Don Bowen Update: 2009-01-25

In this update: Megan is an RA, Wendy’s refrigerator, our web site, Austin trip #2, famous space traveler

I have such good intentions of writing more often. Not for you, but for me. I have always wanted to “journal” and this is the closest I have and will come to it. I find it very therapeutic, but my busy-ness sometimes gets in the way. Plus, when you lead a fairly boring life, it takes longer to have stuff worth writing – even for yourself πŸ™‚

Right before my last treatment on the 16th our friend’s Rob and Kim Singleton had their daughter Abby in the hospital battling a troublesome virus. She had to be given an IV and Rob said she didn’t like it one bit. Well, Abby, I can TOTALLY relate. Here is a picture of me with an IV for my 24th treatment. I’m smiling on the outside, but on the inside I’m praying, “Lord, help me get through this!”

Notice my Packer hat. You do know that it’s God’s Green Bay Packers, right? What did you think the “G” stood for? No, I’m not kidding. The treatment went well and I had recovered by Sunday night, for the most part. I just can’t believe how fast the two weeks goes.

We finally launched the UnboundID website on the 16th, while I was getting treatment. We’ll be adding a lot to it in the next few months, which I’m really excited about. It’s challenging to work for a company where you feel the least talented, but pretty exciting at the same time. God has blessed our business right from the start, something my partner Steve and I talk about all the time. Few people get to work with their great friends every day on something they are extremely passionate about. We’re living the dream and we know it.

This past Monday we went over to Mike and Wendy’s to see their new refrigerator. I can’t remember when, but several years ago I went into their refrigerator to get something and noticed something that had clearly been in their too long. Being the caring friend I am I pointed it out to Wendy. Somehow this offended her and since then anytime I hint at getting something she immediately says, “I’ll get it” or “Stay out of there!” πŸ™‚ Clearly the bitterness over cards runs deep.

Anyway, I asked her if I could take a picture of her with the new refrigerator. She said yes, but then quickly looked at me like, “What are you going to do with it?” I very perceptively sensed this (ok, maybe she actually said that out loud, but I don’t remember) and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t write anything too mean”, which caused all of us to bust up laughing. As a good protective husband, Mike kept saying, “Don’t do it, Wendy. Don’t do it.”, but like a moth drawn to a bright deadly bulb she just couldn’t resist. I fear that is the last time I’ll ever see the inside of that refrigerator πŸ™‚

Megan moved back to Bradley for the last half of her junior year. She’s now a full RA and gets both room AND board. I absolutely love what it did to the monthly bill πŸ™‚ It’s a significant commitment for her, but she really likes it, especially having the room all to herself.

Amy started back to Illinois Central College and only has three days of classes. Unfortunately one of those is Saturday. I worried that she hadn’t made it home Friday night, but was quite impressed when Eileen reminded me she had class from 9-11:45.

Wednesday I flew down to Austin for my second business trip of the year. I’m using this and the cancer card to get American to give me Executive Platinum status for another year. I haven’t got my first “no” yet, but to me “no” just means ask differently or ask someone else. I do love the kind of people you meet in first class and on my 30 minute flight from Dallas to Austin I hit the jackpot. The guy next to me asked about my cancer, which he overheard me discussing with a friend. When I asked him what he did he said he was between jobs and had just gotten back from the international space station. Known for my interviewing talent I skillfully asked, “You mean the space station out in space?” Hey, I told you I was the least talented person at my company! Fortunately he didn’t write me off as an idiot and I had a great discussion with Richard Garriott, author of the Ultima computer game series and one of the most influential game developers in history. Notice that we both have the same incredible sense of hair style (and don’t I look like my former self?)

His lifetime goal was to go to space. He had the $30M to be the first civilian in space, but had to sell his seat when the dot com bubble burst in 2001. Having just visited Kennedy Space Center with Mike and Wendy in December, this “chance” meeting(yeah, right) was very cool. Click on his name above to read more about him. Richard, you are one humble guy and it was a privilege to meet you. Next time we’ll meet on a longer flight and get served hot nuts!

We had a great business meeting with our partner on Thursday, but my head was just killing me the whole day. We got done around 4pm so several could catch flights and I headed back to Kevin’s to lay down. That night Kevin cooked a great dinner of steak, corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. I told him he is going to make some gal a great little wife πŸ™‚ After dinner we taught our friend and business associate Helmut how to play Up and Down the River.

Helmut said he didn’t play cards much, but his shuffling and playing caused suspicion. He won handily, so Steve and I agreed we need to keep an eye on him now πŸ™‚ He must have felt a bit guilty because he paid for our run to DQ halfway through the game. It helped, but may require a few more cones in the future.

Even in the midst of feeling well (comparatively) most of the time I managed to sink into a funk early last week. The reality of the serious battle I’m engaged in sometimes smacks me in the face. Bad news recently from others with the same brain cancer has discouraged me. Why doesn’t God answer their prayers and mine? How can a shortened life be good? As David says:

“No one remembers you when he is dead.
Who praises you from the grave?”

(Psalm 6:5)

Yet by faith I completely trust God and believe that one day in heaven we will learn how all the pieces fit together and how God took what we looked on as tragedy and with incredible sadness and used it for good. I wish that meant I was never negatively affected by bad news, but I am. It does strengthen my resolve to pray harder. It also reminds me of my dependence on the Lord and that’s good too. I love hearing how my journey and faith has challenged or encouraged others, but I always want to remind you (and maybe myself) that it is God who you are challenged or encouraged by. His power “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9) and believe me when I tell you I am weak. Stronger than Wendy, but extremely weak πŸ™‚

Tomorrow(Monday) I go in for another MRI. Please pray that the results are very good. All the treatments I get are like practice and the MRI is basically game day. Also pray that my labs are good on Wednesday so that I can stay on schedule. It’s time to take temodar again, which means more bowel fun. Pray that I stay mentally positive and that God takes away or minimizes the side effects.

Your emails, cards (special shout out to Madeline), calls and prayers continue to bless and help sustain me. May the Lord repay you ten-fold for the love you have shown and continue to show me.

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


One Response to “Don Bowen Update: 2009-01-25”

  1. Helmut Says:

    I love that Up and Down the River game! My shuffling gave me away I guess. There is a little something behind that. But, I will keep that a secret for now.

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