Don Bowen Update: 2008-10-01

Not sure what is going on, but somehow my last blog post was never published. I went to see when I wrote last and was shocked that it appeared to be 9/21. On closer inspection I figured out the entry I wrote on 9/24 was still a “draft.” This only affected those of you who read this on the web. I send all entries to a large email distribution and if you want to be included on it just let me know.

On Thursday morning we got a visit from our close friends, Kent and Sharla Walstrom, who only live 45 minutes southeast in Bloomington. Kent was my best man and both have visited before, but this is the first time I got a picture.

They were the ones that shared the gospel with me in college, helped me become a Christian and got me involved with The Navigators. Sharla claims I used to chase her home from school in fifth grade, but that sounds like something Wendy would say 🙂 Never has the impact of their influence on my life been as critical as during this season of my life. I love you both dearly.

Last Week’s Chemo Treatment Drama

I told you last Wednesday that I was cleared for treatment on Friday, but here’s “the rest of the story.” My local oncologist cleared me for the chemo IV, but he doesn’t order the chemo pills I take for the first five days during every 28 day cycle. In order for me to start taking them on Friday, the mail order pharmacy has to send them by 5pm on Thursday and they need to receive the order from Duke before then. For Duke to send the order they must have my lab work from Wednesday. I was assured the labs would be faxed – but somehow they weren’t.

At 3pm on Thursday I had Eileen drive me out to get a physical copy to fax them myself. When I asked my doctor’s admin for a copy she said she couldn’t provide them without doctor approval and he wasn’t in. I’ve got less than two hours to make this happen and that wasn’t helpful. I go down to the lab, one floor below and ask one of the nurses. She says, “Sure, sweetie, what’s your name?” “Ted Kennedy” 🙂 I could have gotten anybody’s labs I wanted. I decided to show her my drivers license anyway. She prints the three sheets and we race home where I fax them to Duke. My doctor at Duke calls and says, “I can’t order your temodar because your platelets are too low.” Long story short(er), we agree having two doctors using two different sets of criteria for two different parts of the same treatment doesn’t make sense. However, this can’t be fixed now. I promise him if he orders the chemo I won’t take it unless new blood work meets his criteria. He agrees.

I call the online pharmacy around 5:30 to confirm they sent the order overnight, but they haven’t. I press and tell her I must have it on Friday and somehow she gets it sent past the deadline. Now I need to figure out how to get labs done Friday morning and results faxed to Duke so they can approve – something I couldn’t do before in two days 🙂 I call the hospital floor where they do the treatment and ask if they can do it. They said yes. I ask if Duke doesn’t approve if I still have to pay for the room. Ummm – yes! OK, that won’t work. They tell me to get the labs done close to my house. Super.

Friday morning Eileen calls and finds out that the place we’re going to do labs has no processing capabilities and it could take a day to get results. What??!! She calls our friend Jerrie the charge nurse who treats me. Jerrie says she’ll tell them to do it ‘stat’. Did you think that means ‘fast’? So did I. They tell us when we get there that they have us down for ‘stat’, but it takes over 30 minutes to get in. Once we do they tell us that the blood will be sent by courier to the hospital for processing – 20 minutes away – and the courier first has to drive FROM the hospital. I finally hear God tell me, “Don, relax, have patience, why are you all of a sudden in control?” Good point. We go home and an hour later Jerrie calls to say Duke has approved and she’s waiting for us.

Treatment went ok, though the last hour is getting harder and harder. Saturday morning I woke early and we decided to attend the 6th annual Mark Linder Walk for the Mind(brain tumor research). We walked with our good friend Sherry Miller. We got to see my friend Colleen Lentz (Sherry’s cousin) and my friend Tim Freitag, along with his wife Denise and sons.

I was amazed that I felt well enough to sing at church Saturday night and both services on Sunday. It was pretty encouraging and then I watched the Packers on Sunday afternoon 😦 I fear their season may already be in jeopardy, but let’s hope Rodgers learned toughness from Favre in the last three years.

Well, my being a  cheapskate and pride in driving (more like having I guess) a 17-year old car finally collided with my desire to make sure my wife and daughters are protected. Our 1991 Honda Accord doesn’t have airbags. After airbags saved Megan and Amy in a 2004 accident I won’t let them drive a car without them. So, I broke down and got a newer Accord from our friend Rod Dixon, one of the owners at Bob Lindsay Honda. I thought (and hoped) it would take him a couple months to find what I wanted. It took him one day.

Rod prays for me daily, but you should buy a car from him because they have the best cars and best service you can get. Thanks, Rod!

My friend James Governor always said said my schtick was talking about my ancient car and I love that about him that he comes right at me. Guess I’ll have to come up with a new schtick, James 🙂

17 Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
behind your back.

18 For the grave [c] cannot praise you,
death cannot sing your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.

19 The living, the living—they praise you,
as I am doing today;
fathers tell their children
about your faithfulness.

20 The LORD will save me,
and we will sing with stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
in the temple of the LORD.

(Isaiah 38:17-20)

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


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