Don Bowen Update: 2008-07-20

I had my first IV chemo treatment in exactly the same room on June 6th. I took my watch off and hadn’t seen it since. I had actually hoped to be in the same room and thought if I was maybe I’d find my watch. But after six weeks, is that even possible? Shortly after we got situated Eileen found it. She has a knack for finding things. It was in a small pocket in front of my backpack. I’d had it with me all this time, taking it back and forth between home and the hospital, and never knew it 🙂

I got Jeri, the charge nurse, for the third time. When she came in to insert the IV, I told her I needed the crisis nurse and she was quite offended. “We didn’t have any problems the first two times did we?” “Well, no, but last time was terrible” “Yeah, that’s because you didn’t have me” 🙂 How was I to argue with that? I asked for lidocaine this time and it helped a lot, but it does sting. The IV stick didn’t hurt, but the IV itself hurt the entire time. It was a long 4 hours. The last hour and a half is the CPT-11 and that stuff is just plain nasty. Within five minutes of it starting, World War 3 and 4 broke out in my stomach and I started twitching in every limb. Not fun.

A bit later I was using skype to talk with my friends Brian and Debbie Aho when Jeri came in. I told them how I had offended her asking for a crisis nurse and they told her, “You’ll come to realize that dealing with Don is always a crisis.” These are two of the most loving people I know. I was shocked 🙂

We went at 8am hoping to get out by 2pm so we could travel to Springfield MO for Mike’s mom Vi’s funeral Saturday morning. We got out by 1pm and were on our way by 2:30. I was really worried about having to stop every 10-15 minutes to use the bathroom. Actually I was more worried about not making it to a bathroom in time :-), but the trip went well.

Vi’s funeral was one of the most impressive I’ve ever attended, but that is just because it reflected the woman. She had donated her body to medical research ahead of time, typical of how she lived – for others. Mike and his sister Lynn spoke about their mom and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of Mike. I don’t know how he did it. He shared how his mom had inspired him to be the Mr. Fix-it man he is today. Each of the three homes I’ve owned have dozens of improvements thanks to Mike, which I’ll never see the same way again.

I think the most impressive thing to me was what the pastor had to say about Vi. He said, “No one has ever faced cancer as well as Vi Monahan”. She fought it for the better part of seven years and was always positive, always dressed and looked sharp, and was always encouraging others. Both Mike and Lynn shared how Vi was always saying to people, “Let me encourage you.” What a legacy. I was deeply challenged. Even from heaven Vi’s influence and impact on me continues. I was one of thousands and blessed for it.

I wanted to get this picture of me and Mike while still in my suit. Mike was wearing one of my coats and I don’t think it ever looked quite as good. If only I had hair like Mike. You can’t even tell I have a beard!

I felt nauseous all day Saturday, but did pretty well during the funeral and on the long drive home. I had to force food down, but I’m getting used to that. At least DQ still tastes good 🙂 Today was pretty good. Eileen and I went to see “Dark Knight”, which we enjoyed, but it was too fast for my eyes near the end. Maybe that is what started making my head hurt significantly for the first time in almost a week.

Thank you all for praying for the IV and for our trip. God was so good to me and they both went very well. He answered BIG! The impact you have on me is real and significant. I never lose sight of the fact that I’m doing well because hundreds of you are consistently holding me up in prayer. God bless you.

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

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