling (yes, real men can say snuggling) with Eileen and watching “King Arthur” with Clive Owen. It was good.

Saturday was lots of practice at home and preparation for my friend Kevin’s visit. I’m glad I decided not to walk. God knew I would need all the energy I could spare that afternoon and evening. I got to church for practice around 2:30 and our first run through the quartet was OK, but rough. I didn’t realize I would be in the choir, but again God knew best. Had I been out front for the four choir songs I would never have made it. Kevin got to the church before 5pm and video taped part of our quartet during dress rehearsal, which we put on YouTube last night.

Our music director, Ben, is next to me, then Kirk and then our pastor, Cal, Mr. Southern Gospel and our fantastic bass. We have an incredibly good time. If I can get the entire video sometime I’ll post it.

As my friend Tamara says, Kevin got to see “how we make sausage”, as he watched us practice, pray, eat and perform from behind the scenes all weekend. He knows those songs as well as I do now πŸ™‚ After our service on Saturday night we went back home and Mike came by to play cribbage. Little did I know it, but Kevin has played cribbage most of his life and said his parents play almost every day. That should have been my clue!

Kevin beating me at cribbage

In the first game, Kevin beat me and skunked Mike, then Mike skunked both of us. After Mike left Kevin beat me again. We played again this morning between services and I told Kevin I wasn’t winning because I hadn’t been green, but that didn’t work either. I am desperate for a win. Wendy! πŸ™‚

As my friend John reminded me today, I hope Duke is better at brain tumors than they are at basketball πŸ™‚ I had NC and Duke in the NCAA finals, so I basically have no chance of winning. And to think I wasted a good minute and a half picking my brackets πŸ™‚

I usually take one ambien before bed and another when I wake up between four and five, but last night I took two right away. Your supposed to lay down right away, but of course not me. Eileen claims I was a real pill, which is hard for me to believe. She said I was in the bathroom with my cell phone trying to get on the internet. Come on! That doesn’t even sound like me. Megan showed me video of me supposedly staggering up the stairs almost falling back down them, but it looked like a Bigfoot video and a complete fake. I’m only taking one ambien tonight and going right to bed, but not because I can’t handle two, that’s for sure.

I had to be at church ready to sing at 6am, so neither Kevin or I got much sleep. I was up at 4:30 and knew it was going to be a long morning. I really struggled, first with pain and then with energy. In fact, I didn’t sing with the choir during the second service because I just didn’t have the strength and stepping down from the risers during third service was tricky. But I wish I could let all of you feel the love showered on me by my Northwoods’ church family – staff, choir, band and congregation – as it was truly amazing. Let me tell those of you who were there. I felt hugged and encouraged by each and everyone of you. Thank you!

Me, Ben Ward, Kirk Moser, Cal Rychener

If it looked like we were having fun doing it, then we weren’t doing it justice, because we were having a blast! πŸ™‚ Thanks, Guys, you’re the best!

We has Easter lunch with Monahan’s and the food was incredible. About 20 minutes after we ate my body just crashed. I had wanted to play games. I mean, I had Wendy right there :-), but needed a nap more than a quick win. Unfortunately, by the time I actually got home and laid down I could not sleep. I still can’t believe it. Hopefully that means I’ll sleep well tonight.

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20)

I love Easter and it is more meaningful to me than it has ever been. Jesus rose from the dead because he has power over everything, even death. My cancer is nothing for Him. He has only to say the word and I believe He already has!

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


2 Responses to “Don Bowen Update: 2008-03-23”

  1. MIke Flanagan Says:

    I just read Don Bowen’s story, and was quite moved by it…I am on the board of directors of the Tug McGraw Foundation, and we focus on supporting research to enhance the quality of life for patients, families, and caregivers affected by brain tumor diagnoses…

    We would like to send Don a gift package in recognition of his courage and determination…Who could we send it to for delivery to him?…If ok, is there an address to which we could send it?…Thanks for listening, and feel free to call me anytime…


    Mike Flanagan

  2. hannahwff Says:


    I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I’d like to request permission to use a photograph of yours in this book. Please contact me at, and I’d be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.



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