Don Bowen Update: 2009-05-09

In this update: private Bradley Family weekend, Remi visit, Wendy!, stable MRI! lunch w/ Dan, Prom Girls, One more treatment!

A week ago Friday Eileen and I went to see the Newsboys who performed at our church. We found out that we are just not front row concert goers. Maybe my head hurt so much because of that. The drums were literally moving our clothing. The concert was great and we really enjoyed it. Afterwards we got to be first in line to meet them, thanks to our good friend Dawn Henderson.

One of my favorite parts was near the end when the drummer, strapped into his drums, elevated off the stage, rotated forward and then started spinning while he kept playing. Here is a link to the video on YouTube, but turn off your speakers first. The sound totally overpowered the mic in the camera.

Saturday night we kind of had our own personal Parent’s night at Bradley. Megan invited us to dinner AND SHE PAID! Ok, well, she used our money, but it’s the thought 🙂

We were to attend a performance by Hypnotiq, a hip-hop group Megan was in last year, and then attend the play “Death Trap.” Near the end of dinner Megan dramatically pushes back from the table and says, “Mom and Dad, how are you with surprises?” Almost in unison we said, “What kind of surprise?” She says, “Well, there is a startling surprise in the play.” We both reswallowed our hearts and told her we’d seen the movie. Funny girl, huh?

The play was great, but of course I had to take a picture of the set. Next thing I know Megan’s roommate from last year is telling me that I am creating a liability and no pictures are allowed. Not like the first time I’ve been told I created a liability. 🙂

It got both of us pretty excited about seeing Megan play the role of Gladys in The Pajama Game in September. Don’t miss it!

On Sunday we got a surprise visit by our friend and former neighbor, Remi Boutielle. We works for Cat in Grenoble, France and told us that he missed being one of the hostages a few weeks back by only five minutes.

Right after Remi left we went to see the Monahan’s play handbells at their church. A few seconds after I walked in the door I heard the sound of metal and was hit by a 50lb piece of door. It hit my shoulder and knocked me down, but fortunately missed my head. I know what you are thinking. Did Wendy plot this diabolical deed? Have I beaten her one too many times? That was my first thought too. However, having been recently educated on mysterious plots by those clever Bradley students I first did some investigation. To my surprise I found out that not long before, Wendy’s own father, 81 years old, mind you, was hit with the very same beam! I have decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I clearly need to be much more watchful. (read dramatically) HA! Look who just walked in! Stand Back!! 🙂 (She really did just walk in).

I sent out an email update on this, but in case you aren’t on that list this was a pretty hard and scary week. My vision is still very bad and so my oncologist ordered another MRI onWednesday rather than wait until May 26th at Duke. Part of me was relieved, but I knew it could show growth and worried that two treatments from the end I would be starting over with surgery. We were shocked that even as late as 8pm Thursday night we didn’t  have word on how the MRI looked. I finally called Dr. Geoffroy and he very calmly told me that the MRI showed no change and I was scheduled for treatment. I was thrilled, but also felt a bit ungrateful. Why had it taken so long? Why do I still have vision that is decreasing and headaches? I was immediately reminded of the ten lepers, only one of which went back to thank Jesus. Then God also reminded me, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) Little did I know when I memorized that verse many years ago how literal it would become for me.

My good friend Dan came by and took me to a late lunch Thursday and it was the perfect distraction. I guess I do look a bit thin. I’m down about 22 lbs since this began, but once I’m off this chemo I should fatten up nicely.

Both Kelly and Amy went to Proms tonight. Kelly with a friend to Notre Dame who asked her from work (of course I interviewed him) and Amy went with Josh to crown the next queen from Dunlap. Don’t they both look beautiful!

The emotional and prayer support I have received from all of you has never been more felt or appreciated. The emails and notes on facebook help immensely. I had my 22nd chemo treatment yesterday and though I can’t say I looked forward to it, it constantly reminded me of God’s faithfulness and goodness. I even took the IV in my left arm for the first time since the start. ONE MORE TO GO!

My decreased vision is hard at times. It’s bad enough that I can’t drive, but watching anything on TV is not the same. I know, maybe that is a good thing, but I’m not a huge TV watcher anyway. I can still listen to golf 🙂 I still turn lights on by habit.

Please keep praying for complete healing of vision and cancer. I want to see my girls marry and see their children. But more than that when you pray for me, pray that God consumes me for others and Him. I’ve known for a long time how selfish and self-centered I am, but I think being ill like this can be easy for me to use as an excuse. I don’t want it to be. Most people in the world would do anything possible to have one day of “suffering” like I do. I’m so blessed and want to LIVE that way, not just THINK that way.

I’m expecting a miracle, God’s gonna deliver it, pray BIG!

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