Don Bowen Update: 2008-04-08

I actually intended to send this out last night, but just didn’t feel well enough. This chemo treatment has definitely been a bit tougher, but I’m very thankful that today is my last day to take it for 3 weeks. Please pray for the head and eye pain, which has surprisingly pretty much put me down the past day and a half.

My nausea Sunday was worse than I had expected and started to concern me a bit. When I got home from church I called my friend Tim, who also has a GBM and is a pharmacist. Tim has helped me before because he not only knows the drugs, but also knows how to take them. He told me to take my zofran every 8 hours, not just “as needed”. My stomach is still upset, but I think it’s less. For the first time I have to force myself to eat, but Tim said I could be back to normal by Thursday or Friday, which is great. Thanks, Tim!

Because I didn’t feel well Sunday I just relaxed and ended up watching the first two Lord of the Rings movies on TNT. It was hard to follow and harder to hear. I had to put closed caption on and it was hard to read. Think about what seeing “9.99” for something that’s “$29.99” and apply that to every thing you read – everything. By the time I realized what I was reading didn’t make sense and tried to adjust left, the caption had changed. I only watched part of the third movie and want to see how it ends, but I don’t think I’ll be super fan like the Garbers and Monahans.

I spent hours on the phone with UnitedHealthcare yesterday. I printed all four pages of claims for this year and we started at the first one. All seven claims on the first page were wrong. Laurie Lee couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful, but she finally said, “I’m really sorry this is so messed up, but I can’t spend the rest of the day on the phone with you. I’ll already be in trouble for how long I’ve spent. We’ll have to send this to auditing for a complete review.” I hope that’s good, though ‘audit’ always sounds like ‘proctology exam’ to me 🙂

As I’ve said, I’m trying to get all my doctors to be covered in network, but that requires me to get UHC to make an exception. I got one early for my neurosurgeon, which was great. Getting the others is much harder. I got letters from UHC that my radiation oncologist is in network for 16 treatments and my medical (chemo) oncologist is in network for 15 visits, though only between 3/25/08 and 12/31/08. Sadly, I had 30 treatments, not 15 or 16 and they all ended 3/7/08. See how much fun this is? 🙂

For any of you who worried about my use of the razor blade given my poor eyesight, you will be happy to know that I got a professional pedicure today courtesy of my friends Gary and Sheila. Even though I wasn’t feeling very well, Teri was great. I see why Sheila loves her.

The last time my feet looked this good was October 29, 1958! I learned that using the razor was actually hurting me and not just when I drew blood 🙂

I had a challenging email exchange over the weekend with my friend Bob, a missionary in Djibouti Africa. Bob is doctor and serving some the poorest people in the world in one of the hottest places on the planet. He sends out updates like mine, only much better written with stories that are sobering and amazing. OK, so they aren’t really like my updates. Anyway, I told Bob that reading his stories made me realize my problems were even smaller than I had thought. He responded that all the problems each of us face seem big to us and if we look at them through God’s eyes we’ll see He can resolve any of them. He is the great Healer and the God of the impossible. I have given this same response when people have said what I’m going through reminds them of how small their problems are, but forgot to take my own medicine 🙂 No matter your situation, God is BIG enough to solve it. I know He doesn’t always solve it the way we want Him to, but that doesn’t change His nature.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Not some things, but all things, even when we can’t see it.

“We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Faith is hard because we want to see first, but it’s also what I love about faith. As my pastor Cal says, it’s sweet when you believe He will provide before He does. Believing only after, takes no faith at all. I’ve been listening to Genesis this week and find the faith of Abraham amazing. God promised to make him into a great nation, but Abraham had no children and was very old. Yet when God told Him he would have a son.

“Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness. ” (Genesis 15:6)

The facts were that Abraham and Sarah his wife were far past child-bearing age. But the truth is that God said He would give them a son and He did. The facts are that my cancer hides and they think when they can’t see it, it’s still there, but that isn’t necessarily the truth!

“And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13:58)

I never want lack of faith to limit what God can do in my life. This was a pep talk to me. You just got to listen in on it.

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

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