Don Bowen Update: 2008-06-13

Before I update you on the past few days I want to clarify my new treatment schedule. I’ve talked to enough people to know I did a pathetic job explaining it the first time. I’m on a repeating 28-day treatment cycle. On the first day of the cycle, which was last Friday, I get an IV of CPT-11 and Avastin. The CPT-11 is chemo to kill cancer cells. The Avastin  blocks the formation and growth of new blood vessels. I take those drugs intravenously, every other week. I also begin taking Temodar capsules on the first day of the cycle for five days. So, at the beginning of the cycle I’m doing both the IV and the Temodar, but in the middle of the cycle I’m only doing the IV.

Sounds like a pretty simple schedule, right? There’s more. I have to have blood work done three times during the cycle, mostly to make sure my body is healthy enough for them to try to kill. 🙂 If anything is too high or low we delay, I guess. It hasn’t happened yet.

I’m not sure that is any clearer, but I feel better.

Wednesday got worse, both the nausea and my headache and I did almost nothing. It continued on Thursday, but it had been five days since I walked and I had to get some exercise. Fortunately Megan wanted to go and the heat was pretty bearable. We had a good talk and she told me she would rather be a Disney character than finish her degree at Bradley. I was so proud 🙂 Kidding, honey! I know what you meant and I’ll be very supportive, emotionally just not financially. Again, kidding 🙂

For the record I’m not that fat in person.

In the afternoon the kids were at the pool and Kelly was walking down to swim so I decided to join her and do a few laps. I didn’t do much and the breaststroke was really hurting my head, but the water and exercise felt great. Fortunately Megan drove me home so I didn’t have to repeat the mile walk. I’ll miss her while she is in San Diego for 9 weeks.

I may not feel well, but I’m never too sick to help orchestrate a good prank. My (formerly) close friend, business partner and boss played Guitar Hero over the internet against my daughter Kelly the other day. Steve won the first set 2-0.  Kelly won the second 2-1 and also the sudden death. I talked to Steve the next day and he said, “I have that punk right where I want her. She has her confidence up and when she gets a crowd for our rematch I’ll mop the floor with her.” So, I decided to trick Steve and have my friend Mike’s son Joe pretend to be “Kelly”. On the internet no one knows you are a dog. They had the rematch very late last night.

Kelly is on the left in green holding the phone that Steve set down to play and Joe is on the right in the red hat. It was hilarious to hear Steve talk incredulously about how badly “Kelly” beat him.

Today was physically better, but mentally tougher, though I’m doing better tonight. I asked my nurse how long the nausea from the new drugs might last and they said one to two weeks. Well, I only have two weeks between IVs so that could mean constant nausea.

I have had a bad taste in my mouth for a while and found out that this is also a common side-effect. No matter what I eat, the taste turns pretty bad within a few seconds. When you already don’t want to eat, that doesn’t help.

Another side-effect I hope not to experience is mouth sores. My mouth has been feeling quite strange and my tongue a bit swollen, but no sores.

So, please pray for the following:

1. For my nausea to end before next Friday’s IV

2. No more nausea and diarrhea

3. Restored appetite and normal taste

4. No mouth sores

5. Positive blood work results so there are no delays in treatment

Also,  pray about is our travel to Duke. Arranging this is becoming more difficult and we need the wisdom of God to figure out how to make it work. We’re going to be doing this for a while.

I’ve mentioned them before, but I have two friends who are further along on this journey than I am, Tim and Colleen. Both recently had MRIs that spotted something new. Please pray God would heal them and that their next scans would show improvement. They have been so helpful to me.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5)

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


2 Responses to “Don Bowen Update: 2008-06-13”

  1. Sally Says:

    When my sister-in-law had chemo they advised her to constantly chew ice chips while the chemo was being delivered; they had had good benefit of fewer mouth sores. Apparently it closes off the blood vessels to the mouth area and the chemo doesn’t get in.

  2. Janelle Robison Says:


    The mouth problems are no fun. When I went through chemo I also suffered with the bad taste, swollen toung with a terrible white coating and dry mouth. You may have Thrush, a Yeast Infection in your mouth. I tried everything the doctors suggested but I finally found my own treatment and it works for me, Arm & Hammer Toothpaste with Baking Soda and Peroxide. You might give this a try and see if it helps you, it takes a few days to get the full effects.

    You are always in my prayers.

    Janelle Robison

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