Don Bowen Update: 2009-01-31

In this update: MRI reading, Oatmeal, cards with Wendy, labs, health items, my hypocrisy

I meant to send out an update on Wednesday night but time got away from me. I know many of you have wondered how my MRI from Monday came out and it was “stable”. It actually said, “No significant change in neoplasma”, so I want to know which direction the “no significant change” was in. The actual MRI was probably the second most painful I’ve had. There is only so much cushion they can give me or my head will hit the guard they put on and it will burn any skin it touches. Within 10 minutes of the 40 minute scan it felt like the most painful point on my head was being rested on the point of a nail. The pain was excruciating and of course I forgot to take a pain pill. It took a while to recover after getting done. So glad those are only every two months.

Tuesday night Wendy and Mike came over and we played some three handed cribbage. Wendy got lucky and won the first game, but I came back with a 24 point hand and skillfully snatched victory from her in the second. Then Mike and I took Wendy and Eileen in a longer than usual game that still had the same predictable outcome πŸ™‚

For forty years I persecuted coffee drinkers and have since realized it will be a primary beverage in heaven. For fifty years I persecuted oatmeal eaters. But Monday, for some reason, I decided to start eating it. By Wednesday night I was eating it as a bedtime snack. What will happen when I turn 60? I’m still going to love Wendy dearly at 60, but there is no way the persecution (I like to think of it as harmless teasing) will end:-)

OK, so mom, you were right and I was wrong. Actually that means dad was wrong too. Hey, I ate the oatmeal cookies.

Before I forget, this next picture is for my friend Leslie Autery, who sent us this Amaryllis plant before Christmas. It had two stalks and they bloomed independently several weeks apart. Thanks, Leslie. It’s beautiful!

Thursday night Megan came over with Liz, Joey, Brooke and Zach. I tried to fix Megan’s spyware-laden laptop while we played Apples to Apples. I did poorly at both, so I may have to go get the laptop from her again to take another stab. Amy and I never have those issues on our Macs πŸ™‚ Fixing them used to be fun, now it’s just a hassle.

I woke up Friday morning angrier than I had been in quite a while, but I’ve learned my lesson once and for all, though I’m sure not about the anger. When I go in for labs on Wednesday I usually meet with Dr. Geoffroy or a nurse practitioner. They tell me how my blood counts look, see if my funny bones and breathing is good, etc. I then ask if I’m approved for treatment on Friday and they say yes. If it is time for temodar I confirm that they will call in the order and they say yes. Now usually I double check everything on Thursday, but for some reason this time I didn’t. So Friday morning I confirmed the OTN pharmacy had called Wednesday night to see if I wanted the temodar delivered, but I was never given that message. I also confirmed that OSF had not been told I was coming in for treatment. I confess – I was angry. I rarely walk on mornings before treatment, but I did Friday. It’s a good time for me and most of the time I pray and listen to the voice of God – even when I don’t want to hear it πŸ™‚ As I rehearsed my sermon for either Amy or Kelly for not giving me the phone message, I heard the Lord say to me, “Hey good thing you don’t forget to give people their messages.” which is usually enough to calm me down, but for some reason God decided to get real specific. “Didn’t you get a call yesterday for Amy that you haven’t told her about?” “But, God…” “And when are you going to tell Eileen about the call from the hair salon?” “OK, God, but what about the doctor’s office! There is just no excuse for that” And then he just lowered the hammer, “So you want to receive my grace unconditionally, but don’t really feel the need to reciprocate with others.” I wish this was an isolated case with me, but my hypocrisy seems to be rampant these days. I do it with my wife, my kids and even my friends, just not Wendy πŸ™‚

“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)

I asked Jerrie the nurse who gives me my IV if I could take half an ambien when treatment started. After her first stick of the needle she hit a valve and I was really nervous while she was doing it the second time. “You usually put more tape on, is it in?” “Just calm yourself down” “What’s that beep I’m hearing mean?” Then she said, “Would you just take that ambien and stop asking questions!” She loves me. πŸ™‚

I bit later I was getting tired and was a bit cold so I had Eileen pull the sheet up.

When Eileen stepped out of the room for something I realized that this might not be the best way to fall asleep and not be able to respond to hospital personnel. Surely they would see the IV before they gathered around and someone said, “Call it” πŸ™‚

I went home after treatment, had some oatmeal and laid down. Around 7pm I had some tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. About 15 minutes later I lost it all. I absolutely HATE to throw up. Hate it! I got scared at first, but then remembered I had eaten a bunch of blueberries. Phew! I did feel better, but the headache I had all day didn’t stop and continued until at least 2am when I must have finally fallen asleep. I woke up without it, but it appears to be back. I’m not sure if the anti-nausea meds help or make me nauseous. It doesn’t usually change much before Thursday, but I keep praying it will.

My friend Joanne Reutter, a missionary in Brazil, commented on my intestinal issues and asked me if I was going to be in the “Super Bowel” this weekend. That is pretty funny.

And just to let you know that Wendy doesn’t always take my ribbing laying down, here is a reply from her, which I found funny so of course must share:

Ok, it’s one thing to “blast Wendy” in the “fun and informative” part of the blog but now you are using the “spiritually uplifting” part to take a figurative poke at me. “Stronger than Wendy but extremely weak.” Nice. 😦 Yea, that’s a frowny face I’m making there. That’s low even for you.

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

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