Don Bowen Update: 22009-04-23

In this update: lost camera, Lunch with Kneers, Dentist, Liz gets OSF Internship, Treatment resumes!, hand towels, COBRA update, Gorby head?

It has been nice to be over bronchitis. I still sneeze all the time and my nose runs, but that’s because I need my nose hair back. Thank you so much for all the prayers and well wishes. God continues to shower me with favor. Many people who aren’t even on chemo like I am are quite a bit sicker than I’ve been since I found out I had brain cancer. What a blessing the last 15 months have been. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

I’m really disappointed, but somehow I came back from Austin without my camera! I remember having it at my friend Steve’s last, but he “says” there is no sign of it. I either need to call Karla (but it’s her birthday today – Happy Birthday, Karla!) or get Kevin to go over and look. Then I’ll know for sure. Steve just isn’t a detail person. 🙂

Our pastor, Cal, started a new series called “Building a Recession Proof Faith” and the first part was called “Choosing Joy”. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I could have enjoyed life  (and enabled those around me to as well) much more if I would have chosen joy – and I had no reason not to. Why did it take cancer? I don’t always choose joy – just ask my wife or kids. But I live with pretty constant pain (somewhere) and do better now than I ever did. Amazing what perspective can do 🙂 If you aren’t choosing joy you are living beneath your privilege – trust me.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”

(Romans 14:17)

Before the service I saw Emily Allison doing coffee and asked if I could give her something for her dad. She agreed, took it and then said, “Didn’t you used to have a lot of hair?” I wish I had video of Amy Rogy and Suzanne Fitzpatrick as they both stopped what they were doing and looked at me. Then Amy said, “Now THAT is funny.” Bill is an incredibly funny guy so I guess the acorn didn’t fall too far from that oak tree.

Sunday after church we got to have lunch with our friends Michele and Pat Kneer. Michele leads the choir and she really makes it fun and funny. She has a great sense of humor. Pat has had job troubles over the past year, but his commitment to his family and how hard he works  is very  inspiring. God has done some truly amazing things in their lives just since the first of the year and it’s been fun to see.

Monday I got to go to the dentist. It’s not that I love going, because I don’t. I always think I’m going to be more consistent with my flossing, but she said my gums looked good. My favorite part is hearing my Nigerian dentist say my name. He says, “Doughn” and it sounds very cool. I’m not near as fond of when he says, “We should put a crown there so we don’t have to do a root canal.” I admit, most of my resistance is that I’m cheap. Another big part is that despite my familiarity with pain, I still don’t like it. But more than either of those I don’t like fear tactics. Could he be right? I’ll give that a bit more thought in 6 months at my next cleaning.

I love that his name is “Joe.” If I was just a bit darker we would look like brothers, don’t you think?

Kelly came home from having a cavity filled the other day and walked into my office to ask me something. I didn’t turn to look at her, partly because my neck doesn’t turn well, and just told her, “Finish brushing your teeth and then come back.” I turned just in time to see her hold her face as she said, “I’m not brushing my teeth. I had a cavity filled.” It was quite funny.

Monday night Megan, Liz, Joey and Brooke came over to celebrate that Liz got a dietician internship at OSF for the next year. How did we celebrate? We played Tripoli. I didn’t win, but Wendy came over too so I had company 🙂

Speaking of Wendy, I want to set the record straight on her extravagant dessert habits. I mentioned on Facebook, which I update using Twitter and updates must be very short, that I, “Just had a piece of a $200 toffee cheesecake Mike and Wendy brought over.” They buy one or two of these cheesecakes every year at their church’s youth fund raiser. DO NOT BE ALARMED! Wendy does not usually pay this much for her desserts (at least that is what she said, I honestly have no idea, but she has a wicked sweet tooth for chocolate.) Anyway, she is much more frugal when she usually buys cheesecake and in fact the truth is Mike was the one who generously donated, I mean went wild and blew $200 on the cheesecake. So, please don’t think ill of Wendy and I hope this will make her feel much better. Really, I do. One other quick Wendy story. I told a friend the other day that I would be interested in playing a game of online scrabble against her. I told a co-worker today that the response was “I don’t want to be the next Wendy.” and  he said, “No one does.” 🙂 I laughed out loud. Fortunately Wendy has a great sense of humor, but I wish I could be there when people say to her, “Oh, you’re THAT Wendy”. 🙂

Wednesday I got my blood tested again and this time my counts were fantastic. Amazing what being off chemo for a couple weeks allows your body to do. My white blood cells, platelets and nutrifils were all very good. So, I am getting treatment tomorrow. I am hoping it is my last cycle of temodar. Would you please pray BIG! that it is? I love what it is doing for me, but hate what it does to me.

My COBRA finally runs out on 6/1 so I am working to try to get insurance through the state for people who are uninsurable – like yours truly. Thanks to my friend Jeff Davies at church I have Denise Middleton from Coyle Insurance helping me. There is still quite a bit to take care of, but I couldn’t do it without her help. Thanks Jeff and thanks Denise! Please pray BIG! we can work out the details.

Am I the only one who has problems with these motion sensor hand towel machines? These things drive me crazy.

I seem to always have to wave my hands under them violently and then slowly like I’m conducting an orchestra and just when I’m convinced it isn’t going to give me anything it will spit out 2 inches or just enough for me to tear it short so I have to do the hand dance again. Does anyone else struggle with these things? Don’t even get me started on the sinks or the toilets that flush and “spray” you like a bidet. Why can’t I do anything for myself anymore?!!

Last night I came to bed and asked Eileen if my head was looking discolored. I felt like I was starting to look like Gorbechev. She immediately dismissed it. “I see a dent on this side and a dent on that side. You look fine.” How nice.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

(Psalm 139:13-14)

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


One Response to “Don Bowen Update: 22009-04-23”

  1. robert geraci Says:


    We’ve written before, months ago. My wife has what you have and she is still doing fine. Avastin seems to be a powerhouse for some. We also get treated at Duke, but Avastin locally every other week. She did the Pet scan in March and still some cells present unfortunately. Have not heard of VP 16. We stopped temodar a few weeks ago because of blood counts. We get seen by Dr. Dejardins there. We’re so grateful we found Duke.

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